ILRID 4675: Inclusive Leadership

2 Credits
Offered: Spring 7 Week 2 Session
Spring ’21: Wednesdays 2:40 PM – 4:35 PM

What can we learn about leadership from pathbreakers such as Grace Lee Boggs, Angela Davis, Toni Morrison, and Sylvia Rivera? While traditional scholarship on leadership has focused on corporations, politics, and higher education, leaders exist in many other spaces. Activists, for example, demonstrate many of the proven hallmarks of effective leadership: listening to others, taking risks, and forging communities. This course seeks to galvanize leadership education by putting traditional leadership scholarship in conversation with the writings of activists and humanistic scholars. Through this juxtaposition, we will explore and examine our preconceived notions of “leadership,” “diversity,” and “inclusion.” We will challenge ourselves to develop dialogue skills for collaboration across difference, analyze identity-based power dynamics, and propose policies and measures to alleviate inequity in organizations. In seminar and in writing assignments, we will also reflect substantially from our own personal experiences as leaders, noting the challenges of leading in the context of structural inequities and the opportunities for creating more inclusive environments. Ultimately, this course seeks to articulate a more critical and informed vision for inclusive leadership and to equip students to lead across difference with empathy and awareness of identity-based power.

Learning Outcomes

  • Examine how historical and societal structures of power, privilege and oppression manifest in leadership contexts
  • Synthesize a more informed conception of inclusive leadership from both traditional organizational scholarship and the work of activists and writers
  • Develop dialogue skills to lead diverse groups with curiosity and empathy
  • Apply findings from scholarship on critical dialogue, diversity, organizational psychology, and social justice to identify opportunities for responsible allyship as leaders
  • Reflect critically on past leadership experiences to construct a more inclusive and equitable approach for future leadership

Note: If the course is full, email the instructor to be added to the waitlist.