National Equity Project Senior Associate Hugh Vasquez was interviewed on the University of Colorado Intersections Radio program as part of their lead-up to theTwelfth Annual White Privilege Conference (WPC) in Minneapolis April 13-16, 2011, title “This Land is Whose Land? Defining Citizenship, Understanding Access, Taking Action.” Hugh will be speaking at the conference about his work at the Project with leaders in education and other sectors who are trying to change their systems to end racist practices and support racial equity.
Hugh is one of the country’s top equity and diversity educators. He is well-known for his role in the award-winning documentary film “The Color of Fear” and other documentaries on race. His full bio is available on our staff pages. Since he joined the National Equity Project last year he has been working on developing our Leading for Equity program services.
In the show he talks about the promise and pitfalls of transformative leadership. Equity talk is on the rise in education and other fields but walking the equity walk has made slower progress. It’s not just a matter of progress being slow: when leaders talk about equity and changing their systems and ensuring equitable opportunity for all young people but don’t make the requisite changes, this can be actively damaging rather than simply passively delaying of equity.
Hugh defines transformative leadership as “taking on a problem that you have no clue how to solve, like dismantling racism in our schools” but that you are going to take on despite its complexity. You are a transformational leader “if you are walking into the unknown.”
Highlights of the interview by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. and Daryl Miller are in the 12 minute clip below. (Photos in the slideshow are all from partner schools in Oakland and Emeryville – (c) Kat Nyberg.)