Beyond Inclusion

Belonging and Racial Dignity for Africans in Australia

What is the research about? 

This project, therefore, seeks to expand, reconfigure and present a more nuanced understanding of Africanness, one which better reflects its complex positioning in Australia today, by utilising Afrocentric frameworks to grapple with concepts of race, blackness, racial dignity and belonging. It focuses on and tells stories of Afro-blackness to identify significant African practices that foster wellbeing, resilience and dignity. The knowledge will be used to develop a tailored, culturally appropriate practice framework for relevant human service organisations. The Australian Research Council will provide $456,607 to fund the project, with SCU contributing an extra $138,270, through a research package & a PhD Scholarship.

Research Design

This DECRA research project will apply a unique and innovative Afrocentric methodology to generate a new understanding of racial dignity as key to belonging for Black Africans in Australia. This project is structured around three main components: literary analysis; story telling with Black Africans and through a series of engagements with community sector practitioners working with Africans; and development of an Afrocentric practice framework.

What is happening now?

Recruitment of participants for this project has commenced across Australia. Data collection has already commenced and completed in some states

Why is the research important?

This research will generate major conceptual and empirical advances on existing conceptualisations of inclusion and integration while addressing a critical knowledge gap regarding the role of racial dignity in fostering belonging for Black Africans in Australia. It aims to develop and promote critical understandings of how experiences of Afro-blackness, offer an invaluable starting point in rethinking not only our advocacy for Black lives, but also how we develop Black scholarship and infuse Black dignity through the knowledge we produce. It will advance racial literacy in the manner in which theory, policy and practice engage with Afrodiasporic challenges in Australia.

Research Team


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