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The Resiliency of Black Graduate Students’ at Predominantly White Institutions

3MT Featured Home Graduate Education Week Inclusive Excellence Individual Development Plan (IDP) PostDoc Association Professional Development Upcoming Events March 31, 2020


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This study explores the resiliency of Black graduate (Ph.D.) students at PWIs in correlation to the equity and diversity issues they confront and their personal life experiences within the institutions’ broader social and cultural contexts. It highlights issues of overlapping racism, inequality, and the power culture of Whiteness as it pertains to the inclusion of minority students in PWIs. Traditionally, resiliency illustrates one’s ability to overcome a challenge or traumatic event in life, such as 9/11 or recovering from an illness such as cancer; however, this research factors in the challenge of being Black, specifically being a successful Black graduate student at a PWI. Using Yosso’s (2005) Cultural Wealth Model to recognize and value Black graduate students’ resiliency, which includes six types of capital that are essential to Black students who are persistent in their attempts to complete the p–22 academic pipeline. This study aims to understand and share the experiences of Black graduate students facing various challenges with the intent of bridging theory with social and cultural change.