If the heart of leadership is justice, then the core of leadership education should be social justice. Conditions have never been better to pursue socially just aims than now, nor have the consequences for omitting social justice from leadership learning ever been direr. However, the integration of social justice and leadership is neither easy nor straightforward. To center social justice and cultural relevance in leadership education, this chapter presents essential theoretical frameworks, highlights extant and emerging leadership education scholarship, and offers suggestions to sustain critical hope among socially just leadership educators and students. Constructs related to social justice, critical social theories, antiracism, and cultural relevance in leadership learning are introduced. In addition, we review recent revisions in leadership theories, such as the social change model of leadership development, and draws attention to new models focused on social action and transformation, as well as collective action and critical consciousness in leading. We continue by featuring important empirical findings in leadership education research related to the tactics, strategies, and approaches leadership educators can consider as they continually refine their praxis toward fairness, equity, inclusion, and justice. Finally, apparent paradoxes in leadership learning scholarship are presented and we offer advice on advancing social justice in leadership education. Together, these considerations form an arc of leadership learning that bends toward social justice but cannot be maintained without active, attentive, and sustained effort.

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