Date of Award


Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Rebecca Stephenson

Second Advisor

Lauren Casella

Third Advisor

Brandi Odom Lucas


Conversations regarding racial equity are uncomfortable for many Catholic school leaders. This is due to a lack of clarity between Catholic social teaching (CST) and its implementation regarding racial justice among Catholic schools. This necessitates coherent guidance to address systemic racism in Catholic education which responds to the need for greater equity, inclusion, and antiracism in its Catholic schools. The purpose of this study was to work with Black Catholic school leaders to understand how they operationalize antiracism in their leadership practice. To understand this paradigm, this study addressed two research questions: (1) How do Black leaders experience their role as Catholic school principals? (2) What roadblocks do Black principals encounter in their practice? Through a series of journal entries and semi structured interviews data were collected and interpreted through a critical race methodology. This resulted in two main findings. First, the data indicated intimate school leadership and culturally responsive school leadership as an operationalization of CST in Catholic school. Second, that racism was a key deterrent to CST implementation. The research findings suggested that an authentic commitment to Catholic schools serving the Black community requires intimate school leadership among leaders in positions of governance as modeled by the participating Black Catholic school leaders of the study.