Dr Deborah Gabriel
Founder & Director

Dr Gabriel is a senior academic, journalist, media and equality specialist whose work is largely focused on race equality and social justice, in higher education and the wider society.

Over the years she has developed a number of projects to diversify the media, including People With Voices (2008-2013) an online journalism project funded by UnLtd to increase participation in the news industry among the most under-represented groups. Black Bloggers UK & International Network (2011-2013) was developed to support her doctoral research on Black Bloggers in the UK. Both websites have been archived by the British Library. Her 2007 book, Layers of Blackness: Colourism in the African Diaspora, was the first major work on colourism by a UK author and has continued to attract worldwide attention. She converted it into a free electronic resource two years after publication to increase accessibility and it has since been downloaded over 11,000 times.

Her journalistic work is focused on centralising the voices of people of colour and articulating issues around inequality. She has written for a variety of publications including Times Higher Education, Guardian, Independent, Red Pepper and Parliamentary Monitor. Between 2004 and 2008 she served as Editor of Colourful Network prior to its conversion to online radio.

She established Black British Academics in 2013 as a pro-active, influential network of intellectuals and scholar activists committed to tackling racial inequality in higher education and the wider society through collective activism and collaborative research, and serves as its Director.

She is currently based at Bournemouth University, where she leads undergraduate teaching in Race, Media and Inequality and Political Sociology (units she created), and supervises doctoral students.  She is an award-winning specialist in social justice pedagogy and critical race pedagogy and teaches from a critical race/gender standpoint. In 2018 she was nominated for an award in Educational Excellence in the Dorset Ethnic Minority Awards and in 2017 and 2016 received awards from the Student Union at Bournemouth University.

Her key areas of research are political discourse, communication and participation; race and representation in media and popular culture and the dynamics of race, ethnicity and culture in higher education. She developed the Ivory Tower project on race and gender equality for Black British Academics and is co-editor of the best-selling book: Inside the Ivory Tower: Narratives of Women of Colour Surviving and Thriving in British Academia. She has presented her research at international conferences around the world including Paris, Dubai, Buffalo New York State, Hawaii, Washington DC, New York, Austin Texas, and Toronto. In 2013 she won the James Thomas Memorial Prize for Best Paper at the Media and Politics Group annual conference at Bournemouth University.

She is currently leading race equality initiatives at Bournemouth University as Co-Chair of the Race Equality Charter Steering Group and serves on a number of external advisory and editorial boards as well as internal committees at Bournemouth University.