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Dr William Ackah

  • Overview



    • William Ackah is Senior Lecturer in Black and Community Geographies in the Department of Geography and Programme Director for Community Development and Public Policy and Community Leadership. He is the current chair of the School Ethics Committee and Chair of the Decolonising the Academy Collective.

    He holds a PhD in Government from the University of Manchester and was 2016-17 Fulbright research scholar at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he conducted research on the impact of gentrification on African-American church congregations.

    He is current chair of the Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race an international organization that brings together academics, community activists and church leaders with the aim of tackling injustices faced by people of African descent around the world.

    He is the co-editor with Jualynne Dodson and R. Drew Smith of Religion, Culture and Spirituality in Africa and the African Diaspora (New York: Routledge, 2017). And his most recent work is ‘The Politics of Pan-Africanism’ in R. Rabaka ed (2020) The Routledge Handbook of Pan-Africanism.

    Professional activities

    Chair Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race

    Chair Decolonising the Academy Collective Birkbeck

    Co-Convenor African Diaspora Postgraduate Network

    Board Member African Diaspora Consortium (responsible for designing the AP African Diaspora Course in the USA) and Senior Research Fellow African Diaspora International Research Network

    Editorial Board Member

    of Black Theology an International Journal

    And Whiteness and Education

  • Research


    Research interests

    • Religion and Politics in Africa and the African Diaspora
    • Pan-Africanism
    • Equality and Diversity Policy and Practice in the UK
    • Black Church Community Activism UK and USA
    • Anti-Racist and Decolonial Pedagogy
    • Spatial Dimensions of African Diasporic Cultures
  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    I am interested in supervising in the areas of:


    Black Community Politics UK

    African and African Diaspora Religion/Spirituality

    I convene with Dr Gabriella Beckles Raymond and Leading Routes: Blacks in Academia The African Diaspora Post-graduate Network which supports aspiring and current Doctoral Students of African descent in the social sciences and humanities. 

    Current doctoral researchers


    Doctoral alumni since 2013-14



    I teach and co-ordinate in the areas of

    Community Action (Social Movements UK and International)

    The Politics of Race and Diaspora

    Community Based Placement (supporting students undertaking placement and volunteering opportunities on the Community Development Programme)

    Critical Social Geographies (Spatial dimensions of race, class, gender, sexuality and religion)

    Equality and Diversity Policy and Practice in the UK

    Teaching modules

    • Community Action (FFCV002S4)
    • Critical Social Geographies (SSGE062S7)
    • The Politics of Race and Diaspora (SSGE070S6)
  • Publications




    Book Section

  • Business and community

    Business and community


    I am happy to receive enquiries from the media on the following topics:

    • Black communities in the UK
    • racism in the UK
    • African Diaspora Politics and Religion
    • Experience of Black Staff and Students in Higher Education
    • Decolonising the Academy


      15th October 2020 African Diaspora Consortium member of steering committee advising on teaching African Diaspora AP curriculum to partner schools across the US and internationally. 

      24th October 2020 Invited Speaker Reading Parkside Adventist Church, part of panel to discuss theological implications of George Floyd and Institutionalised Racism for the Christian Church.

      27th October 2020 Invited Speaker/Trainer for the Joint Learning Initiative board on Decolonising their organisation and work processes 50 participants from International Development Organisations around the World.

      28th October 2020 Invited Speaker the William Seymour Project on Race, Religion and Social Justice, 18 Pastors and Church leaders, spoke to them on ideas of community action and social change in their local contexts, drawing on Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race work, research in the US and my paper on Urban Ministry in D. Smith et al Urban Ministry Revisited

      30th October 2020 invited expert commentator for the Reach Society  on the book 100 Black Britons. Asked to comment on decolonising the curriculum in Higher Education and how Universities are tackling the issue.

      25th November 2020 Invited keynote Seminar Speaker Kings College, University of London, Department of Theology and Religious Studies on Reviving and Rejoicing amidst Marginalisation: An Assessment of the African Diasporic Religious Experience in the Inner City’.

      27th November 2020 TV Interview on Indus TV programme the Scope, commenting on Universities UK report on  Tackling Racial Harassment in Higher Education