Being a Black Female Professor
In this episode, we are joined by Professor Dawn Edge, the first Black woman to be made a Professor at the University of Manchester. She is also a Professor of Mental Health and Inclusivity, so is a perfect WAU guest! In this conversation, Dawn talks about what it's like having colleagues who mostly don't look like her, after growing up in Jamaica, as well as her circuitous (and fascinating) journey to becoming a professor, and doing collaborative mental health research with communities who have been let down by both mental health services and research in the past.
“Another aspect of the cognitive burden that is very common for minoritised people is that we're told very young from our parents and those who are 'in the know' that we have to work twice as hard... Essentially, the story that you're told is that you have to work much harder than anybody else to be taken seriously, to achieve. Then that means it sets people up for this load of working hard all the time. Then all that self-surveillance and the hypervigilance, it sometimes doesn't leave much space, much room, for self-care.”
About Professor Dawn Edge
Prof Dawn Edge is The University of Manchester’s Academic Lead for Equality Diversity & Inclusion and Professor of Mental Health & Inclusivity. Her research emanates from a passion to reduce inequalities in access, care, and outcomes experienced by under-served communities. Dawn is the lead for the Culturally-Adapted Family Intervention Study (CaFI) for African and Caribbean people diagnosed with psychosis, and their families.
Current Role: Professor
Episode Title: Being a Black female professor
Episode #: Series 3: Episode 3
“I'm much better at that now, not working extra-long hours, but that is a challenge when you’re having to work to be seen to be worthy, that burden of always being on and wanting to be perceived as being helpful... being very mindful of some of the negative stereotypes and working quite hard to counter them, comes at a high physical and emotional cost.”
"One of the areas in which I'm really fortunate, is that I have a faith, being able to pray in church and worship with other people... I live in a place where there's lots of green spaces, and can go on a walk and of course friends, and I have some amazing colleagues, I have to say."
CAFI study: https://sites.manchester.ac.uk/cafi/