Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jeris, Laurel

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Discrimination in education; Racism


In this study, I used critical race theory as an epistemological lens and a basic form of qualitative research to explore race/racism in professional education. The results exposed competing dynamics of emancipation and oppression in a marriage and family therapy initial professional education program via the themes of racial awareness, racism, strength and resistance, and kinship. Participants constructed a shared counterstory that challenged dominant discourses of educational programs as sites where knowledge and skills are neutrally constructed and passed on to beginning professionals. Together they told the story of negotiating a complex racial terrain in which they were both supported and silenced and their racial experiences and cultural life ways were both honored and dismissed. Personal narratives included meaningful transformations in relationship to racial awareness that stemmed from participation in courses, supervision, and dialogue. Alongside these experiences were accounts of how participants countered the effects of racism in their professional program through connection with supportive others and their own inner strength. This study explored new territory in relationship to resisting racism in education. Participants revealed numerous forms of resistance, including challenging, yielding, meaning making, and withdrawing. An important decision-making process regarding how to resist racism also emerged. Participants used several criteria, including the probability of change, the likelihood of being believed, and the potential long-term consequences to reach difficult decisions about which forms of resistance to use in any given circumstance.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [226]-241)


xii, 241, [1] pages




Northern Illinois University

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