Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Communication Studies

First Advisor

Kate G. Willink, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Frank Tuitt

Third Advisor

Miriam Bornstein-Gomez

Fourth Advisor

Bernadette Calafell


Counter narratives, Covert discrimination, Identity, Negotiating difference, Oppression, Social justice


While dominant national P-20 narratives circulate a discourse of the near achievement of racial equity post Brown v. Board of Education, there remains a large gap between the experiences of people of color and the official record of their inclusion and access. Organizational self-analysis of racial disparities in education often attribute undeniable discrimination to the micro-level performances of individuals; claiming micro-aggressions, lack of training, political/personal conflict, or ignorance. When these reasons cannot fully explain gross inequity; organizations turn to society's socio-economic disparities and mirrored racial realities within the country as instructive on the inevitable realities of racism within schools.

A critically missing piece in the binary of this micro/macro analysis is the role of accountability that the culture of organizations have in reprising and maintaining structural elements of discrimination that make certain an outcome of inequality in education. This counter narrative argues that the nature of race based and other institutional discriminations has changed. Now covert, culturally normalized and widely sanctioned, these forms of institutionalized oppressions through its invisible form, have gained propulsion. It's largely undisrupted ascendancy within institutional life hides in the shadows of culture, actively works to deny marginalized people's full expression of their humanity, and work's against their actualization of freedom.

Working to make visible the ethereal constitution of institutional covert discrimination; the voice of this study through literary device attends to the intimate nature of this closed dialogic space, effectively opening up spaces for silenced stories that serve to intimately and graphically expose this phenomenon.

This research conducts itself as critical indigenous inquiry. Epistemologically working from an Afro-Mexican diasporic position; the author/participant asks readers to make metaphorical leaps from the experience of the individual to a more scopic experience of oppressed people. Piercing the veil of whiteness and more traditional to African relational ways of knowing; story is used to ground the reader in the everyday experiences of witnesses who testify to the existence, operation and effect of institutional covert discrimination while strategically integrating instructive theories operating sub- textually.

This work draws on P-20 education as a historically and contemporarily important location to phenomenologically interrogate institutional covert discrimination (ICD). Its broader claim is that ICD is not solely germane to education; rather it is a disease afflicting large sectors of organizational life.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jacquelynn Suzette McDaniel


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

230 p.


Communication, Education