By drawing on disability critical race theory — an emerging theoretical framework that analyzes the interrelations between racism and ableism, both of which are understood as social constructs rooted in dominant notions of normalcy where deviations from White, middle-class, able-bodied norms are viewed as socially subordinate identities — this article evaluates how these social markers have been used to justify the exclusion of Black male students with disabilities from the dominant White, middle-class, able-bodied students in the classroom.

Barker, M. (2011). Racial context, currency and connections: Black doctoral student and white advisor perspectives on cross-race advising. Innovations in Education & Teaching International, 48(4), 387-400

Using interviews with 14 pairs of Black doctoral students at a research-intensive predominantly White institution in the American South and their White faculty advisors, this article seeks to explore the dynamics involved in cross-race advising relationships. The author found that teachers and students who shared a similar understanding of American history were more likely to have positive cross-cultural interactions. Moreover, where students were more likely to see their race as being a liability, faculty participants were more positive. Barker suggests that this is because teaching staff are in a place of privilege and power where they have the option to promote diversity or be seen as someone who ‘pushes’ diversity through action or representation. Finally, students and faculty agreed that same-race connections were essential but these could be peers, mentors or other faculty rather than the faculty advisor.

Basow, S. A., Codos, S., & Martin, J. L. (2013). The Effects of Professors’ Race and Gender on Student Evaluations and Performance. College Student Journal, 47(2), 352–363.

Although student ratings of educators in HE have increasingly been used to inform personnel decisions related to hiring, promotion, and salaries across the U.S., there is tremendous uncertainty about whether these evaluations can tell us anything about teaching effectiveness rather than more subjective variables, such as bias or ‘liking’. Student evaluation literature has tended to examine gender more than race, in part, because non-White professors continue to be a small minority of teaching staff. Looking at 300 student ratings using online simulations, the authors found students rated African American professors higher than White professors on several teaching dimensions but students who had African American professors performed more poorly on quizzes than they did with their White professors. As such, the authors suggest that quiz performance may be the better measure of student reactions to professors’ race and gender because their biases were more visible in terms of whether or not they actually listened to their teachers and retained the information provided.

Bragg, D., McCambly, H., & Durham, B. (2016). Catching the Spark: Student Activism and Student Data as a Catalyst for Systemic Transformation. Change, 48(3), 36–47.

As they’ve expressed their concerns and outrage in response to racist hostilities on campuses across the U.S., students of color have shown how greater access to educational opportunities have not had the positive outcomes their respective institutions advertised. With the aim to better understand the impact of diversity policies on students’ experiences, this paper offers results from the Pathway to Results initiative — a project that examined 48 community colleagues in Illinois. The authors found 4 key challenges that persist to inhibit progress in making HE more equitable: (1) a general failure to recognise that social inequalities within the HE context are real and that practitioners are key to change; (2) inaccessibility to meaningful and useful data on student demographics; (3) a disconnection between practitioner decisions and students’ experiences; and (4) lack of institutional commitment to move innovations for equity from pilot to scale.

This article seeks to explore how students’ pre-college racial environments shape their diversity experiences in third-level education. As almost all of the largest cities in the US have predominantly minority school districts surrounded by overwhelmingly White suburban school districts, segregation remains to be a pervasive issue that can have significant policy implications. For instance, schools with increasingly concentrated minority student populations are among the most under-resourced and most neglected in the country. Moreover, many students will enter into HE with little to no experiences with racially or ethnically diverse peers. Using survey data, this study looks at how pre-college environments and experiences shape diversity outcomes; and how the diversity experience can serve to interrupt the cycle of segregation. However, it is important that HE institutions are more structurally diverse and foster more diverse curricular and co-curricular activities for these impacts to be effective.