A Spotlight on Aisha Richards



How long have you worked at UAL?

15 years

What is your role at UAL?

Associate Lecturer, Co Chair of GEMS (Group for the Equality of Minority Staff) and Founder of Shades of Noir (www.shadesofnoir.org.uk)

What is the most interesting project, you have worked on?

Developing as co creator and joint unit lead of the ‘Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher education unit which is part of the MA Academic Practice delivered within the Teaching and Learning Exchange at UAL, where we are tasked with co-developing a program of academic practice that engages with pedagoigies of social justice.  Featured in the Higher Education Academy report ‘Retention and Attainment in the Disciplines: Art & Design

Tell us about an achievement or something you are proud of?

I am really proud of creating Shades of Noir, and seeing how it has evolved through its collaborative approach to everything. Additionally, I am proud to be able to say that as a Black Female Academic I can lead, support and be part of the transitions towards social justice at in aspects of UAL, Higher Education and Creative sectors.  This means so very much to me.

Who inspires you / Name someone you admire?

I have many whom have inspired me over the years, but one whom stands out is Dr Gurnam Singh.  A powerful academic speaker, an inspiring change maker seeking social justice and a good guy.  Also I have to mention Kimberle Crenshaw, whos writtings introduced me to ‘intersectionality’ and of course bell hooks whom has inspired all aspects of my teaching and research practice.  I salute them!

What does diversity mean to you?

Diversity means understanding that there are the privlaged and the oppressed, but also the intersections between.


On a personal note……

What is your favourite film, music or book?

‘Pedagogy of the oppressed’. Bloomsbury Publishing, Freire (2000)

What can’t you live without?

My family

Where did you grow up?


What is your favourite quote?

I didn’t break the rules, but I challenged the rules. Ella Baker