Race Equality Forum


In 2019, the EDI Unit in cooperation with the Equality Committee started the Race Equality Initiative.  It commenced with a number of meetings to try and gauge what issues are most prevalent.  It emerged early on that the first step should be to establish a university-wide Black and Minority Ethnic Staff and Student Forum to be co-chaired by a UCC staff member of colour/minority ethnic background and an external facilitator of colour/minority ethnic background with experience in this area.  The proposal includes holding four fora between October and March (2019-2020).  This forum would then make suggestions to the University Equality Committee to draft proposals for the university, with the hope that, following a period of reflection and discussion at the Forum, those ideas might be able to form part of an embedded programme of action for the university.  This does not preclude any anti-racist or training/awareness initiatives happening in the meantime.

To date, two forums have been held and were chaired by Dr Mark Chu, Dept. of Italian and external co-chair Dr Brigid Quilligan, Director at Irish Traveller Movement.  The second two forums were postponed due to Covid-19.  Drs Chu and Quiliigan stepped down as co-chairs at the end of 2019/20 and the role of internal co-chair was taken up by Dr Amanullah De Sondy.  An external co-chair is being sought at present.

Conversations on Racism in Ireland

Race equality in Ireland is a societal challenge that requires urgent attention. It features in the UN sustainable development goals to transform our world. This series of conversations on race and racism in Ireland in general and universities in particular, begins a constructive discussion on the lived experiences of minorities in the academy. It hopes to build toward a race equality action plan. The discussions will be moderated by Dr Amanullah De Sondy, Chair of University College Cork's Race Equality Forum and Head of the Study of Religions Department.


On Wednesday 13th January 2-3 p.m., Dr Amanullah De Sondy will be joined by Sara EbrahimiProfessor Kalpana Shankar and Dr Arpita Chakraborty. We look forward to seeing you there.

Listen to the conversation here


Sara Honarmand Ebrahimi is a Research Associate at the UCD Humanities Institute, where they finished their PhD in 2018 (IRC doctoral scholar). They are currently finishing a monograph which is under contract for publication with Edinburgh University Press in 2022 and are co-convening the Institute of Historical Research (University of London) new partnership seminar series entitled, 'The Archives of Global History in a Time of International Immobility.'

Professor Kalpana Shankar is a Professor of Information and Communication Studies at University College Dublin.  She researches and teaches about scholarly research practices and data management and is currently the PI of SFI funded SPRING, Studying Peer Review in Grants. She has been part of the Athena SWAN Intersectionality Working Group that worked with the Irish Higher Education Authority to develop and launch the National Race Equality Survey.    

Dr Arpita Chakraborty is an IRC scholar working on sexual violence in collaboration with Dublin City University and ActionAid Ireland. She was the first PhD scholar at the Ireland India Institute, former Chair of the Sibeal Network of Feminist and Gender Studies Scholars in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and also the organiser of the Annual South Asian Studies Conference in Dublin.



Conversation #1

On Wednesday 9th December 2-3 p.m., Dr Amanullah De Sondy, Head of the Study of Religions Department was joined by Hussein Omar and Sahar Ahmed.

Hussein AH Omar is a historian of anticolonial ideas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His monograph Rule of Strangers is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. At UCD he convenes the Global History seminar, teaches on the Global History MA and is designing a new BA in Global Studies. He is committed to challenging the eurocentricity of the curriculum.

Sahar Ahmed is a PhD candidate in the School of Law at Trinity College Dublin. Her research examines and offers a reinterpretation of the right to freedom of religion under International Human Rights Law and Islamic jurisprudence. Sahar is from Lahore, Pakistan, where she worked as a Barrister for many years, being dual qualified at The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn (England & Wales) and as an Advocate of the High Courts of Pakistan. Sahar holds a Masters in Law from SOAS, University of London, where she was an Annemarie Schimmel Scholar. You can find Sahar on Twitter discussing race, feminism, religion, and the law @saharisright  https://soundcloud.com/tlrhub/behind-the-headlines-does-race-matter?in=tlrhub/sets/behind-the-headlines


Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit

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