“Our real strength lies in the Department’s talent and diversity, and commitment to furthering educational opportunity as a means to confronting racism, social and economic inequities, and achieving social justice.”
The Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) trains and supports a diverse group of individuals committed to the principles of academic excellence, equity, and integrity as a way to maximize achievement and opportunity for students in urban schools. The Principal Leadership Institute at UCLA has designed a rigorous 14-month program aligned with the California Administrative Professional Expectations (CAPEs) that will prepare the next generation of urban school leaders. The program grants a Master’s degree and completion of the courses required for the California Tier 1 Administrative Credential. The program is designed to attract outstanding educators who have administrative interests and recognized potential. The Principal Leadership Institute utilizes the Reciprocal Learning Partnership Equity Framework.
The UCLA Principal Leadership Institute recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary, along with the Principal Leadership Institute at UC Berkeley.
PLI Cohort 19 Collective Statement
As leaders committed to social justice education, our work is sustained by an unyielding oppositional consciousness.
We believe it is essential to rethink, redefine, and diagnose.
We believe all people must be acknowledged and respected for who they are and the assets they bring.
We believe that fostering relationships is the foundation for eliminating inequities and marginalization.
We share power with community stakeholders and guide participation to build expertise.
We challenge deficit ideologies and cultivate a sense of belonging by validating, affirming, building and bridging students’ identities.
We engage in dialogue instead of debate, build capacity instead of continuing the bureaucratic status quo, and encourage questioning instead of demanding compliance.
Rather than acting as speaking police, we facilitate community discussions to unearth the root causes of bigotry.
To enact this vision, we need like-minded allies who value the social, cultural, and linguistic assets that every student brings.
We need liberation from bureaucracy and racist accountability policies that maintain the conditions of marginalization.
We need financial, school, and community resources to build the tools and structures needed to promote meaningful participation.
We need social-emotional support to care for ourselves and provide a holistic healing environment for our school communities.
We will be willing to take risks and advocate for students and families even when it is difficult.
We will be compassionate, powerful, and fearless activists.
We will lead by example with positive energy, humor, and love.
UCLA Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) in the News
Felix Quinonez, PLI Cohort 6, was honored with a Los Angeles Unified Teacher of the Year award.
PLI Professor John Rogers’ report revealed new findings on schools’ and communities’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the inequality that the pandemic has all too starkly exposed.
PLI Professor Daniel G. Solórzano was recognized for his lifelong work in critical race theory and racial microaggressions.
The annual list published in Education Week highlights UCLA PLI faculty among national experts on the most urgent issues in education.
Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) Alumni
PLI has been the ultimate transformational experience for my development as a social justice leader. The theoretical frameworks and discussions around equity and access provided me with resources that I could use immediately. The mentoring and encouragement have been so valuable; I owe my success as an administrator to PLI. I tell every aspiring administrator that there is no other place to do this work, UCLA PLI and nothing else!
Assistant Principal at University Pathways Public Service Academy High School
For me, PLI represented a space in which leadership was discussed in its broadest sense as a manner in which to effect change in education, regardless of ‘position.’ I truly wanted to explore the actualization of social justice as it relates to teachers, students, parents and the community at large.
Leyda W. Garcia
Principal, UCLA Community School