Salisbury, J., Richard, M., & Cosner, S. (2020). Merging schools and communities: Engaging in activist leadership beyond your school walls. In J. Brooks, T. Watson, & A. Heffernan (Eds.), The school leadership survival guide: What to do when things go wrong, how to learn from mistakes, and why you should prepare for the worst. Information Age Publishing.
This book chapter centers around the activist, community-focused dimensions of social justice leadership. In particular, we advocate for an approach to social justice leadership that incorporates justice work both within and outside of the school building, as schools cannot be separated from their broader contexts. To do so, the chapter first presents an overview of social justice leadership and then describes the literature related to how activist work can and should form a crucial role in leaders’ work. The next section incorporates empirical examples of activist leadership practice drawn from our own original research with seven school leaders in Chicago. These examples are followed by the risks and challenges of activist work as described by these leaders. The chapter concludes with recommendations for leaders hoping to conduct their own activist work.