Richard, M., Salisbury, J., & Cosner, S. (2020). The school-community connection: Social justice leaders’ community activism to promote justice for students. International Journal of Leadership in Education.
This peer-reviewed article advances a socio-ecological model of school leadership, which holds that both school and community activism are necessary given that schools cannot be separated from their broader community. To examine this socio-ecological model, we interviewed seven Chicago school leaders’ to learn more about their activist leadership activities—activities outside of the school building—and their motivations for this work. This article describes how three facets of school context catalyzed research participants to engage in community activism. While participants were concerned with rectifying community challenges, our findings reveal that participants’ primary motivation for community activism was that they saw this activism as promoting student equity within the school building. This is directly in line with a socio-ecological understanding of schools and their surrounding community.