Donna was a senior lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London where she gained her Applied and Participatory Theatre Practices MA and introduced arts-based pedagogies into the curriculum. She also developed a film club initiative as a vehicle to explore social work values and ethics.
Having joined London Met as a principal lecturer and as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Donna's priority is to focus on the student experience, consolidating the on-going work of the social work team, developing her arts-based ideas and research interests, embedding creativity and critical curiosity throughout the undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Deeply committed to the idea that immersive theatrical and live performances bring value and enhance a student's learning, Donna recently brought the professional theatre production of SOLD (the story of Mary Prince who was born into slavery in the British colony of Bermuda and who went on to be a champion of freedom told through the storytelling traditions of the West African griot) by Kuumba Nia Arts and Unlock the Chains Collective to The School of Social Sciences and Professions.
Donna has previously taught assessed readiness for practice, professional social work values and ethics for practice facilitating child observation, law and critical reflection seminars as well as developing training workshops for key partner agencies when a need has been identified.
She is currently teaching Social Work (including foundation year) BSc (Hons) which provides a valuable route for learners into social work training. Donna is also working closely with people with lived experience who contribute to all aspects of the social work provision, to ensure the centrality of their voices and input.
Donna's interests include a strong commitment to ensuring the social work courses are underpinned throughout by the University's Education for Social Justice Framework and the decolonising agenda of the University.
Donna's research focus is participatory action-based projects working alongside people in the community:
- LamQ+ project 'understanding Lambeth's LGBTQI+ communities in times of Coronavirus A mixed methods study'. Funded by London Met Transformation Fund and developed in partnership with Lambeth Council and several local charities including Black Thrive, Black Out, Lambeth Links an Opening Doors London. Donna was the lead research academic for the Photovoice part of the project, working specifically with queer people from Black, Asian and other minoritised communities.
- Videovoice - Let's talk Islington. A trailblazing decolonial research methodology foregrounding undertaking research alongside people rather than making people the 'objects of research. Videovoice aims to explore experiences of discrimination whilst living in the borough with queer Islington residents theough the medium of documentary film making.
- Storytelling with Elders project - Let's talk Islington. This project recognises the value of 'story' and the ability of storytelling to build empathy and engagement. The project will work with a group of identified elders living in the borough of Islington to further understand their experiences of poverty and discrimination by gathering their stories.
- National Youth Theatre's 'Made by Members' programme. Engaged in collaborative work to evaluate the effectiveness of the Made by Members programme of reducing loneliness.
Principal Lecturer, Head of Social Work