Becoming a culturally proficient leader requires the kind of courage, clarity, and insight that can only come from looking inward first. It’s a personal learning journey of will and skill, and if you’re up to the challenge, one that will change how you see your school, your students, and yourself as you build your own cultural competence. Consider this second edition of Culturally Proficient Leadershipyour personal road map for navigating that journey.
Each chapter of Culturally Proficient Leadership invites you to put your experiences up front and challenges you to reframe your story based on multiple viewpoints—now, notably, with the addition of new coauthors Delores Lindsey and Eloise Kemp Terrell, who have their own remarkable stories and insight to share. Overall, all four authors will help you answer the critical question “Is what we say what we do?” utilizing the tools of Cultural Proficiency to
- engage in Reflections and Cultural Interviews to explore what you learn about those who are culturally different from you
- develop a Cultural Autobiography to provide a picture of the cultural memberships that have influenced who you are as a person
- use the Cultural Proficiency Continuum to examine your progress as a leader in serving your students and communities
- prepare an intentional Leadership Plan that summarizes your journey from Cultural Precompetence to Cultural Proficiency
The central “inside-out” premise of Cultural Proficiency is that engaging in deep introspection around one’s personal beliefs, values, and behaviors in response to human differences is the first step toward systemic educational reform. We invite you to embark on this journey of self-awareness, of moral courage, and of the life-affirming power of human diversity.
“I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together—unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and may not come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction: toward a better future for our children and our grandchildren.”
—Barack Obama, Los Angeles Times, 2008