Date of Award

6-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Black women community organizers have always been foundational to movements for transformational justice. However, their voices and perspectives have often been ignored, oppressed, and co-opted. I aim to understand their perspectives on the work of community organizing, where conflicts arise, and exploring how they balance transformational work with urgent needs of communities. Using community based research practices to identify the complex issue of defining and understanding community organizing, qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, and lastly, auto ethnographic reflections on my own journey to becoming a Black woman community organizer. Through these methods, I came to understand how Black women organizers define their work in community as being in a supportive role and bringing people together into a collective to work toward change. I came to better understand how these women’s racial and gender identities strengthen their community work and that transformational work is highly interconnected with direct service. The goal of this research is to highlight Black women’s perspectives and leadership as it is vital to community organizing work for transformational justice.

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