LEE’s “Tools for Social Change” is designed to provide LEE members a variety of resources & tools that can be used to examine social issues that are impacting their communities today.
We cannot achieve equity of any kind without working to mitigate and dismantle oppression. Cultivating public leadership that’s rooted in knowledge, skills, and mindsets supports educational equity at all levels.
Transformational coach, author, and activist, Barbara J. Love, provides us a framework through which equity leaders like you can ground yourselves when confronting injustice.
Liberatory consciousness is reclaiming choice in our values, attitudes, and response patterns that would allow for “greater flexibility and propensity for change” from systems & institutions.
She states that to be an effective liberation worker — in other words, someone who is committed to changing systems and institutions to be more equitable and just — we must develop a liberatory consciousness.
Living with awareness means to live “in an awake position” — to notice our language, behaviors, and thoughts, and observe what's happening in the world around us. When something happens that shouldn’t have, or something is said that shouldn’t have been, must be aware of it and how it may be contributing to systems of oppression.
After becoming aware of a problem, the next step is to not just notice it, but thinking and theorizing about it. Developing our own explanations about what is happening, why it's happening, and what needs to be done better positions us to consider whether or not a situation seems consistent with our values and goals of a fair and equitable society.
Beyond simply recognizing a problem, we must decide what needs to be done to ensure action is taken. That can look like taking initiative as an individual, encouraging others to take action, organizing and supporting others who feel empowered to do something. It may also mean seeking out resources to encourage others to act.
We need to “understand and manage [the] opportunity and possibility for perspective sharing & ally-ship in liberation work.” Working in connection & collaboration with others permits us to make progress in ways that wouldn’t be if we were to operate in isolation or separation.
Developing a liberatory consciousness is not a linear process, nor does it have a finite end point. We all begin at different stages, and at times appear to be starting at the beginning again. There is no goal to “complete” a process, but rather to engage intentionally in the journey.
“Institutions and systems respond to the initiatives of individuals and groups of individuals. Systems do not perpetuate themselves: they are perpetuated by the actions of people who act automatically on the basis of their socializations.” — Barbara J. Love
If we each made the commitment to develop a liberatory consciousness, we’d be far more equipped to take on the beast that is inequity, make high-impact change, and move us closer to a better world.
Are you ready to develop the mindsets that will enable you to step into power as an equity leader? Not sure how to start? We’re here to help.