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Lead With C.A.R.E.

Lead With C.A.R.E.
Strategies to Build Culturally Competent and Affirming Schools

Foreword by Gholdy Muhammad

June 2024 | 128 pages | Corwin

A framework for the courageous school leadership our students deserve.

From the foreword by Gholdy Muhammad… 

“In Lead With C.A.R.E., Dr. Allen provides a way to disrupt the harms that systems, teachers, and leaders may inflict on children. He uses the richness of his personal and professional experiences to speak to the true purpose and power of schools, which is to disrupt disparities and affirm students’ cultural identities and brilliance. In doing so, Dr. Allen reminds educators that we must examine the structures of education historically and in the present so that we can dismantle harmful practices.

The framework of C.A.R.E. presented here guides educators to lead with Culturally Responsiveness in teaching and learning, while Affirming children’s identities, and building positive Relationships with youth. Dr. Allen posits that this leads to spaces of Empowerment.

This book provides the whatthe why and importantly, the how. The C.A.R.E. framework helps leaders center the genius and joy of youth and teachers, while recognizing the social times we live in and elevating the education of children, especially those who have been historically excluded in schooling and in society. The framework provides a way forward for leaders to lead differently—with care, belonging, and excellence; providing every child with what they deeply deserve.”

With learning goals, summaries, and reflection questions included in each chapter, this guide offers actionable strategies educators can use to establish a culture that prioritizes students’ experiences and affirms their identities.

Chapter 1: Introduction--Making the Case for a Culture of C.A.R.E./Introduction to the Framework
Chapter 2: Cultural Responsiveness
Chapter 3: Affirmation
Chapter 4: Relationships
Chapter 5: Empowerment
Chapter 6: Conclusion--Culture Matters

Lionel is an educational leader who has always walked the walk. His knowledge comes from deep personal experience. He has dedicated his professional career to serving disadvantaged and marginalized students and communities. If you share his passion for that mission, I know you will find his insights both invaluable and inspiring.

Arne Duncan
U.S. Secretary of Education

Dr. Allen provides practical strategies for centering students' humanity, perspectives, and lived experiences to create culturally affirming educational spaces. This will require our educators to be courageous enough to show up differently. The strategies highlighted in this book are replicable and can be done tomorrow. This book also serves as a guide for parents, educational advocates, and community members on what they should be demanding from their schools.

Tiffany S. Brunson
Superintendent, Elementary School District 159

Dr. Lionel Allen has provided mentoring and support for our area educational leaders for the past four years. During the darkest days of the pandemic, when our leaders were feeling defeated, Dr. Allen was a bright light that gave them hope and purpose. His passion and fearlessness in speaking the truth about our educational systems have inspired leaders to be innovators and intentional risk takers to ensure that every child experiences the Culture of C.A.R.E.

Jill Reedy
Regional Superintendent of Schools

I have witnessed the administrative mastery of Dr. Lionel Allen in some of the most challenging schools and communities. He has produced excellence in places and spaces that many consider impossible to produce results. Dr. Allen provides a culturally responsive framework and clear, actionable strategies. This book is for educators and leaders who are serious about producing what Dr. Asa Hilliard called “excellence without excuses.”

Chike Akua
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, Clark Atlanta University, Author, Education for Transformation: The Keys to Releasing the Genius of African American Students

Dr. Lionel Allen’s book is an extraordinary tool for collective change. If teams of teachers and school leaders were to read and discuss Dr. Allen’s book together, it is hard to imagine them emerging from the experience unmoved. It provides a mirror of school practices and mindsets that teachers and leaders will recognize, argue about, and from which they will inevitably learn.

Steven E. Tozer
Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois Chicago

This book is of tremendous value for educators and caretakers alike. With refreshing candor, Dr. Allen’s no-nonsense approach makes a case that educators must care for their students. By confronting tired excuses for not caring, he reminds us of how simple caring can be, and the powerful impacts it has on student’s lives.

Decoteau J. Irby
Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

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ISBN: 9781071925010