Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s “Evolved Man of the Week” profile. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved person, famous and non-famous individual alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to the professor, author, and inspirational Brit, Dr. Jason Arday.
Dr. Arday is a British academic currently a Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of Cambridge. Born and raised in Clapham, south-west London, Prof Arday, a sociologist, says formative moments included watching Nelson Mandela’s release from prison on television and South Africa’s symbolic triumph in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Diagnosed with autism and global development delay in his early years, Dr. Arday could not speak until he was 11 years old and could not read or write until he was 18.
Dr. Arday earned a Physical Education and Education Studies degree from the University of Surrey before training as a PE teacher. Growing up in a relatively disadvantaged area and then working as a school teacher, he says, gave him first-hand insight into the systemic inequalities that youngsters belonging to ethnic minorities faced in education.
Dr. Arday specializes in race and education, social justice, and black studies. Dr. Arday has published extensively on issues of race and education, including books such as “Being Young, Black and Male in the UK” and “Dismantling Race in Higher Education: Racism, Whiteness and Decolonising the Academy.” He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
In addition to his academic work, Dr. Arday also advocates for social justice and equality. He has worked with several organizations to promote diversity and inclusion in higher education and society. Now aged 37, he is about to become the youngest black person ever appointed to a professorship at the University of Cambridge. Here is Dr. Jason Arday in his own words about breaking down barriers in higher education:
“My work focuses primarily on how we can open doors to more people from disadvantaged backgrounds and truly democratize higher education,” he said. “Hopefully being in a place like Cambridge will provide me with the leverage to lead that agenda nationally and globally.”
Today we honor Dr. Jason Arday as our Evolved Man of the Week.