Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award

Fall 1-5-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Cirleen DeBlaere

Second Advisor

Catherine Chang

Third Advisor

Tamara D'Anjou-Turner

Fourth Advisor

Christina Hemphill Fuller


Environmental racism, or the disproportionate burden of environmental toxins in racially marginalized communities (Chavis, 1994), has been associated with poor mental health and wellbeing (e.g., Power et al., 2015). Though recent evidence has demonstrated that Black Americans are exposed to environmental toxins at higher rates than other racial groups (Mikati, 2018; Pinto de Moura & Reichmuth, 2019), the specific challenges that environmental racism pose specifically for Black women are understudied. Historically, Black American women have strategized and labored to bring about environmental equity and justice in their communities, and to facilitate social change (Collins, 2009; Simpson, 2011). However, inquiries into the impact of their resistance to environmental racism on their mental health are largely absent within psychological literature, as are examinations of the psychological costs and benefits of such resistance. To address this deficit in the literature, and grounded in both Black Feminist and Black Feminist Ecological frameworks, the present study seeks to examine Black women’s perspectives on the ramifications of their resistance to environmental racism in their communities on their mental health and wellbeing, as well as that of their family and community members.


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