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Due to their multiple identities, Black women navigate gendered and racialized pathways to leadership in the US education industry. The journey for Black women in and en route to positions of academic leadership is even more nuanced and multiplicative. Little, though, is known about the effects of their intersecting identities and the structural barriers they encounter in this sphere. To deepen our communal understanding of this phenomenon, this chapter highlights the existing theories and research on the race-gender dyad in the context of academic leadership. Examining the individual and layered effects of race and gender on the professional realities of Black women leaders in higher education, the author spotlights the unique experiences of Black women DEI practitioners and leaders in historically White academic institutions. Given the numerous components at play when Black women lead in predominantly White institutions and settings, this chapter concludes by discussing opportunities to advance relevant research and practice in this arena.


Published in Johnson, N. N. (2023). Intersectionality in Leadership: Spotlighting the Experiences of Black Women DEI Leaders in Historically White Academic Institutions. In T. Johnson (Eds.), The Experiences of Black Women Diversity Practitioners in Historically White Institutions (pp. 213-238). IGI Global.