American Principals of Color: Leading from the Collective We
This qualitative study was part of a larger research project investigating the ways in which principals articulate embedding socially just decision-making and values in their daily practice. Framed in the multicultural leadership work of Bordas and the conceptual model of collective leadership, this study examines the articulations of two US African American (African American and Black are used interchangeably throughout the text) urban school principals, one at the elementary level and one at the secondary level, as they describe the intersection of their commitment to socially just practices in multicultural schools and the behaviors they enact while doing so. For purposes of this chapter, the initial construct in Bordas’ frame, A New Social Covenant, was examined. This construct includes three principles, specifically, Sankofa, I to We, and Mi Casa Es Su Casa. Findings from the study evidenced that both principals practiced collective leadership as framed by Bordas. In the Sankofa spirit, both principals honored the tradition of leadership that came before them. Leading from the collective We became a foundational perspective of their leadership. As principals who demonstrated the idea of empowerment and equity, they daily practiced the spirit of generosity through listening, respect, and empowering.
KeywordsCollective leadership Multicultural leadership Socially just practice Qualitative
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