Your institution’s impact is greater than you realize
Alyssa Buccella, Associate Director, Research
The national conversation about systemic racism has urged us all to reflect more deeply on how dynamics of representation, power, and privilege play out on micro and macro levels. From individual unconscious biases, to interpersonal microaggressions, to medical racism, criminal justice outcomes, and housing inequality—the sheer complexity of the problem at hand can feel overwhelming. A lot of education leaders we talk to struggle to clearly pinpoint the role their institutions could or should play in addressing systemic racism, and they often feel like so much is out of their control.
But when you lead a school, a district, a college, or a university, your locus of control is more expansive than you think.
It’s not just the impact you have on your students, their opportunities, and their well-being. You are also an employer—and in some regions, you may be the biggest employer that exists. Your choices, actions, and leadership have a direct impact on your local community. And most importantly, you are developing the teachers, politicians, doctors, and business leaders of the future.
Individuals who will have long-lasting impacts on society will go through your education system.
My hope is that we will be able to move in the direction where education leaders don't just view racial injustice as a societal problem outside of their control; that their institutions are separate from that larger whole. I hope that people can see that their actions, their institutions, and the externalities of their work are quite powerful.
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