Emeritus Professor Ian Law

Colleagues will be sorry to learn of the recent death of Emeritus Professor Ian Law, former Professor of Racism and Ethnicity Studies in the School of Sociology and Social Policy.

Before Ian joined Leeds as a Lecturer in Social Policy in 1991, he worked in several public sector posts, including working as Director of the Race Equality Unit in the Housing Department, Leeds City Council; Inner City Task Force Coordinator for Chapeltown and Harehills; and Director of Equality Services in Adult and Further Education. He became Professor of Racism and Ethnicity Studies in 2010 and had a life-long commitment to racial justice which guided his academic and non-academic work. Working closely with many Black and Minority Ethnic organisations across Leeds, this community engagement carried through into his research activities at the University.

At Leeds, Ian was the founding Director of the Race and Public Policy Unit and the Centre for Racism and Ethnicity Studies, and was also Head of School from 2000-2003. He played a significant leading role in establishing ethnicity and racism studies as a core part of teaching and research the School for many years. Ian’s research on the anti-racist University was in many ways ahead of its time. There are many areas where Ian’s work has been influential in shaping policy responses to issues of racism and ethnic diversity across many fields of public policy, including hate crime, mental health, community care, housing and social security. He worked in the School for 28 years until he retired and became Emeritus Professor in 2019. 

The funeral service will be held at 11.00am on Wednesday 6 April 2022 at Beetham Hall Crematorium, Milnthorpe, LA7 7BQ, on which day the flag on the Parkinson Building will be flown at half-mast in his memory. For colleagues unable to attend the funeral in person, there will be an online webcast. Please contact Helen Pickersgill for details.

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