What is it about?

Despite the over two million people in Britain today who identify as 'mixed race', there is a distinct lack of regard for how 'mixed race' women's experiences can be understood in UK higher education. My work aims to show the counter-stories of 'mixed race' women navigating predominantly white spaces, and reflect on how higher education can benefit from their lived experience. It also uses 'mixed race' literature to benefit institutional approaches to anti-racism and equity.

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Why is it important?

When identifying peoples 'race', the UK has required individuals to tick a box to describe their identity. However, many mixed race people across the world do not fit into one box. When using things like statistics that need numerical data, we need to be more critical about how mixed race people's identities are considered within these analysis processes. It is important for universities to look at the stories and experiences of mixed race staff and students in order to create an equitable environment.


As a Chinese mixed race woman myself, I have been racialised as white in some spaces, Chinese in others, or sometimes just woman of colour. While it is a privilege to be white 'passing' in higher education, its also not nice when people decide your race for you. It seemed the participants of this study had some similar experiences to that I wanted to highlight.

Rhianna Garrett
Loughborough University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: “I’m not white”: counter-stories from “mixed race” women navigating PhDs, Equality Diversity and Inclusion An International Journal, January 2024, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/edi-03-2023-0097.
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