Date of Award

Summer 9-15-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling & Psychology

First Advisor

Pewei Li

Second Advisor

Susan Gere

Third Advisor

Abdi Ali


This critical qualitative dissertation aimed to highlight the experiences and amplify the voices of Black, public school educators in the Boston metro area. Grounded in critical race theory and further defined by trauma and organizational/systems theories, this study illuminated the historical foundation of education as well as the dehumanizing treatment and resilience of Black Americans. This illumination provided a socio-political context that shaped the development of institutional injustice as well as Black educator well-being. With a specific focus on Black educator experiences with supervisors in public schools, specified methodology allowed for most impactful practice leveraging creativity through artistic means.

Critical qualitative methodology explored data generation through phenomenological interviews, the selection and exploration of visual aids, and video recording. Embodied critical analysis (ECA), a method I developed and coined, included four phases where participants’ beliefs, feelings, and actions were explored as well as school culture and power. Finding Black educator sustainability and thus well-being have been impacted by direct supervisors, intrapersonal, interpersonal, cultural, and institutional levels were explored. Amidst these levels, racial trauma was present and spectrums of health remained highly subjective and non-binary.

Broader themes from findings included that: a) a critical hierarchy of needs for the Black educator must be engaged in order to secure Black educator well-being and holistic sustainability at work, b) individual and community actualization as well as cultural perpetuity are key factors that lead toward self-fulfillment and support a whole-person paradigm grounded in one’s ethnic cultural identity, and c) critical reconstruction or re-imagination of systemic levels are needed to create a conducive environment toward Black educator well-being as well as healthier supervisor relationships. Thus, integrating a multi-dimensional approach to healing where focus on the Black educator, the supervisor, and the organization are interwoven serves as an integral implication for research and practice.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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