Emerging Leaders for Social Justice: Negotiating the Journey Through Action Research




Jacobs, Jennifer
Yamamura, Erica K.
Guerra, Patricia
Nelson, Sarah W.

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Rowman & Littlefield


The purpose of this qualitative research study was to understand the experience of graduate students in an educational leadership program as they began to apply leadership for social justice theory through the process of action research. This study used critical race theory to explore dimensions of race, power, and privilege. Findings from focus groups with 12 graduate students reveal that relationships influence the path of becoming a leader for social justice as well as their ability to engage in change on their campus. While the importance of relationships was found across all participants, several themes were unique to the emerging leaders of color. Recommendations for leadership preparation include the need to honor personal and professional experiences of students, supporting community leadership development, and highlighting the unique experiences and needs of emerging leaders of color.



educational leadership program, social justice, race theory, community development, critical theory, leadership training, focus groups, Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education, and School Psychology


Jacobs, J., Yamamura, E., Guerra, P., & Nelson, S. (2013). Emerging leaders for social justice: Negotiating the journey through action research. Journal of School Leadership, 23. pp. 91-121.


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