The Eurocentric historical narrative that has formed the basis of our education system has created an impenetrable layer of perspectives of Indigenous and Black People, not as the founding peoples of our nation, but as obstacles that need to be overcome. These obstacles are the depictions of Indigenous and Black People as intruders of history, only depicted when they are obstructing the nation building process.
Teaching and leading through multiple perspectives is a two-fold challenge; first, to unpack the historical narratives that drives people to the deeply rooted preconceived notions of these populations; and second to create a climate of support in our schools and workplaces where educators and leaders feel confident in their capabilities and cultural competence in order to build an inclusive environment.
Recognizing the misconceptions of BIPOCs’ history, exploring the statistics of these populations, and mindfully acknowledging the factors that are hindering success in the day to day life of BIPOC living under the legacies of colonization, we can learn how, we as educators and leaders, can eliminate the achievement gap in education and create work cultures through cultural proficiency, professional development, diversifying staffing, advocating for BIPOC education, and recognizing bias.
We can begin walking together as a society by understanding that leadership is as much about leading others, as it is about letting others lead. It is collaborative, not authoritative; the ability to see lives and texts are braided together, rather that separate and independent.
Multiple perspectives; reframing the organizations, government systems, and decision making to include multiple perspectives and to hear from voices and stories we didn’t have a chance to hear from.
Unmaking the dominant narratives; challenging and unlearning the narratives we have been taught through mainstream education that has taught the structures of power that perpetuate stereotypes and maintain the status quo.
Culture Continuity; creating cultural continuity in the workplace and education systems. Embracing a level of cultural integration beyond the level of “reasonable accommodation” or “cultural appropriation.” Amplifying leadership at the grassroots level.
Decolonize our minds; We fear change because we believe it will contribute to loss of power. Understanding that power and privilege were not rightfully anyone’s to keep. We are in an arena that is modeled after colonialism. It only benefits those already in power. If we don’t identify “other” as an identity, we will become more and more oppressive in our systems to maintain power.