Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Curriculum, Advocacy, and Policy

First Advisor

Norman Weston

Second Advisor

Richard Streedain

Third Advisor

Sue Jungck



Autoethnography is a genre of research that alternately focuses its attention outwardly on the social and cultural, and inwardly on the personal life experiences of the researcher in an attempt to raise one’s consciousness and prompt action about the issue under study. This autoethnography explores the transformation I have undergone as I have grappled with the issues of race and academic achievement, and sought to find my place and voice in the struggle for social justice. Along the way, I have had to take a hard, sometimes painful look at myself, peeling away layers of defense to get at who I am as a middle-aged White female educator. Eager and hopeful, though sometimes scared, I asked myself how can I have an impact in my small sphere of influence to effect positive change. We live in a society where race matters. This autoethnography brings to light the dilemmas that Black and White students and educators face in dealing with issues of racism and White privilege. It also examines the importance of self-understanding and challenging oneself to recognize one’s own biases as a prelude to being a participant in a discourse to find the desire and the tools to be a part of the solution to the problems created by racism, both on a personal level and systemically.