The Ivory Tower: Perspectives of Women of Color in Higher Education highlights the voices of women of color in academia. When institutions ignore these voices by continuing to overlook the obstacles and experiences of women of color in higher education, they systematically derail their success. Hearing and understanding the firsthand accounts of women of color is a critical component in the recruitment, retention, and success of women of color. This book serves as the platform for allowing women of color to share their narratives. While it is important to acknowledge that women of color in the academe often face the double-jeopardy of race and gender bias, the chapter authors’ personal experiences tout critical themes paramount for responding to these biases. As they rightfully take their place in higher education, these themes include establishing boundaries to promote socio-emotional preservation; recognizing the value of mentorship; becoming resilient during the journey; and acknowledging one’s identity to be your authentic self.
Kimetta R. Hairston, PhD, is the associate vice president for regional centers and online programs at Bowie State University. She received her PhD in curriculum and instruction with an interdisciplinary certificate in diversity and disability studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is an American Council on Education Fellow (2018-2019), mother, grandmother, and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Tawannah G. Allen, EdD, is an associate professor of educational leadership studies in the Stout School of Education at High Point University. Her research focuses on women in leadership and the educational experiences of youths of color in K-12 public schools. She has served as a district level K-12 administrator, is a licensed speech-language pathologist, and earned her doctorate of education in leadership studies at The University of North Carolina.
Linda C. Tillman
Introduction: Empowering Women of Color in Academia
Kimetta R. Hairston and Tawannah G. Allen
Part I: Beginning the Journey in Academia
Chapter 1. Watching and Waiting to Exhale: Affirming Black Women in Academia
Ayanna M. Lynch, Kim Brittingham Barnett, and Makeba T. Green
Chapter 2. From Underdog to Accomplished: Persevering through Unexpected Challenges
Chapter 3. Resilience: A Prideful Term of Perseverance and Descriptor of Unspoken Challenges Endured
Bianca Nixon, Diamond Melendez, and Comfort Boateng
Chapter 4. “Voluntold”: A Framework for Contextualizing Black Women’s Negative Experiences in the Academy
Part II: Advancing Through
Chapter 5. The Work We Must Do: Toward an Understanding of How Early Career Black Women Faculty Navigate Their Place in Higher Education
Miyoshi Juergensen and Tamela C. Thomas
Chapter 6. Lost and Found: A Tale of Two Black Women Seeking Solidarity within Academia
Erica-Brittany Horhn and Sharon Lassiter
Chapter 7. From Clinical to Tenure-Track Faculty: Scholarly Reflections of Teaching and Learning
Part III: Mentorship or Sponsorship
Chapter 8. Engineer or Test Pilot: Naming and Claiming a Successful Mentoring Relationship
Yolanda F. Holt
Chapter 9. The Importance of Developing Effective Mentor-Mentee Relationships in Academia: The Perspectives of Two Women of Color in STEM
Angela D. Broadnax and Verónica A. Segarra
Chapter 10. Bringing in Afrocentric Values to Mentor African American Students
Annie Ruth Leslie
Chapter 11. Latina Identity and Belonging in Academia
Mariela A. Rodríguez
Part IV: Thriving…Not Just Surviving
Chapter 12. I Ain’t Sorry: Establishing Boundaries in the Pursuit of Wholeness with JOY
Chapter 13. No Crystal Stair: Black Women Reaching Landings and Turning Corners in Library and Information Science (LIS)
Shamella Cromartie and Shaundra Walker
Chapter 14. Triple Threat: Thriving as a Black Woman Mathematician
Chapter 15. Getting Published: A Black Woman’s Journey to Tenure and Promotion
Dionne V. McLaughlin
Aminta H. Breaux
About the Editors and Contributors
The Ivory Tower: Perspectives of Women of Color in Higher Education creates needed space for Women of Color in the academy. This rich compilation of experiences is for us and about us and should be required reading for women considering careers in higher education.
The Ivory Tower promises to challenge readers’ ideas about the comforts and privileges of life in higher education. Writing, theorizing, and imagining from the intersections of race and gender, women of color scholars boldly give us permission to expose the hypocrisies of the academy. The collection of voices in this volume promises critique alongside visions of hope and reclamation. Reclaim, sisters!
The Ivory Tower: Perspectives of Women of Color in Higher Education is essential reading for all in the academy. Women scholars of color can use these essays as mentor texts to guide how to navigate the academy. Administrators can use this collection as an impetus to actively work to recruit and retain women scholars of color and support their work through the tenure and promotion process. All in all, this collection of essays by junior and senior faculty of color will illuminate pathways to thrive in the academy.
10/12/22, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education: This book was highlighted as a book of interest to African American scholars.