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This paper focuses on equitable leadership and its intersection with related, yet distinct concepts salient to social justice, pertinent to women and minorities in educational leadership. This piece is rooted and framed within the context of the United States of America, and the major concepts include identity, equity, and intersectionality – specific to the race-gender dyad – manifested within the realm of educational leadership. The objective is to examine theory and research in this area and to discuss the role they played in this study of the cultures of four Black women, all senior-level leaders within the realm of K-20 education in the U.S. This work employed the tenets of hermeneutic phenomenology, focusing on the intersecting factors – race and gender, specifically – that impact these women’s ability and capability to perform within the educational sector. The utilization of in-depth, timed, semi-structured interviews allowed participants to reflect upon their experiences and perceptions as Black women who have and continue to successfully navigate the highest levels of the educational leadership sphere. Contributors’ recounted stories of navigation within spaces in which they are underrepresented revealed the need for more research specific to the intricacies of Black women’s leadership journeys in the context of the United States.


Author accepted manuscript version of an article published in:

Johnson NN. Balancing race, gender, and responsibility: Conversations with four black women in educational leadership in the United States of America. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. February 2021. doi:10.1177/1741143221991839