Reframing Diversity and Inclusive Leadership

Race, Gender, and Institutional Change

By Seth N. Asumah & Mechthild Nagel

Subjects: Higher Education, Leadership Studies, African American Studies, Women's Studies
Hardcover : 9781438495828, 407 pages, January 2024
Paperback : 9781438495835, 407 pages, July 2024

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Elizabeth Davis-Russell
Introduction: Providing a Context for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Leadership in the American Polity and in a Culture of Discontent

Part 1. How Do Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Matter Today?

1. Diversity Studies and Managing Differences: Unpacking SUNY Cortland’s Case and National Trends

2. The Illusion of Inclusion: Risk Management’s Co-optation of Diversity and Inclusion Leadership at Whitehill University

3. New Trends in Diversity Leadership and Inclusive Excellence

4. Risk Management, Hegemony, and the Pitfalls of Diversity within the Academy

Part 2. Anti-oppression Traditions and Oppressive Practices: Searching for Interlocking Systems

5. Race, Questioning Immigrant Bodies, and Heteropatriarchal Masculinity: Rethinking the Obama Presidency

6. The Politics of Racial Exclusion in the Era of Inclusion: Seeing More Than an African Immigrant in US Immigration Policy

7. Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter?

8. The Color of COVID-19 and the Knee-Lynching of George Floyd: Interrogating Systemic Racism and Inclusive Leadership

9. Me Too, Me Two, and Misogynoir

10. An American Kaleidoscope: Rethinking Diversity and Inclusion Leadership through the Prism of Gender and Race

Part 3. Visions/Second Sight

11. Racial Identity, the Danger of Being Too Comfortable, and Antiracist Decision/ Policy-Making: Rethinking Whiteness

12. Ubuntu Ethics: I Am Because We Are

Conclusion: Sustaining an Inclusive Community of Learners—Recognition, Reconciliation, Accountability, and the Pedagogy of Healing

Shows how authentic diversity and inclusive leadership practices can promote anti-racist, equitable, and transformational change in institutions of higher learning in the United States and beyond.


How can we tackle racism and sexism on our college and university campuses? What is the role of education leaders in advancing social justice? Reframing Diversity and Inclusive Leadership addresses the urgent need for more than merely performative gestures toward—and a redoubled, authentically engaged investment in—diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Seth N. Asumah and Mechthild Nagel examine how traditional leadership models have tended to exacerbate racial and gender inequities in United States higher education and society at large. Using a cross-cultural, comparative approach indebted to critical race theory, critical whiteness studies, and Black feminism, Asumah and Nagel draw on decades of combined experience in the US and globally to provide a framework for inclusive leadership practices, actions, and policies. A valuable resource for administrators, faculty, students, and political and industry leaders, Reframing Diversity and Inclusive Leadership responds to calls for justice on campuses and beyond.

Seth N. Asumah is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, Founding Chair and Professor of Africana Studies, and Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York at Cortland. As Founding Director of the Summer Institute for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice (SIDEISJ) at SUNY Cortland, Asumah co-facilitates DEI and inclusive leadership institutes with Nagel in the United States, Europe, and Africa. Mechthild Nagel is Professor of Philosophy and Affiliated Professor of Africana Studies. She is also Director of the Center for Ethics, Peace and Social Justice at SUNY Cortland. Together they have coedited Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusive Excellence: Transdisciplinary and Global Perspectives, also published by SUNY Press.


"As America and the rest of the world struggle with white supremacist and autocratic leaders, higher education should be in the forefront to present models of education to combat this trend. Asumah and Nagel offer a 'blueprint for change.' We must go beyond our comfort zone and our sense of 'us' and 'them' to dismantle systemic racism and embrace models of diversity that exemplify integrity, civility, ethics, civic virtue, dependability, and trustworthiness." — from the foreword by Elizabeth Davis-Russell