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New Graduate Programs in Critical Leadership

Why programs in ‘justice-oriented’ and ‘critical’ leadership? And why now?

Jun 23, 2016

Many factors have motivated the development of these programs:

  • Major changes in funding and governance have significantly affected social and community services. Requirements for efficiency, competition, and  narrow accountability are changing how social agencies operate and reshaping conditions for workers and for service users. People providing leadership in social services and communities tell us they want opportunities to better understand these broad social changes, identify how they are affecting people’s lives, and explore positive ways to respond.
  • Many social workers and community workers (both those in formal supervisory positions and at the front line) want to influence and exercise leadership in their settings in ways that reflect their social justice commitments. Yet opportunities for management and leadership education rarely prioritize questions of equity and justice.
  • Many experienced, effective community and social work leaders will leave the field over the next five to ten years. A recent review pointed to “a pressing need to replace the generation of human service leaders who are approaching retirement.”

With these factors in mind, and in response to requests and recommendations from colleagues in the field, these new programs are designed to  deepen students’ understandings of the pressures currently facing communities and social services, support justice-focused leadership in the contemporary context,  and  enhance students’ capacities to initiate and contribute to progressive change. Respected local leaders will be actively involved in teaching in both programs.

For more information, see the Critical Leadership Programs brochure (Word Document) or visit the Programs area for details on eligibility, admissions, program length and cost.