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SEEing to Lead

Aug 8, 2022

Henry J. Turner is an award-winning high school principal, author, and nationally renowned speaker.  He is most proud of the collaborative community he works within to empower students to fight hate and bigotry in their school. Pointing to his unwavering commitment to equity and a student-centered culture, Henry was named 2020 K12 Principal of the Year by K–12 Dive.
Henry is the author of the newly released book, Change the Narrative: How to Foster an Antiracist Culture in Your School, published by DBC inc. As a national speaker, he shares his experience as an innovative instructional leader, passionate advocate, and committed antiracist educator with educators and organizational leaders. Henry works with educators, leaders, and communities on how to create a culture that commits to diversity, equity, and inclusion empowers students’ voices and addresses economic and racial disparities. He has a biweekly newsletter, “Lessons on Social Justice Leadership” that can be found at
Key Takeaways:
  • It's important to let students know that the school they are in is their school.
  • It's about helping students to explore who they are and the world around them and then think about the legacy they will leave so they are truly change makers.
  • Schools are the center of communities so it's our job to share our value system.
  • School is the place where students will interact with people who are different than themselves and need to learn from that experience.
  • It's our not our job to teach students what to think, but instead how to think. It all starts by teaching respect.
  • It's critical that schools have a value statement that includes equity and standing up for others who are different or marginalized.
  • Not talking about or hiding incidents against marginalized groups further marginalize them.
  • In order to make progress we have to sometimes admit that we were part of the problem.
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