Negotiating the Politics of Antiracist Leadership: The Challenges of Leading Under the Predominance of Whiteness

Anjalé Welton, Sarah Diem, Bradley W. Carpenter

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


School leaders will undoubtedly confront complex racial politics in their school communities, and therefore need a leadership orientation and practice that more explicitly focuses on antiracism than those shaped by general frameworks associated with equity and social justice. This is particularly important for leaders and leadership programs nested within an urban context where a majority of students in schools are of color and the majority of teachers and leaders are White. As such, the articles presented in this special issue highlight the complexities and possibilities associated with antiracist leadership and antiracist leadership preparation. Furthermore, even leaders who are antiracist in their ideologies and practice can be challenged by stakeholders seeking to uphold whiteness and maintain the racial status quo. The ideology of whiteness works to protect White-centric power structures and perpetuate racial inequities, and so school leaders must have a strong antiracist resolve to undo the inequitable influence of whiteness. Therefore, the articles in this special issue also highlight the work of scholars who use an antiracist epistemology to destabilize the political reality of whiteness in leadership and leadership preparation. Finally, this special issue concludes with a commentary from a practitioner’s personal experiences doing antiracist work, as well as a book review that reflects the topics addressed in this special issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-630
Number of pages4
JournalUrban Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • antiracist leadership
  • antiracist leadership preparation
  • identity
  • politics
  • race
  • whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies


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