Decolonize Your Curriculum: The Decade of Introspective Leadership
When Dr. Luz Longsworth shared the phrase, “decolonize your curriculum”, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was such a clear, and measurable action to begin the mental transformation. Dr. Luz Longsworth holds a Doctorate in Business Administration in Higher Education Management from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. She holds a B.A. in French and Spanish (First Class Hons.) and MBA (Marketing) degrees from the University of the West Indies and also holds a Master of Arts degree in Hispanic Studies from Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Longsworth has over 25 years of experience in both academia and business in Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Belize, and Barbados. She has held the posts of General Manager of La Moda Export Limited, a garment manufacturing company in Jamaica, and General Manager of Amicorp BVI, a financial services company in the BVI. Her academic career has included lecturing in Spanish Language and Literature as well as in Management subjects at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University of the West Indies (Mona, Open Campus, and Cave Hill School of Business) and the University of Belize. She has also supervised and examined several student theses at the Masters and Doctoral levels at the UWI and the University of Liverpool.
Dr. Longsworth’s research focus is in the fields of Leadership Development, Change Management, and Organizational Development and Transformation. She is a certified trainer in Leadership courses in 360-degree Leadership, Communication Skills, Accelerating Teamwork, and 5 Levels of Leadership for the internationally renowned John Maxwell Company and in Leadership Embodiment (levels 1 and 2). She has participated in various consulting projects in the areas of:
- Leadership Development
- Strategic Planning
- Improving Communication Skills
- Teambuilding and Development
- Leadership Coaching
- Leadership in Higher Education
- Managing Change and Organizational Transformation
She has facilitated training programmes and workshops across the Caribbean and the United Kingdom including Ernst and Young (Caribbean), LEX (Caribbean), Courts (Belize), NICH (Belize), Belize Telecommunications Limited (Belize), Sandals International (Jamaica), ExIm Bank (Jamaica), Scotiabank (Jamaica), Secrets Resorts (Jamaica), and engaged in policy research for the Higher Education Council (UK).
Keenly community-oriented, Dr. Longsworth has worked with at-risk youths in Western Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, and the British Virgin Islands, as well as served on the boards of several community-based organizations.
When we say decolonize your curriculum, we have to define what the purpose of education is. The purpose of education is to build wealth: social, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, and communal. We are more linked and connected to the struggle of Black people than we understand. If we can get the youth to understand more of their history, who they are, why they behave the way they behave, and why the struggles faced are present, we can change society in a positive way. In this decade of self-reflection, leaders need to embody introspective leadership to make sure we are not demonstrating similar types of oppressive behaviors.
Snippet from Dr. Longsworth:
“We have had a period of decolonization where we started looking at ourselves, not as enslaved people but people who had a past that was rich. It is such a link to what is happening in the US and in the Caribbean. We link into that and see it as a vital part of the reparation movement. We have not had a fair chance to build wealth, and that is education. It is important that leaders reflect, introspectively because as leaders, we have to ensure that we have not played a part in our own way of reinforcing these stereotypes with the people that we lead.”
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