Social justice and endarkened school leadership: the battle wombs and belly fires of black women leading for social justice Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Nowlin, Teresa Y.
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • This dissertation presents the stories of seven Black women school level leaders as they seek equity and justice in South Carolina's schools. Guided by Critical Race Theory (CRT), the researcher uses in-depth interviews as an analytical tool to re-tell the women's stories as they lead for social justice. Although the women verbalized that their decision to do justice work was just what Black women do in schools every day, the strategies used to embrace all cultures, center agendas on the elimination of all achievement gaps, and garner the support of all stake reveal that Black women practice leadership beyond the traditional perspectives of their job descriptions. In addressing the grand research question regarding the strategies Black women school level leaders use when seeking equity and justice for marginalized students in school, four interrelated categories of strategies used to seek equity and justice in schools emerged. The first strategy involves ensuring that the racial groups within their schools' communities are represented on advisory teams, in decision-making groups, and in staff membership at various levels within the school. Secondly the participants acknowledge value and celebrate their own culture, as well as those represented in their school. Lastly, the women focused on eliminating achievement gaps among and between all groups of students. A final section was added to highlight how Assistant Principals, within the role of supporting actors of social justice, have successfully extended their job descriptions beyond "books, buses and behavior" to become agents of change within schools. Through the voices of Black women school level leaders, and the voice of the researcher, this study uncovered that while leading for social justice, Black women keep race at the center of their vision and practice automatically. The women repeatedly focused their stories and strategies on issues of race over their other identities (gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, etc.) Black women lead from an Endarkeded standpoint and thereby center their leadership practices on CRT, whether they knew it or not.
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  • In Copyright
  • Marshall, Catherine
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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