Intersectionality Network

The Team

Melanie Hibbert (The Founder and Network Director)

Melanie Hibbert Bown


Melanie has worked in the area of social care for over 10 years, with particular expertise in childhood Special Educational Needs (SEN), disability, and inclusion. Her work in these areas first began in 2005, when she was drawn towards voluntary work with disabled children and young people, and their families. This work led her face to face with the pressing challenges faced by disabled people in terms of inclusion, accessing adequate social support, especially in the form of inclusive educational opportunities. After the completion of her undergraduate degree in Disability Studies in 2013, she taught at Further Education (FE) colleges on inclusion and disability-related issues. Whilst she thoroughly enjoyed introducing students to disability studies, Melanie felt that something was missing. After much thought and personal reflection, she identified the missing pieces of the puzzle: attention to intersectionality, chiefly disability and race. Ever since Melanie has focused her postgraduate studies and advocacy work in this area, founding The Intersectionality Network in 2017 to establish a community for Black disabled students studying or working in Higher Education. The Intersectionality Network has grown from Melanie’s own observations, lived experiences as Black disabled women, mother and having disabled children.

University of Bedfordshire


  • MSc in Disability Studies, St. Angelas College, Sligo. (current)
  • MSc in Disabilities Studies, Trinity College Dublin, 2016- current
  • Certificate in Education and Training, Bedford College, 2013
  • BA in Disabilities Studies, University of Bedfordshire, 2009-2013
  • Certificate in Children’s Care, Learning, and Development, Bedford College, 2007 – 2009


Relevant Research, Publications, and Outreach:

  • ‘Dyslexia in Higher Education, a Study of the Experiences of Students Labelled as Having Dyslexia’ (unpublished undergraduate thesis; University of Bedfordshire, 2013)
  • ‘What it’s Like to be a Black Disabled Student in Higher Education’ (forthcoming book)
  • ‘Barriers, Challenges, and Experiences in Higher Education for Black Disabled Female Academics’ (research in progress)
  • Regular commenter on intersectionality (disability and race) and  disability inequality related issues on Twitter as @MelHibbertBown1

Research Interests:

  • Disability and Race in Higher Education
  • Lived experiences of Black disabled Mothers, Black disabled children, and their families
  • Intersectionality as a means to enact change in exclusionary educational policies

Award Award Award


  • Postgraduate Equality Advocacy Award, conferred by Trinity College Dublin, 2017

Social Media

Connect with Melanie: