Leading for Justice

The UCLA 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.  

UCLA PLI 20th Anniversary Brochure

20th Anniversary Brochure

The UCLA Principal Leadership Institute recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary, along with the Principal Leadership Institute at UC Berkeley.

PLI Cohort 21 Collective Statement

June 2021

As democratic leaders committed to social justice, we believe in humanity and love.
We believe learning is communal, inclusive, and responsive to student assets–and this means data must always be holistic.
We believe it is our duty to affirm, validate, and integrate the cultural identity of our students, families, and communities.
We believe this work must be centered in the heart and pushed outside of the school.
We believe in getting started and taking action.
We believe in speaking up, speaking out, and speaking truth.

As democratic leaders committed to social justice we will lead with hope and love, starting with students first.
We will disrupt the system that marginalizes the most vulnerable of our society and give value to their assets.
We will see the unseen, hear the unheard.
We will work together to build collaborative movements in solidarity rather than acting alone in isolation.
We will take strategic and necessary risks, and deliberately empower students, parents, teachers, and the community.
We will find our people and hold them close.
We will speak up, speak out, speak truth.

We need your help to create conditions that support our efforts and our development as democratic, social justice leaders.
We need relational trust, radical hope, and empowered voices that are valued and respected.
We need more money invested in our schools and communities.
We need to speak up, speak out, speak truth.

The PLI Experience

UCLA Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) in the News

Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School: A Community School That Honors Its Neighborhood’s Legacy of Educational Justice

This Learning Policy Institute Brief focuses on a high-performing community school in East Los Angeles led by PLI faculty & graduate Mauro Bautista. The brief details the structures and practices that create the conditions for deep engagement, shared leadership, and a school culture that combines rigorous and engaging academics in a nurturing and inclusive environment.

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Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) Alumni

Participating in UCLA Principal’s Leadership Institute provided me the opportunity to understand that most of the challenges we face in education are structural rather than instructional. The UCLA Professors pulled back a veil obscuring inequity hidden within the blueprints of the school system and with each class provided a new set of tools to rework the structure in collaboration with parents, students, and teachers. After graduation, their coaching network continues to support me personally and professionally as I advocate to change the rules for our students and community. Thank you PLI!”

Eilene Vasquez

The time I spent in PLI has profoundly changed the way I approach educational leadership. Before joining PLI, I had a heart for Social Justice, but I lacked the language, theoretical framework, and tools to be an effective catalyst for change. Now, I feel confident in my ability to identify inequitable practices in schools and have gained the courage to take action that will powerfully lead to positive student outcomes for all.”

Andrew Kim