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Igniting Revolutionary Change: Women’s Fearless Leadership in Educator Preparation

As the vice president of Holmes Scholars and an emerging scholar forging my own path, I am utterly resolute in amplifying the voices of fearless women leaders who are radically transforming educator preparation. For too long, the narratives shaping how we mold future teachers have been exclusive and upheld oppressive systems. But, trailblazing women are boldly dismantling these barriers through revolutionary leadership — and their impact demands thunderous celebration.

My role in Holmes Scholars has granted me witness to the seismic power of centering equity and justice. By elevating scholars from systematically marginalized backgrounds, we unapologetically disrupt the status quo. Our work challenges educator preparation programs to embrace culturally sustaining, anti-racist pedagogies as the unbending foundation. This is the path we must persist on with relentless courage.

Make no mistake, the terrain we navigate is littered with systemic barriers birthing dire consequences for marginalized students and educators. Complacency will only perpetuate these injustices. We urgently need transformative leaders willing to fearlessly disentangle oppressive structures and reimagine educator preparation through a liberatory lens.

That is why I draw such profound inspiration from the revolutionary women whose leadership illuminates this path. Leaders like Gloria Ladson-Billings, Ph.D., and her seminal work on culturally relevant pedagogy, Bettina Love, Ph.D., and her rallying vision for abolitionist teaching, April Baker-Bell, Ph.D., and her groundbreaking scholarship on Black Language education, Patricia Hill Collins, Ph.D., and her influential Black Feminist Thought, and Geneva Smitherman, Ph.D., pioneering research on African American English fill me with righteous fire. Within my community at North Carolina State University, Jamie Pearson, Ph.D., and her vital work in disability studies, Ruby Ellis, Ph.D., and her transformative leadership in mathematics and technology education, and Patricia L. Marshall, Ed.D., and her visionary research on diversity, equity, and inclusion provide a supportive community of belonging with Black women scholars committed to the work. This is important as my educational career did not introduce me to Black educators until I was in my third year as an undergraduate. These Black women inspire my scholarly thinking and to use my creativity and authentic Black voice in my work. They are beacons in a constellation of maverick women whose leadership propels us toward liberating destinies.

I remain steadfastly committed to cultivating future teachers as architects of liberation. By centralizing anti-racist pedagogies, affirming linguistic identities, and relentlessly prioritizing equity, I will empower them as fearless facilitators of transformative change.  

Women’s leadership is the revolutionary heartbeat of the pivotal work required to make educator preparation a force for collective thriving and justice. By loudly celebrating our trailblazers and nurturing more diverse leaders, we can manifest radical, enduring transformation.

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