Decolonising Educational Narratives in Birmingham

Wednesday 25 May 2022 (16:30-18:00)

We are delighted to welcome Rosemary Campbell-Stephens MBE to lead our next ELA Seminar.

Professor Colin Diamond CBE describes Rosemary Campbell-Stephens' book Educational leadership and the Global Majority: Decolonising Narratives as a powerful book that has arrived at a critical time, challenging government policy that propagates a vanilla meritocracy that is wilfully colour-blind and in denial of the struggles of Global Majority professionals at every level.

Rosemary is an edgy keynote speaker in her areas of expertise and passion, namely leadership. She is currently amplifying discussions about how in this time of systemic implosion, a Global Majority mindset and framework could not just positively disrupt narratives by asking questions about the underlying anti-black perspectives, philosophies and paradigms that drive all spheres of public life: but provide solutions to the way forward. She aims to situate both the term and the concept Global Majority at the heart of the conversation rather than 'other' them as so-called ‘minorities’, subordinated to a white norm.

Rosemary speaks, writes, and delivers on leadership across the globe, but for this conversation, she returns from her home in Jamaica to the city of Birmingham, where her story began. She will take us on a journey through the city she grew up in, where she attended school and trained to be a teacher and share how she was socialised as an educator and a disruptor and the strategies that she has developed for the current generation of educators.

About the speaker

Rosemary’s ground-breaking leadership work as part of the UK government's multi-million pound London Challenge Initiative in 2003-2011 was developing a leadership preparation programme focusing on increasing the numbers of Black and Asian leaders in London Schools, for the Institute of Education, University College London. Investing in diversity became the catalyst for all subsequent leadership programmes addressing the under-representation of Black, Asian, and minority ethnic leaders in England's schools' sector. In 2009, a sister programme, Leading for Equity, was launched at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada.

Campbell-Stephens frames her work through a critical race lens and describes herself as an anti-racist, humanist and womanist. As a junior elder, she embraces the label disruptor and activist and is rarely in her lane. In 2016 she was awarded an MBE for thirty-five years' service to education in the United Kingdom. While amazed, she was honoured to accept the award for her activism.

Rosemary is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Education, University College London. Her very accessible little book Educational Leadership and the Global Majority Decolonising Narratives, was published in December of 2021 by Palgrave Macmillan and contains some big ideas worth talking about.