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Date of Award

Summer 2023

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)


Educational Leadership



First Advisor

M. Billye Sankofa Waters


Public education in the United States offers disparate outcomes that negatively impact Black children. Leaders who go against the norms and create spaces where Black children thrive face professional and personal challenges. Yet educators still do this work, employing strategies to protect their work and themselves. This study explores how educational leaders describe their experiences in creating and sustaining high-quality educational environments for Black students through the lens of Critical Race Theory. Nine participants, including the author, describe their backgrounds, their entry into the field of education, their professional and personal challenges, and the strategies they have used to persist in their work. Thematic analysis was performed on the resulting data to identify common challenges and strategies.