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Leading Across Cultures by Unveiling Cultural Intelligence and Inclusive Leadership

The School of Education in collaboration with Taylor's Education for All Impact Lab recently hosted a compelling event to launch the book "Leading in Multicultural Schools: Cultural Intelligence and Leadership Styles for Better Organizations", authored by Dr. Joseph Malaluan Velarde, Deputy Director of Education For All Impact Lab and Lecturer at the School of Education. The event, took place at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus and was attended by 120 participants, including staff and students, also the Impact Lab project partners from Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Sunway and Al-Ikhlas Hope Society.

The objectives of the event were to promote the book, engage in discussions on diversity, inclusive leadership and refugee education, as well as to facilitate networking opportunities among the Impact Lab members. The agenda featured a warm welcome from Prof. Dr. Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Chair of the Taylor's Impact Lab Oversight Committee & Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management, followed by an introduction of the book by Dr. Joseph.

This research book is a guide for readers to explore the integration and optimization of cultural competencies and leadership styles to establish and maintain a supportive environment conducive to enhanced learning within multicultural learning organizations. By delving into its contents, readers will gain insights into blending cultural awareness and leadership practices to create a supportive environment that values diverse backgrounds and perspectives for enhanced learning outcomes.

The event also boasted a dynamic panel discussion with esteemed speakers who have a breadth of experience leading multicultural organizations, including Mdm Norliza Nordeen, Founder and Chairperson of Al-Ikhlas Hope Society; Dr. Umawathy Techanamurthy, Former Senior Assistant Director at Instructional and Digital Learning Division, Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education, Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia, currently a Lecturer at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; and Mdm Ida Wong Yee Wen, Senior Assistant at Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Sunway.

The discussion explored various perspectives on multicultural education, emphasizing the importance of cultural awareness in effectively leading culturally diverse academic institutions in Malaysia. This approach helps prevent misunderstandings, motivates students and staff, and fosters inclusivity in schools.

The event proceeded with a Q&A session, book presentations to Impact Lab project partners, and presentation of certificates of appreciation to the panelists. Associate Prof. Dr. Logendra Ponniah, Head of the School of Education, wrapped up the event with insightful closing remarks, highlighting the importance of inclusive leadership in today’s multicultural educational landscape.


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