Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-31-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Sherilyn W. Poole

Committee Member

Daniel W. Turner, III


Intersectionality, critical race theory, student affairs, black professionals, higher education, millennial


This applied dissertation was designed to further understand the lived experiences of Black millennial student affairs professionals navigating and advancing through a predominately white institution in the southern United States. This phenomenological study, framed by critical race theory and intersectionality, sought to ultimately use these lived experiences to advocate for change. A review of the literature highlighted the needs, values, and experiences of Black Millennials based on both identities, the experiences of working in student affairs/higher education with these experiences, and the need for intentional diversity efforts by higher educational institutions.

The researcher interviewed nine participants to learn more about their lived experiences as being members of the Millennial generational cohort and identifying as Black. Using a modified version of the Hobbs (2017) questionnaire, the principal investigator framed the study in using one of the tenets of CRT and intersectionality to learn more about the lived experiences. The interviews were conducted virtually and transcribed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Data analysis yielded five themes that helped to amplify the unheard Black millennial voice and to bring visibility to their experiences as presented by Allen (2019) and Wilson (2019). The story presented through the findings served as a beginning for conversations to be had by higher education leaders for effective institutional changes to accommodate a diversifying stakeholder population.