ESPACIO SANO: HOW SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS CULTIVATE CARING AND SHARING
Healthy equitable schools need healthy social justice leaders. The study is the story of how we innovated structures and pedagogies to better support educational leaders who actively work for equity, excellence, and social justice and experience work-related stress. We learned how to co-create a sane and safe space–Espacio Sano–for ourselves and others. The study included four women who are school and central office leaders. Meeting monthly over an 18-month period and engaging in testimonios (storytelling), together we learned and practiced self-care strategies as an Equity-Centered Professional Learning Community (EC-PLC). The EC-PLC members co-constructed meeting topics and used the community learning exchange philosophy, protocols, and methodology to practice self-care as an avenue to sustaining our commitment to social justice leadership practices. As EC-PLC members shared wellness strategies and co-generated testimonios, artifacts, and data, we learned that all educational leaders need an Espacio Sano (sane space), a particular professional space that disrupts normative professional development spaces in schools and districts. In an Espacio Sano, the women leaders could better engage in wholehearted leadership; through brainheart, using their heads and hearts, they explored and expressed emotions and affirmed and validated each other. A conceptual framework, “MeWe: Self-care as Collective Care,” illustrates the relationship between Espacio Sano and wholehearted leadership. The findings have implications for educational leaders who seek a better way to maintain resiliency, sustainability, and leadership learning. As they practice self-care, they can better support the social justice outcomes we seek for children, youth, and families.
Velasco, Christina. (May 2021). ESPACIO SANO: HOW SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS CULTIVATE CARING AND SHARING (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9086.)
Velasco, Christina. ESPACIO SANO: HOW SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS CULTIVATE CARING AND SHARING. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, May 2021. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9086. July 30, 2021.
Velasco, Christina, “ESPACIO SANO: HOW SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS CULTIVATE CARING AND SHARING” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, May 2021).
Velasco, Christina. ESPACIO SANO: HOW SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS CULTIVATE CARING AND SHARING [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; May 2021.
East Carolina University