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Transformative Principal is 

Nov 30, 2022

Dr. 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

  • Race is a social fabric that has been created in our society.

  • If we believe in all students succeed, then we need to respond to students’ needs.

  • School was founded on separating students and what systems were excluded.

  • 25% of students were on IEP, 50% of black students were on IEPs.

  • Racism - system of advantage based on race

  • Who are we blaming for these disparities? What is wrong with these students vs. what is wrong with these schools?

  • 80% of educators want to do racial justice work in their schools.

  • Leaders are nervous about diving into this - how

  • Teaching students to stand up for someone else.

  • Start small

  • How do you make sure students are seen?

  • How do you pronounce your name?

  • Intent is good, impact is bad.

  • The way to make students feel included is to empower them.

  • How do you get started?

  • Creating agreements with students

  • Name activity - sharing the history of your name

  • This is the way to begin to talk aboutt he work.

  • Talking about race really begins with talking about us.

  • Focus on relationships.

  • Who are we blaming for the problem?

- What did I do over the course of the year to help you feel comfortable sharing that with me?



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