In my final year of undergraduate studies at Brown University, I completed an honors thesis that examined the K-12 educational experiences of Black undergraduate women to better inform education policy. Much of education literature on Black girls highlights disciplinary policies, disparate outcomes, or the influence of educators on their experience. Yet, there is less of a focus on how Black women in higher education conceptualize their K-12 school experiences, which may offer further insight to practices that hinder or aid in positive school experiences for Black girls. Using semi-structured interviews as a qualitative research method, this thesis explored the narratives of nine Black undergraduate women reflecting on their K-12 educational experience. Through an iterative inductive coding process, four themes emerged marking their common experiences: security in school environment, navigation of identity, structures of support, and quality of educator relationships & instruction. The findings highlight the permeation of antiblackness in educational environments, as well as how the women learn to navigate spaces and events as a result of their identity. The results also revealed how certain practices affirm Black girls and improve their educational landscape. I hope my findings contribute to comprehensive understandings of Black girls and transforms policy to create learning environments that are conducive to Black girl identities.
What I Can Do
Through my year long project, I advanced research and writing skills that are transferable to any career space. With the broad application of my skills, I am prepared and empowered to critically think and resolve complex problems in the workplace. As a professional, I look forward to the myriad of ways I can put my skills into practice and produce quality work.