PLI Cohort 22 Graduation

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.  

PLI Cohort 22 Collective Statement

June 2022

As democratic leaders committed to social justice, we don’t make excuses, we get involved.
We raise our critical consciousness so as not to replicate the actions of oppressors.
We demonstrate true curiosity, admiration, and gratitude for the students we serve.
We believe every student is valuable and indispensable and should be seen and heard.
We acknowledge differences, humanize our students, and empower the community.
We create ripple effects that one day will become a tsunami of equitable education.

As social justice leaders, we plan to listen, dream big, and be bold in our actions.
We will reject meritocracy, deficit thinking, and the by-stander effect.
We will create a community rooted in the inherent worth and dignity of each member’s humanity.

We will employ dialogical practices that challenge the status quo.
We will disrupt and dismantle the systems that foster marginalization and perpetuate the perceived dominant culture and hierarchical structures.
We will subvert the agendas of those in power and empower our marginalized students.

To sustain our work as transformative leaders, we will need help.
We need fully resourced schools and systems that support equity driven work.
We need co-conspirators, financially backed by like-minded social justice organizations or individuals.
We need reflective spaces that replenish our emotional, physical, and spiritual energy.
We need time to reflect, to connect, and to remember why we are so passionate about education.
Empowered by such supports, we will subvert the systems in place and pursue our dreams of equitable education.

The PLI Experience

These blog posts were written by PLI Cohort 23 students Martha Galvez and Kimberly Valencia.

UCLA PLI 20th Anniversary Brochure

20th Anniversary Brochure
featuring PLI alumni

In 2019 the UCLA Principal Leadership Institute celebrated its 20th Anniversary, along with the Principal Leadership Institute at UC Berkeley.

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.

Read More

My time at PLI was foundational to my growth as a social justice educator. I found the readings and projects in PLI to be so relevant and grounded in real praxis. It gave me the language to name the types of inequities that I was seeing in schools, and the rationale to keep pushing for justice. Being a part of PLI’s cohort model was important because public schools can be such isolating spaces, especially for educational leaders. Having a cohort of like minded comrades pushed my practice and gave me shoulders to lean on when the work got tough. Here I am more than a decade later and really in awe with the fact that I am part of a family of hundreds of social justice educators emanating out of Moore Hall at UCLA!”

John Lynch