In our first article, Kyle Miller, Jordan Arellanes, and Lakeesha James utilized community-based participatory research to make an important contribution to the existing scholarship on the engagement of fathers in education. The research design and questions were co-constructed with a coalition of community members interested in supporting local fathers. The authors write, "Members of the coalition identified the following shared goals for bringing the community together around fatherhood needs: supporting fathers (not "fixing" them); identifying and building on existing services for fathers; increasing the community's knowledge and skills in father-friendly practices; providing an inclusive platform for fathers' voices, and responding to the reported needs of all fathers through community-driven processes." The result is an article that centers the experience of fathers and highlights how the conceptualization of fatherhood continues to expand and evolve over time. 

Next, Coy Carter, Jr., Eskender Yousuf, Bodunrin Bano, and Muhammad Khalifa examine culturally responsive district leadership and demonstrate "the importance of intentional, consistent, and longlasting relational engagement of minoritized communities." This timely research includes two rich case studies that "demonstrate the importance of systematic actors in preparing systems, like schools, to be resilient, sensitive, and accountable when complex and diverse incidents systematically construct disparate realities for their organization members." Collectively, the article offers insights on district leader effectiveness and the need for ongoing critical self-reflection and introduces a new concept within educational leadership discourse, Organizational Stress Tests.

Finally, we are excited to share Part 1 of a special issue edited by Ann M. Ishimaru and Megan Bang., entitled Co-Designing Educational Justice and Wellbeing with Families and Communities. The articles featured in this issue share scholarship that seeks to create spaces to develop knowledge, everyday practices, and relational leadership to envision transformative possibilities for families and education beyond a school-centered, ahistoric paradigms. The articles are an outcome of research that emerged from a national network of scholars, family and community leaders, and educators who undertook critical historicity and collective learning using the following design principles:

     • Begin with family and community ecologies;

     • Refuse and transform dominant power;

     • Enact solidarities in collective change-making;

     • Cultivate ongoing transformative possibilities.

Each article in the special issue explores principle enactments to open the landscape of possibilities in the field and imagine anew what we need to cultivate just education. We hope you will enjoy these diverse and thoughtful articles over the next two issues.

Published: 2022-01-31