Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2014


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Professional Doctorate in Educational Leadership (ProDEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Darius Prier

Committee Member

Gretchen Givens Generett

Committee Member

Rick R McCown

Committee Member

David Stovall

Committee Member

Nekima Levy-Pounds


Black Activist Mothering, Black Feminist, Community, Discipline Disparity, Educational Leadership, Race


What you are engaging is more than a dissertation, but a dissertation in practice. It is a dissertation in community-centered practice for educational leadership. This is an agenda driven by the need to improve a problem of education practice that is a grave matter of social injustice.

This is a response to the persistent call for educational leadership to be community work, to be community-engaged, as community-centric leadership (centered in the community and central to the needs of the marginalized). The agenda is designed to deliver "site-specific" examples of problems of practice occurring in school settings. Site-specific examples are demonstrated through auto-ethnographic reports and critical race counter-narratives from the worldview of the author of this agenda. I am a community-centric leader who engages the work as Black Activist Mothering, a perspective that is argued in this dissertation to be a unique and greatly needed vantage point.

The problem of how race is involved with the ways in which the practices of suspensions and expulsions are enacted in school settings has become a US Department of Justice imperative; as most school districts in the country stand in violation of the civil rights of its students. The urgency to address this problem in ways that are libratory, emancipatory and transformative, is driven by the need to generate improvements in (a) educational leadership practice; and (b) the education research-practice infrastructure.

The relationship of race and discipline disparity is utilized through this agenda to illustrate how knowing is not always enough to transform practices; even when the practice has demonstrated in the research to cause harm both disproportionately and at a disparate rate. And often, deeper, and more critical methods are called upon to discover responses to problems of practice within the context of traditional and nontraditional school settings.