Terri N. Watson is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at The City College of New York, The City University of New York. Her aim, as a scholar activist, is to improve the educational outcomes and life chances of historically excluded and underserved children and families. Her current research agenda examines parent engagement in urban schools and communities. Specifically, she is exploring the advocacy and efforts of Harlem’s mothers. While parent engagement is fundamental to student achievement and mandated in school improvement efforts, the efficacy of parents of color in general and Black women in particular are often undervalued and overlooked in education research. In addition, the current discourse on parent engagement privileges school-centered practices and hegemonic norms, placing parents and communities of color at a further disadvantage. My study will provide a counter narrative to traditional modes of parent engagement, while highlighting the ‘motherwork’ (Collins, 1994) of Black women.
School leadership for social justice; critical race theory; black feminist theory/motherwork; critical discourse; working with UB’s aspiring teachers and school leaders to improve teacher efficacy, parent-community engagement, and student achievement in Buffalo’s public schools; promoting socially just school-communities.