Trek of Women To U.K. Subject of New Book

Image of Jan Entienne
Image of Jan Entienne
Jan Entienne

THE UWI Open Campus Saint Lucia will on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m., host a book launch in collaboration with Saint Lucian born author, Jan Etienne.

Etienne holds a Ph.D from the Department of Social Policy and Education at Birkbeck, University of London where she lectures in the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy.

In this book, Etienne explores the benefits of lifelong learning for Caribbean women who came to Britain in the 1950s and early 1960s with the expectation of a better life. The book examines the nature of learning for a category of women who are living in the UK at a time when being black, female and older is often associated with deteriorating health, poverty, isolation and challenges such positions by revealing a different, more positive reality.

The context for the book is located within the wider, largely economic debates into lifelong learning and often conflicting government rhetoric. It is set against a backdrop of shifting policies and diminishing resources for widening participation and adult learning and acknowledges the global challenge of an ageing society.

In reviewing the book ‘Heidi Safia Mirza, Professor of Race, Faith and Culture, Goldsmiths College, University of London states:

“This is no ordinary book on aging, migration and education; it is a hopeful and empowering story of the wisdom of aging and learning through lifelong struggle. Paying tribute to the African Caribbean women of her mother’s generation, Etienne sensitively reveals the power of shared ‘other ways of knowing’ that lies at the heart of their ‘matriarchal learning hubs’. Her careful crafting of their rhythmic voices into scenes in a play is a tribute to the black womanist philosophy she herself has been gifted by these women. Etienne puts Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed into action, showing us the transformative power of education if it is grounded in generosity, love and experience. A must read for educationalists and social scientists who want a better world”.

The author says: “I welcome an opportunity to join the growing number of St. Lucian women authors adding to the academic discourse in an area where there is very little research. The role of learning in later years is immense. I challenge the policy makers (across the globe) to take learning and ageing seriously and condemn the often one sided agenda focused solely on education and learning, for economic gains. I call for the important social dimension to be acknowledged in a climate where there is an increasing focus on managing, healthier, longer, happier lives”.

The book launch event is open to the general public and will take place on Tuesday (6-8 p.m.) at The UWI Open Campus Site on Morne Fortune

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