Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jeannine Dingus-Eason

Second Supervisor

Ruth Harris


Leadership practices used by Black educational leaders (BEL) to facilitate academic success for many Black students may also benefit rapidly changing demographic student populations within inner-ring suburban school contexts. Operating from a social justice educational leadership framework emanating from the work of Theoharis, an insider perspective by Black educational leaders was explored within demographically changing inner-ring suburban public-school environments. This qualitative study used a phenomenological inquiry approach to uncover the experiential practices of BEL who lead in a northeastern United States inner-ring suburban school located adjacent to a Western New York metropolitan area. Qualitative data was collected from 10 Black educational leaders via individual interviews, demographic profile sheets, and researcher field notes. The results of the study indicate ways Black educational leaders demonstrate social justice educational leadership in demographically changing inner-ring suburban school contexts. Three themes emerging from this study included student advocacy, conceptualizing equity – a one size does not fit all, and providing accessibility to various educational opportunities and experiences. Based on this study’s findings, BEL have a unique sense of social justice educational leadership practices and experiences. The majority of study participants came from the ranks of teachers who eventually entered into administrative positions. It is recommended for stakeholders to recruitment from the Black teacher ranks, in an attempt to garner, locate, and employ potential Black educational leaders who have practices and experiences grounded in social justice educational leadership.

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