Date of Award



© 2018 Samantha-Rae Dickenson

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Ella Benson

Second Advisor

Bryan Corbin

Third Advisor

Nanette Lee Reynolds


This study explored the connection between society’s perception of Black women and their experiences of racial microaggressions in a work environment, and further understand the effect these experiences have on their work performance. Despite federal regulations to eliminate workplace discrimination, there are still racially neutral workplace policies and a lack of inclusion in work environments. Work environments that do not actively account for diversity in formal policies can promote the occurrence of racial microaggressions. Black women’s unique experiences with racial microaggressions may affect their job performance. This study used Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality Theory, and Black Feminist Theory as a theoretical framework to illustrate the occurrence of racial microaggressions that Black women face in the government sector. The researcher used a phenomenological methodology, including an online questionnaire, structured interviews, and an asynchronous online focus group to explore the experiences of 18 Black women who presently work in the government sector, and acknowledge that racial microaggressions can occur in work settings. According to the results of this study, societal standards can influence the behavior of Black women in a work setting and increase the occurrence of racial microaggressions which negatively affect their emotional views about themselves and their jobs, regardless of her level of education, age, socioeconomic status, type of job. Results also illustrated that educating employees by holding all employees accountable for inappropriate actions and mentorship are effective methods that can help to reduce the occurrence of racial microaggressions in the workplace.


Ed.D. Dissertation