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Justice in Search of Leaders

A Handbook for Equity-Driven School Leadership


Gloria Graves Holmes

Justice in Search of Leaders: A Handbook for Equity-Driven School Leadership is a guide for educators who are committed to equity-driven teaching, leading, and policy-making, and would like to operationalize socially just school practices for all children. Moving beyond a heroes and holidays approach to addressing racism, bias, injustice, and a cluster of isms, it provides a deeper understanding of the causes of structural inequities in schools, and suggests approaches for deconstructing them. The book includes a frank discussion of race, racism, social dominance, and implicit bias, and encourages both objective and subjective analyses of how they infect school practice.

America’s ambivalent response to race, racial identity development, the nature of prejudice, and how humans form values and develop belief systems is explored in some depth. There is also a critique of Whiteness as a socio-political concept as it relates to power and privilege, and as a demographic reality as it relates to institutional discrimination in schools. The book is not a critique of white people, and it is important that readers make that distinction. This leads to a discussion of the tricky and challenging process of changing beliefs, values, and attitudes as they relate to school leadership and teaching, and how all of this is connected to the power dynamics in schools.

Justice in Search of Leaders: A Handbook for Equity-Driven School Leadership encourages educators to acknowledge that we all have racial identities and biases that inform professional practice, and to reflect on the significance of this. It means thinking deeply about socially abhorrent subjects which make us uncomfortable and cause us to retreat to the safety of our comfort zones. This is necessary because for most under-served students, there is no retreat and no safety; there are only discomfort zones.


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Symbols 15 Critical Elements of Social Dominance Orientation (SDO),121, 126 21 Micro-aggressions You Hear on A Daily Basis (see micro-aggressions), 315–320 A Allport, Gordon, 51–55 American Dream, 17, 27, 141,145, 185, 222 American exceptionalism, 41, 43, 45, 60, 233 B belief systems, and racial identity formation, 52 bias awareness gap, 83, 85, 87, 89, 91–93, 95, 97, 99, 101, 103, 105, 107, 109 C color-blindness, 8, 44, 151–152 color-muteness, 8, 151–152 Critical Race Theory (CRT), 187 culturally responsive practice, 71 culture as boundary or border 194–196 D de-biasing strategies, 109, 158, 163–167, 174–178, 181 de-biasing strategy: mindfulness meditation., 176 de-biasing, and strategies for change, 153 democratic principles, 20, 28, 34, 126–127, 134, 190–191, 194, 232, 234, 239, 246 democratic privilege, 233 demographic data, 87, 216 distributed leadership, 229, 237, 239–241 distributed leadership frameworks, 237 322 justice in search of leaders dominant privilege, 25–26, 77–78, 129, 186, 208, 211–212, 265, 267–268 dropout factories, 106, 135 dysconscious racism, 61, 63, 80, 179, 223, 305 dysconsciousness, 61–62, 149, 168, 203–204, 295, 300–301 E equity leadership, 188, 196, 198, 203, 209–211, 214, 216, 221 equity literacy, 9–10, 14 H hierarchy-attenuating careers, 119 hierarchy-attenuating legitimizing myths, 117–118 hierarchy-enhancing behaviors, 139 hierarchy-enhancing careers, 119 hierarchy-enhancing legitimizing myths, 117–118, 139, 144 Hurston, Zora Neale, 69–70 I Implicit Association Test (IAT), 96, 108, 175 implicit bias and judges, 102 implicit racial bias and...

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