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USE THIS #Thread #Paradox of #AntiracistEdLeadership in #Edsystems- thoughts I've been really mulling abt in the past while. Have to admit, I've been sitting on this for a couple weeks. Grateful to those who helped me sift through my thinking <3 Here's to #courageousconversations
True #AntiRacist Leadership can only happen when you are anchored in #communities and you do the work #buildrelationships #seekadvice #love & #beLoved by those who give you #permission & #legitimacy to continue the struggle in boardrooms.
When I became a senior leader in Edu. I was advised that - You cannot be on the streets & in the boardrooms. "its time to choose. Its a different struggle." I didnt choose bc WE deserve to be in the boardroom but THAT choice comes at a #price
There are #paradoxes #unspokentruths & tensions abt our hopes to have #CriticallyConscious ppl as #Edleaders that we must acknowledge working within #whitesupremacist systems.
Many of our communities have been burned & traumatized by these systems and continue to #collectively struggle for #freedom. This is NOT a 9-5 job. Its the continuation of hundreds of yrs of struggle. Heres is another part of that struggle and the paradox of #ARLeadership:
PARADOX #1: WE cannot be in systems without being complicit within them to some degree. Edsystems are driven by #privilege. Those voices have #politicalpower designed to keep #statusquo. But WE need #antiracist, #decolonizing #leaders 2 make change inside & serve ALL of us well.
ARLeaders need to address #inequities that exist; disrupt harmful practices; callout #racism, address #failures woven into #raciststructures in orgs & bosses that employ them & buoyed by #privilege. Speaking up-is "brave"- "brave" implies risks-the result is to b punished/removed
WE can try to make the changes from the streets. But WE know that without some INSIDE those spaces WE will never get the changes WE know our (and ALL) children need. So do you #Changeinstitutionsfrominside or #Changefromoutside ?
PARADOX #2: The higher we rise, the heavier the weight of #WhiteSupremacy. Indig/B/r leaders r held to diff expectations. labelled immediately, seen suspiciously unless they #conform to an insidiously #White those rooms theres pain for speaking #truthtopower
The standard expected in those spaces is to "rise" twrds #whiteness, to be silent/complicit OR expect not to succeed. The status quo is waiting for our mistakes; primed to make us "examples". So #SpeakTruthtoPower & be punished/removed OR #StayintheSystem- hope to make change.
But if there are no #criticallyconscious #Indigenous #Black #Brown leaders - how do WE get the changes we need and what happens to those leaders when #doublestandards are applied. what does it mean to navigate these realities in our bodies and with this consciousness?
PARADOX#3: Effective #policy implementation requires #transformation in #culture, #discourse and #attitudes. Changes in #policy are necessary for our children but guarantees nothing, other than a checkmark in a box Changes in #culture needs to be upheld by Policy-that takes time
When a #criticallyconscious Indig/racialized leader goes into that space, they're also held to a higher standard by the communities they serve. Those standards are stitched together by hope and generations of pain & suffering bc #ChangeisURGENT.
SO-as community- we want/need change now; we demand & expect it more from #antiracist leaders. Except that those leaders also need to change policies & practices & mindsets & move thousands of people to change practice- complex and challenging work.
PARADOX 3a: The leader is then often alone in the organizations they serve and if they can't deliver change as quickly as it is required by communities, they are isolated. You risk being abandoned by the board or abandoned by the community
The organization wants it to be known they are committed to change by placing that leader there AND community feels hope that the person is there- its a recipe for harm to the well-being of that individual, especially if they are alone as a leader and feel isolated by community.
SO The question then becomes- WHY WOULD ANY #criticallyconscious leader WANT to put themselves into this impossible situation. they will have both speak out AND make compromises to push the struggle further. Which compromise is the right one? #DamnedifyouDo #DamnedifyouDont
Note I said- #criticallyconscious bc there are many in our bodies whose politics further #colonization and #oppression. I am NOT speaking about the ones there for #promotion, #title #selfpreservation or those who want to maintain the #statusquo .
The choices are -do it and be complicit to some degree even while raising attention to key issues OR dont do it and many children, families and staff will be hurt in the absence of that person. These are the tensions of navigating #colonial #whitesupremacist systems.
SO what are the solutions? If we don't come together to think this through- the risk is leaving #whitesupremacist structures intact while we either don't engage or tear each other down. Each of these can be it's own THREAD
#1 #EdLeadership needs to come from a #decolonizing #antiracist stance. Edu institutions need to make this a part of the leadership requirements tied to monitoring, measuring & reporting to community. While leaders must be #accountable - the #System has to own it
#2 #AntiRacistEdLeadership must view community engagement as a significant component of transformation. That means- community voices at the table shaping policies, practices and culture and solutions actively considering community feedback.
#2a #AntiRacistEdLeadership & Ed systems must acknowledge that the work of #TruthandReconciliation require - resourced distinct structures to fulfill #CallstoAction 67 & 68. #Indigenous Governance does NOT fall under #Equity
#3 We need to have conversations that keeps our children as urgent priorities and figure out how to balance this with change processes so that orgs dont continue to do #CheckboxEquity and nothing changes
#4 If we get #AntiracistEdLeaders, the approach must be btm up AND top down. The #leader cant be seen to be alone & the #Community cannot be seen as "the" #problem. Instead, they must meet & openly address which compromises can be made.
The SHIFT we need to remember, unless we see this- a COLLECTIVE #intergenerationalproject to keep pushing as much as we can TOGETHER- a struggle that will be taken up by our children and theirs - things will never change.
As a community theres a need to think abt how we support #AntiracistEdLeaders given the #contradictions they navigate. This can be accountable, be measured & simultaneously hold them in a way that protects them while they amplify voices & lead changes that are urgently needed.
Otherwise we may lose the ones who care abt the work bc of the pardoxes they must live and work each day.
It is the only way I can see for us to be the best #ancestors we can to our children right now AND to contribute to the potential for a new way forward for ALL of us.
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