Making a Difference: The Balance of Stance and Strategy for Social Justice Advocacy

  • Phil HunsbergerEmail author
  • Phyllis Balcerzak
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 29)


For the past 12 years, the Educational Equity Consultant firm has worked toward social justice advocacy with school districts primarily in the St. Louis Missouri area as well as schools in Illinois, Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland, and California. That advocacy has been centered upon professional development to assist educators to address issues of oppressions with a major focus upon the oppression of racism. As suggested by Julian Weissglass, the elimination of the achievement gap without a vigilant focus upon healing from racism will likely fail. Therefore, our professional development has been benchmarked by a reform which embraces the confluence of both the cognitive and affective domain of learning. Though “healing” is seldom regarded as a language for school reform, our efforts have been to provide individuals a unique opportunity for reflection upon practice. This kind of reflection creates a lens upon the conscious and unconscious ways in which everyone has been socialized in a racial skewed society and the manner in which that impacts instructional practice and school policy. This chapter provides the reader with a template upon which school leaders can create a safe environment for participants to engage in this kind of courageous conversations. It further outlines “lessons learned” regarding the difficulty, struggle, and at times, resistance that can be encountered in this very unique professional development.


Social Justice School District Stereotype Threat School Leader Critical Consciousness 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Equity ConsultantsSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Institute for School PartnershipWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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