Abolitionist Leadership in Schools
Undoing Systemic Injustice Through Communally Conscious Education
Abolitionist Leadership in Schools offers school and district leaders rich insights and approaches for recreating, restructuring, and reorienting their service to students, families, staff, and communities in crisis. Though often associated with sudden, large-scale disruptions, crises are ongoing matters—particularly among systemically-oppressed people—that underscore the planning voids, resource inequities, marginalizing policies, and strategic lapses of any teaching and learning community while perpetuating students’ social-emotional, psychological, and pedagogical traumas. This expansive book guides school leaders to provide pre-emptive, premeditated, and progressive leadership while countering the impacts of racism that endure in our schools. Working from an abolitionist lineage, author Robert S. Harvey’s radically humane vision explores lessons from our collective national past, provides strategic planning with creativities and contingencies, and fosters liberatory decision-making through accountability, communication, and more.
Table of Contents
Introduction: An Ongoing Pursuit 1. Take Refuge in How: An Abolitionist Approach to Communal Consciousness in Teaching, Learning, and Care 2. A Tree with Roots: Probing American History to Situate an Abolitionist Approach to Crisis 3. Survival Is Not an Academic Skill: Radically Humanizing Trauma as a Means of Power in Navigating Crisis 4. Knowing People and Place: Strategic Planning for Communal Consciousness 5. The Danger of Acting: Making Decisions as Acts of Resistance at the Risk of Resentment 6. Just Say the Thing: Communicating Clearly, Directly, and Humanely 7. Asking a Lot of All: Reimagining Accountability for the Sake of the Community Conclusion: A New Way, a New World, a New Song
Dr. Robert S. Harvey is Superintendent of East Harlem Scholars Academies, a community-based network of public charter schools in New York City, and Chief Academic Officer of East Harlem Tutorial Program, where he manages an Out-of-School Time program and Teaching Residency. An educator, community broker, and public voice, he has written and spoken extensively on education, race, and intersectional justice; serves on education and arts boards across the country; and is Visiting Professor in the Practice of Public Leadership at the Memphis Theological Seminary.