February 21, 2012
Aurora Room, UI Commons
Abstract: Working with social justice and feminist organizations has demonstrated that individuals charged to serve in “leadership roles” (regardless of title or definition) while agreeing with the general principles may inherently struggle with the implementation of social justice and feminist principles into the day-to-day operation of the organization. How can individuals integrate the concepts and philosophies of feminist and social justice into the heart of their leadership style? In attempting to understand how these principles might be utilized in a leadership context, we are often stuck in a patriarchal leadership paradigm characterized by competition, hierarchy, heroicleadership, individualism, power, command-control styles.
This leads us to the question, how can we infuse knowledge about social justice and feminist leadership into our leadership styles? What are the unique perspectives of feminist leaders that apply to the universal concepts of leadership? Leadership focused on relationships becomes expressions of essential femaleness and thus devalued (confirming prevalent stereotypes of women). Barton (2006) sates that “Feminist leaders are conscious of both individual issues and concerns (micro-level) and societal issues and concerns (macro-level) and try to do a delicate balancing act as they participate in feminist activism on both levels. At a college or university, this means that a feminist leader is concerned for individual students, faculty and staff, whole academic communities, and also how to best serve the community or town in which the institution is located.” With this in mind, this lecture will address about how one can integrate his/her own feminist and social justice frameworks into a leadership style.