Leading for equity: From critical reflection to critical analysis to critical action

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Title

University of New Mexico Mentoring Institute


Albuquerque, NM

Conference Dates

October 22-26, 2018

Date of Presentation



Being an equity leader is to be what Dr. Pedro Noguera (2013) calls a “guardian of equity”, that is, asking the tough questions and challenging the patterns that aren’t working. It means calling out inequities, even when it’s uncomfortable. However, we often avoid the challenge for fear of offending someone, making them uncomfortable, or feeling uncomfortable ourselves (Mayfield, 2016). Equity-centered leadership is grounded in the ideas of transformative leadership, which begins with critical awareness, followed by critical reflection, critical analysis, and finally leads to action against the inequities this process has identified (Shields, 2012). The researchers make similar assertions and introduce participants to their research data and experience of their study: Equicentricity. The Equicentrity model is a 5-step process that takes participants through cycles of being able to identify oneself throughout the process: name one’s biases, become aware of the impact of those biases, connect to previous experiences, construct counter narratives that undergird a leadership commitment to equity and develop a system of self-care to sustain this complex work. These five steps are used to frame and understand one’s reaction and response to situations, support others’ growth through the use of the cycle, reflect on our own growth and commit to leading for equity in every situation. During this session, participants will contribute to the research data by completing a self-inventory around their own biases and experiences and developing counter-narratives to hear and respond to others’ points of view.

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