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Melissa Han

Leadership Research Practicum


Spring 2014

Leadership Plan

After reentering the journey of my life through the cultural autobiography and
interviews, I realized the significance that authentic relationships have had in developing my
cultural proficiency. I made a deliberate choice to pursue reconciliation in my life, mostly racial.
The reconciliation was defined by the commitment to engage in conversations that were at times
painful and that were left without closure. Despite the challenge in pursuing reconciliation, there
was healing with each step. I realize that my next step in walking the path of reconciliation is to
grow in the area of authentic relationship with those I have a different faith and sexual
orientation with.
I have been deliberate in pursuing social justice in the area of race and poverty. I saw this
in the amount of relationships that have deeply developed due to this pursuit. I learned the
impact of using my voice to advocate for others. The impact of advocacy was powerful when it
came from a place that was built on relationships. Through relationships I learned how to ask,
listen, and share other peoples truth. I learned how to let go of assumptions that damaged others.
I am missing this depth of connectivity with those I have a different sexual orientation and faith
with.
I dont know why that is. I am terrified with the hidden assumptions I carry that have
already caused damage because I have not made a deliberate choice to pursue this different path
of reconciliation with others. I want my unseen assumptions to be uncovered and corrected. In
light of this, I want to learn how their identity has been shaped by their experiences. Are there
fears attached to their identity? Do they have to constantly defend and/or explain who they are?
What damage has been done to them and how could it be prevented for others? What would
create a feeling of safety and freedom to simply be? What would help them feel loved and
accepted?
Once I have learned the truths of others, I have a responsibility to not waste this gift. I
will draw from their truth to look at structures through their eyes. I will question structures that
continue to damage and fear. I will strengthen and advocate for structures that build safety,
acceptance, and equity. I will step out of what is comfortable and continue to ask, listen, and
speak on their behalf. How will I know that this has been achieved?
My pursuit of reconciliation will expand into committed relationships with those I have a
different sexual orientation and faith with. I will speak on their behalf. I will quickly recognize
structures that damage and advocate against them. I will co-create with students and colleagues
structures that foster safety and freedom to be who they are. Students will believe that they
belong in our school because their voices change, build, and strengthen our school. Our school
will have less punitive punishments and instead restore relationships. Differences will be
celebrated. Courage to be yourself will be celebrated. Colleagues will transition from
conversations of blame to self-reflection. Trust would live among colleague relationships,
teacher-student relationships, and community-school relationships.
I am in awe of how leadership must take a humble approach in seeking inward
transformation before outward transformation is to take place. Steps of advocacy are fruitful
when they are built from trusting, committed relationships that are pursuing reconciliation
together. Listening to understand creates advocacy.