Mentoring as Critically Engaged Praxis

Storying the Lives and Contributions of Black Women Administrators

Edited by:
Deirdre Cobb-Roberts, University of South Florida
Talia Esnard, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago

A volume in the series: Contemporary Perspectives on the Lives of Teachers. Editor(s): Carol R. Rinke, Marist College. Lynnette Mawhinney, Rutgers University-Newark.

Published 2020

This edited volume seeks to interrogate the structures that affect the perceptions, experiences, performance and practices of Black women administrators. The chapters examine the nature and dynamics of the conflict within that space and the ways in which they transcend or confront the intersecting structures of power in academe. A related expectation is for interrogations of the ways in which their institutional contexts and, marginalized status inform their navigational strategies and leadership practices. More specifically, this work explores mentorship as critical praxis; that being, the ways in which Black women’s thinking and practices around mentoring affect their institutional contexts or environment, and, that of other marginalized groups within academe. A discussion of Black women in higher education administration as critically engaged mentors will ultimately diversify thought, approaches, and solutions to larger social and structural challenges embedded within academic climates.

Praise for Mentoring as Critically Engaged Praxis:

Mentoring as Critically Engaged Praxis: Storying the Lives and Contributions of Black Women Administrators, the authors present insights on the challenges Black women face and how mentoring networks and strategies help them transcend professional and institutional barriers. Each chapter intentionally creates a space to elevate their voices, depicts the reciprocity on how they are transforming and being transformed by their institutional context, and offers hope for improving the status of women leaders. The power of this book is that it is an acknowledgement of Black women being the architect of their lives and is filled with meaningful content that is nuanced and offers a glimpse into how black women leaders continue to lift as they climb.
- Gaëtane Jean-Marie, Rowan University

Mentoring as Critical Engaged Praxis perfectly captures a process that Black women have been facilitating, practicing and innovating prior to and since their entry into the higher education. Deirdre Cobb-Roberts and Talia R. Esnard have assembled a strong cast of scholars who eloquently speak to the role that Black women administrators play in their daily practice of “Lift as we climb.” Despite the limited number of Black women in senior leadership roles across academe, most, if not all of them must consistently tackle institutional and societal injustices that shape their experiences and influence their capacity to mentor.
- Lori Patton Davis, The Ohio State University

Acknowledgements. Introduction: Progressing, Expanding, and Transforming the Lives of Teachers: Situating Black Women Administrators and Mentoring Praxis at the Heart of Critical Educational Leadership, Carol R. Rinke and Lynnette Mawhinney. Mentoring as Critical Engaged Praxis: Storying the Lives and Contributions of Black Women Administrators, Deirdre Cobb-Roberts and Talia R. Esnard. SECTION I: MENTORING, IDENTITY, AND LEADERSHIP. The Role of Black Feminist Thought in Mentorship: Experiences of Becoming an Educator and Administrator, Crystal M. Timmons. Who Is Going to Mentor Us? Black Women Administrators and our Leadership Journeys, Rosalind Conerly and Marcedes Butler. Perspectives on Leadership and Mentoring: An Examination of the Experiences of Black Women Community College Administrators, Chastity D. Gaither. SECTION II: MENTORS AS CRITICALLY ENGAGED LEADERS. Jim Crow’s Stowe Teachers College’s President Ruth Harris: Harbinger for Future African American Academy Presidents, Vanessa Garry. “A Seat at the Table”: Black Women Administrators’ Narratives of Struggle and Support in the Ivory Tower, Rosemary E. Phelps, Kecia M. Thomas, Nichole M. Ray and Juanita Johnson-Bailey. In Spite of ... A Black Woman’s Administrative Journey: Of Pushing Back and Pressing On, Traki L. Taylor, Ericka Roland, and Vonzell Agosto. SECTION III: MENTORING FOR INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE. Leadership as Critical Praxis: The Case of African American Women Faculty, Deirdre Cobb-Roberts and Talia R. Esnard. From “WASH” to Weave: Leadership Mentoring Against Racial Macroaggression, Tara Nkrumah, Vonzell Agosto, Allan Feldman, and Frederick Bradley. Operationalizing Influence and Effecting Change: A Black Woman Administrator’s Guide to Navigating Politics in Higher Education, Shawna Patterson-Stephens. CONCLUSION: Taking Stock and Moving Forward, Deirdre Cobb-Roberts and Talia R. Esnard. Biographies.