An equitable educational environment includes the voices of the individuals and the power of their stories. For marginalized people, particularly women of color, surviving school means existing in oppressive environments which require the stealing of knowledge while struggling to obtain an education (Collins, 2002). It is imperative that institutions acknowledge the specific complexities women of color face in the academy (Crenshaw, 2017). This study is designed to make meaning of the journey of Black women doctoral students using counterstories and composite stories to capture and learn from their lived experiences. Through the (re)covery and (re)telling of the stories of Black women, the research amplifies knowledge production by highlighting the perseverance, adaption, and resilience of these scholars. This work is revolutionary and the act of doing such work is subversive, difficult, and dangerous (Dillard, 2012). To subscribe to this change; institutions should work toward the inclusion of new voices, ideas, paradigms, and frameworks (Nieto, 2000). As the work of social justice and equity is (re)framed, institutions and dominant cultures need to remain clear that cultural relevance and the treatment of marginalized populations is at the center of these critical conversations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Women doctoral students; College students, Black; Inclusive education

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Ebony Cain