The 7 Ps of a Responsible Leader

This article is a personal reflection of the 2020 Washington Week Holmes Policy Institute by attendee Angeline Dean.

Angeline Dean

“People, Policy, Politics, and Processes” – Jane West

The knowledge of this framework and its relation to analysis and advocacy spearheaded the Holmes Advanced Policy Course. This framework, along with homework given by AACTE staffers Jane West and Weade James was not only the necessary grounding to an understanding that truly “all politics are local” but also ripe for Luis Maldonado to address the navigating of politics and policies. Immediately following, Lakeisha Steele, professional staffer and policy team leader for Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), chair of the House, Education & Labor Committee, “ripped the runway” with her honesty, passion, and commitment to social and transformational change! She reminded us that “we are our ancestors wildest dreams!” Therefore, we like our ancestors and so many who have transitioned this year, must be prepared to live in “good trouble” spaces and we must Persevere.

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair” – Shirley Chisolm.

As we segued into the rest of the Holmes Policy Institute, we were gifted with the Power statement of “Miss Unbought and Unbossed” herself, Shirley Chisolm. How befitting as this statement resonated as an overarching theme for such a time as this. AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick challenged us to thwart the narratives that brand Black bodies in lies and deficits. She pushed us to exercise our Positionality as spaces of truth, resistance, power, and countered narratives that honor civil rights ancestors in the proper telling of history and data in education. With that, students posed questions that blended and asserted their politics, processes, power, and positionality as people such as: What exactly is the role of a dean in residence and how or does it relate to Holmes students and their needs? What systems are in place to protect (another p word) BIPOC students against whiteness and internalized racism in predominantly white institutions?

Do we need to bring a folding chair while building our own table? Yes, it may be time! Panelists reiterated this sentiment as they spoke of understanding and building relationships with the communities where we work and viewing them as stakeholders and partners. These are the inclusive voices that are essential when iniating projects and conducting community-based participatory research  as social justice. No more poverty pimping of communities as a means of fulfilling selfish obligations on behalf of the policies of institutions. This too is a form of bad policing as panelists communicated how policing operates and the dismantling of the school-to-prison pipeline.

Rep. Bobby Scott confirmed the thoughts of everyone during the week, shared three important bills that were just passed, answered questions, and encouraged us to stay involved at all levels!

We ended a power-packed week with the following action steps:

  • Tweet your local legislators!
  • Make our voices heard-speak up! Recognize our responsibility
  • Counter all negative and deficit narratives, and
  • Buy a lawn chair and create new tables

Thank you AACTE Holmes Program for a Wakanda Week of Power!

Angeline Dean is a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Education at Rowan University. Her primary focus as a doctoral candidate is examining colonial plantation frameworks, both economic and pedagogical, their existence in today’s systems, and how the intentional and predatory nature fosters new methods of enslavement. Her Oppression/Plantation Paradigm© (OPP-Other People’s Property) model outlines components of the “slave creation” process via whiteness or internalized racism.


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