Culturally Responsive School Leadership and the Possibility for Change

by Kristal Raheem / Dec 12, 2018

During his Dean’s Diversity Lecture Series presentation, Dr. Muhammad Khalifa, an associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota, discussed some of the key components of his newly released book, Culturally Responsive School Leadership (Harvard Education Press). Culturally responsive school leadership (CRSL) can be understood as a self-reflective and community-based approach for educational leaders who want to improve the experiences of racially minoritized students in schools.

Dr. Muhammad Khalifa gives away a free copy of his book at Dean's Diversity LectureDr. Khalifa explained that there is a need for CRSL in schools due to the “schoolcentric” and westernized nature of the education system. CRSL offers a “communitycentric” approach, which enables school leaders, community members, and students to engage in a self- and community-based reflection process. According to Dr. Khalifa, stakeholders can and should unlearn colonial and oppressive ideologies due to the ways in which these philosophies inform one’s practice in schools and negatively impact racialized students in educational environments.

As he concluded his presentation, Dr. Khalifa informed attendees that there is no such thing as being neutral on issues related to equity and justice in schools. To make claims of neutrality on these topics ultimately sustains systems of power and oppression.

Following the talk, the OCCRL team held a raffle to give away four free copies of Dr. Khalifa’s book.