ASCD, the nation's leading association for K–12 educator professional development, announced the publication of Leading Within Systems of Inequity in Education: A Liberation Guide for Leaders of Color. The book addresses the specific challenges leaders of color face and provides key competencies that can help them succeed within white spaces while working to evolve those systems.
Authored by Dr. Mary Rice-Boothe, executive director of curriculum development and equity at The Leadership Academy, the book offers guidance to an often-overlooked group of educators who have few resources solely focused on their challenges in the education space. It speaks directly to leaders of color and includes experiences from nearly three dozen equity officers, principals and administrators in districts of all sizes.
In her latest release, Rice-Boothe outlines the “whys” and “hows” of 10 individual, interpersonal, and institutional competencies that educators of color can employ to lead within spaces of inequity. The competencies are:
1. Demonstrate self-awareness.
2. Operate outside your comfort zone.
3. Practice love and rage.
4. Practice self-care.
5. Engage in authentic dialogue.
6. Attend to relationships.
7. Create a coalition.
8. Be patient but persistent.
9. Take a stand in pursuit of a liberatory education system even if it’s unpopular.
10. Act to change systemic racism every day in policies, procedures, and systems.
Praise for Leading Within Systems of Inequity in Education
“There are books out there that I consider good reads while there are other books out there that I consider must-reads. What Mary Rice-Boothe has written is a must-read for all school leadership practitioners and aspiring school leaders. So much that is written for school leaders is written generically. What a breath of fresh air when there is a book written by a leader of color specifically for leaders of color that speaks to the specific reality of being a leader of color — particularly when the leader of color is tasked with leading in spaces that are not necessarily of color. I’m excited about this book, and I endorse it with no hesitation or reservation.”
— Baruti K. Kafele, former principal and bestselling author of The Equity & Social Justice Education 50
“Leading Within Systems of Inequity in Education is a must-read for all leaders aiming to heal themselves on their journey to liberate the education spaces they occupy. Mary Rice-Boothe leverages powerful accounts from ABILPOC equity leaders and her own lived experiences to provide a playbook and North Star for those who find themselves struggling to navigate these difficult spaces with self-awareness, certainty, love, and community.”
— Carmita Semaan, founder and CEO, Surge Institute
“I cannot think of a recent book that has greater implications for equity-focused leaders than Leading Within Systems of Inequity in Education: A Liberation Guide for Leaders of Color. We have struggled in this nebulous space of equity-driven leadership for quite some time, without clear direction. Thank you for intersecting the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of this critically important work. There is no question that Leading Within Systems of Inequity in Education provides the necessary blueprint for leading the great liberation.”
— Harrison Peters, CEO, Men of Color in Educational Leadership (MCEL)
“Mary Rice-Boothe courageously elevates the intersections of her own identity to help us understand the weight and responsibility placed on the role of the equity officer — a role predominantly held by leaders of color within a racist system of schools.”
— Nancy B. Gutierrez, EdLD, president and CEO, The Leadership Academy
For more information on ASCD's professional development books and resources, visit www.ascd.org/books.
About the Author
Dr. Mary Rice-Boothe has more than 25 years of experience in education as a teacher, principal, principal coach, curriculum designer and equity officer. She currently serves as an executive director of curriculum development and equity at The Leadership Academy. In this role, she oversees the organization's internal and external equity strategy. Rice-Boothe is also the lead designer for the organization's instructional tools and resources. Rice-Boothe began her career in education as a high school English teacher in East Harlem. She holds a BA in Metropolitan Studies from New York University, an MA in English and English Education from the City College of New York, and a doctorate in Leadership and Organizational Change from the University of Southern California.
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ASCD is a passionate community of life-changing educators. Our community is empowered to be equity and instructional warriors who transform vision into practice. For 75 years, we have worked side by side with educators from every level in all 50 states and more than 200 countries to help them find their people and amplify their voices to reach many. Our professional learning services let educators chart their own learning journey, as educators, and as leaders, so they and their students can flourish. Learn more at www.ascd.org and visit ASCD's virtual learning community to view a full slate of educator professional learning opportunities and conferences.