Date of Award


Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Karen Huchting

Second Advisor

William D. Parham

Third Advisor

Queen Peterson


Since the summer of 2020, following the execution of Mr. George Floyd, many institutions of higher education established or strengthened their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In attempting to create more equitable, diverse, inclusive, and antiracist campuses to foster student success and belonging on campus, another inequity is born. Higher education institutions have failed to center the wellbeing of educators tasked with leading these efforts. This qualitative study used semistructured interviews with 10 Black women leading DEI efforts throughout the California Community College system to explore the impact of racialized stress and trauma on holistic wellbeing. Central questions guided this study: 1) How does racialized stress and trauma impact the wellbeing of Black women community college educators? 2) What are the most common sources of racialized stress and trauma experienced by Black women community college educators? and 3) What coping and healing strategies do Black women community college educators currently leverage to address racialized workplace stressors and trauma? Findings indicate racialized stress and trauma in the workplace negatively impact the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of Black women leading diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. DEI leaders may encounter equity scapegoating and the stigma of equity in their work. On the other hand, Black women leverage many coping mechanisms to buffer the effects of racialized stressors. This study xi supports the need for practitioners and leaders to address systemic issues of racism through critical self-reflection, critical actions, and building sustainable support for DEI leaders.