Theses Doctoral

Exploring the Role of Cultural Identity on the Schooling Experiences and Leadership Practices of Latinx Urban Education Leaders: Implications for Educational Equity and Social Justice

Lopez, Donny R.

The Latinx communities are one of the fastest-growing minority groups in the United States, and that shift has brought new challenges to the field of education. An increase in the Latinx student body presents unique challenges to this particular group (Alemán, 2009a), such as the stigmatization of speaking Spanish in a country where the majority speak English (Murakami et al., 2013). Today’s Latinx leaders have endured similar patterns of discrimination to prior generations (Hondgneu-Sotelo, 2020). Latinx leaders who are aware of injustices that exist in their schools lead with social justice agendas to overcome inequities and barriers (López, 2003).

The purpose of this study was to explore and examine how school leaders who identify as Latinx conceptualize and practice leadership for equity and social justice. To collect data, testimonios were conducted with all participants in this study. Testimonio presents participants with an opportunity to share their experience of oppression, views on how to challenge inequities, and their advocacy toward social justice (Huber, 2009). Two interviews were conducted per candidate lasting approximately 60 minutes.

The first conclusion of the study: all participants in the study showed evidence of the implementation of culturally relevant pedagogical practices. Second, while the overwhelming majority of the participants in this study acknowledged racial discrimination and called out policies that maintained injustices in place, only two of the Latinx leaders in this study centered race and led their community with equity and social justice as the core of their work.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Horsford, Sonya Douglass
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
November 9, 2022