Jason Arday

Jason Arday

Professor Jason Arday is a social commentator, presenter and public speaker. He is currently the 2002 Professorial Chair of Education (Sociology of Education) at the University of Cambridge, making him the youngest-ever Black academic to hold a Professorship at Cambridge and one of the youngest academics ever appointed to a Professorial Chair in Oxbridge’s history. At three years old, Jason was diagnosed with global development delay and autism spectrum disorder. He did not speak until he was eleven years old, and could not read or write until he was eighteen.

His Professorial appointment in July 2021, at the University of Glasgow, made him one of the youngest Professors in the UK. He holds an Honorary Professorship at Durham University and Visiting Professorships at The Ohio State University, University of Glasgow and Nelson Mandela University. Jason is also a Trustee of the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading race equality thinktank, and the British Sociological Association (BSA). He sits on the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) national advisory panel and the NHS Race and Health Observatory Academic Reference Group. Jason is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and sits on the ITV Cultural Advisory Council.

Outside of academia, he has regularly written, featured and spoken on issues of race and racism in education and society for The Guardian, Times Higher Education (THE), BBC, ITV News, CNN, Good Morning America and CBS to name a few. Jason has spoken regularly all over the world at national and international conferences, as well as parliamentary, public and community events where he consults and advises on race, cultural studies, intersectionality, education and social justice. His passion for tailoring and guitar music has also led to extensive research on the intersection between social justice, politics, class and race within the context of music. Jason is best known for engaging in several support interventions for minorities groups in higher education.

Outside of academia, Jason has been a prolific fundraiser having raised over £5 million pounds for 80 national charities over an 18-year period most notably Shooting Stars Children’s Hospice and Shelter. He has won numerous prodigious national and community fundraising awards for fundraising and community engagement achievements. His fundraising achievements include running: 30 marathons in 35 days, 300 miles in 3 days and 600 miles in 6 days. He has also undertaken and completed relief work in South America and West Africa with WaterAid installing water points, which provide drinkable and clean water. The highlight of these fundraising achievements culminated in selection to be an Olympic Torch Bearer for the London 2012 Olympics. He has also been shortlisted three times for the Mirror’s Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year Award. Additionally, Jason has set up homeless drives across London to develop mobile soup kitchens and cleaning facilities for individuals experiencing homelessness.

In April 2023, Jason was nominated for the Powerlist, a list comprising of the most influential 100 Black Britons and the Genius Within,and was the recipient of the Neurodiversity Achiever of the Year in June 2023. In July of the same year, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Southampton Solent University for outstanding contribution to global higher education and social justice. He was also named Most Inspirational Person of the Year at MBCC Awards, made an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association for outstanding contribution to equality and diversity and listed 4th Most Influential Person with a disability on The Shaw Disability Power 100. He has also had the honour of being the Guest Editor for the BBC’s Today Programme.