Dr Deborah Gabriel

Dr Gabriel holds a BA Honours degree in Journalism Studies from London Metropolitan University and a PhD in Media, Culture and Communication from the University of Salford. During her tenure in higher education, she combined a traditional academic role in teaching, research, and professional practice with leadership in equity, social justice, and transformation through innovation.  As a final year undergraduate student she developed the journalism project ‘People With Voices’  to increase participation in the news industry among the most under-represented groups, funded by UnLtd and London Metropolitan University. Her past journalistic work focused on giving voice to the perspectives and experiences of marginalised groups and articulating issues around inequality. She wrote for several publications including Times Higher Education, Guardian and Independent and was frequently called upon as a media commentator to provide analysis of historic and contemporary issues and events. She has been interviewed across television, radio, print and online in the UK and US for a range of media outlets including BBC, Guardian, Independent, Times Higher Education and Huff Post.

She has served as Founder and Director of Black British Academics since 2013, a global community she developed as a collective platform to advance educational equity in higher education. As a research leader she developed the Ivory Tower Project on race and gender inequality in academia, leading two research teams on the edited volumes: Inside the Ivory Tower and Transforming the Ivory Tower, published by UCL Press and launched in the UK and US at eight higher education institutions. During her academic tenure she specialized in inclusive teaching strategies, applying her expertise to the development of new undergraduate modules. She developed a framework called 3D Pedagogy, to decolonise, democratise and diversify the curriculum, developing a workshop for lecturers, teaching, and programme staff which she delivered at several universities on a consultancy basis.

Her intellectual work is interdisciplinary and often focused on race and gender, education and social justice, inclusive teaching strategies and social justice pedagogy. She explores these areas through the lens of intersectionality, examining the relationships between race, gender, power, privilege, and inequality. She  specializes in Black feminist epistemology and critical paradigms, applying mixed methods to qualitative-interpretative research.  She has presented her findings at international conferences around the world and is an accomplished public speaker.

More recently, Dr Gabriel’s focus has transitioned towards social philanthropy, a decision motivated by a strong moral imperative to harness ‘her intellectual and social capital to empower underserved communities’. In 2022 she launched Black British Academics Foundation, a charity aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the critical dimensions, People, Planet and Prosperity. It provides research, advocacy, financial and strategic support to global partners in developing countries, with a specific focus on  the African and Caribbean continents. At the start of 2024, Dr Gabriel created the Jenny Harriott Foundation, a historic legacy named after an enslaved ancestor born in the Parish of Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica in 1811. The Foundation was established to raise funds and build a family legacy through research, creative arts, education, and conservation projects in Jamaica. Dr Gabriel continues to pursue her intellectual work primarily undertaking research to support her charitable foundations. In 2023 she was appointed as a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Human Sciences, London Metropolitan University and has recently been elected as a Visiting Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford University for the 2024-25 academic year.