Alumna Dissertation Illustrates Interpersonal Capacities that Support Constructive Racial Dialogue

Founder of Paradox Cross-Cultural Consulting, Training and Empowerment, LLC and PhD in Leadership and Change alumna Dr. Cherie Bridges Patrick has published her dissertation entitled Navigating the Silences: Social Worker Discourses Around Race. This study explores social worker discourses to learn what they could reveal about professional workplace practices and experiences with race and racism. The research traces the subtle and elusive racism often found in everyday professional conversations that are not considered racist by dominant consensus. Findings suggest the presence of subtle and nuanced racism and whiteness in social worker discourses working in tandem to produce dynamics that preserve hegemonic structures and support dominant status. Inferences from the dissertation’s focus group discourse illustrated four interpersonal capacities that support constructive racial dialogue and reveal vastly different racial experiences between Black, biracial, and White social workers in their professional settings.