School of Law

The lawyer who wants more academics to ‘come out’ as working class

9 July 2019

The Guardian profiled Professor Geraldine Van Bueren, the founder of the Association of Working Class Academics who is fighting for class to be recognised in equality law as well as race and gender.

The article reads: “Geraldine Van Bueren, professor of international human rights law at Queen Mary University of London, spent her infancy in the east London borough of Hackney in the days when, as she puts it, nobody pronounced the “h”. Her father, later a taxi driver, worked in local factories, and her mother was a bookkeeper at Smithfield meat market. Though she doesn’t have the accent, she is a cockney, born within the sound of Bow Bells… Now Van Bueren has started the Association of Working Class Academics, which has recently met the vice-chancellors’ body, Universities UK, to discuss how the class backgrounds of British academics could be widened. That, she argues, is essential for students from poor homes to have role models to make them feel they belong at university and help with awkward social adjustments.”

Read the article here.