The Growing Knowledge Series (GKS) creates a pathway for those who have completed their dissertation, but never published, to share their scholarship with the profession through a hosted webinar. This collaborative effort of our three Communities of Practice is positioned to benefit practitioners and scholars alike, creating a space to share new knowledge frequently left on the shelf. Join Dr. Michael Daniels, Director of the E. Timothy Moore Student Multicultural Center at Kent State University, as he explores the experiences of undergraduate Black men in formal leadership roles at predominantly White institutions.

The purpose of this constructivist grounded theory study was to explore the experiences of undergraduate Black men in formal leadership roles at predominantly White institutions to understand their leader identity development process. As a result of studying these students’ experiences the intended outcome of this study was a leader identity development theory for Black men. The following research questions guided this study: (1) What is the process of leader identity development for undergraduate Black men? (2) What experiences have contributed to the leader identity development of undergraduate Black men? (3) How do formal leadership roles contribute to the leader identity development of undergraduate Black men?

Students attending institutions of higher education believe being involved and engaged in significant ways is valuable. However, higher education administrators’ and practitioners’ failure to properly support students’ development seems counter-intuitive to the fundamental purpose of student affairs. Many institutional missions highlight an espoused value of developing students into leaders and many of those leadership experiences tend to happen within co-curricular spaces. As it relates to leadership development, institutions often reference or utilize key theories of leadership development that do not center the experiences Black men. This lack of representation of Black men within the leadership theory projected onto Black men can lead to these students feeling dissonance with their leader identities, specifically related to the accepted behaviors and values of leaders. A formal theory provides adequate support for Black men and without the theory, the result is poor experiences for Black men in formal leadership roles which deters more Black men from seeking leadership positions (Hotchkins & Dancy, 2015a). Less Black men seeking leadership positions aids the cycle less representation of Black men in these roles to conduct research studies to help solve this problem (Harper & Quaye, 2007).

With consideration of how valuable formal theory is to a person’s leadership development, I recognized how pertinent a grounded theory study is in producing a theory that Black men can use in understanding their own self-image reflected in a formal theory. In addition to providing a useful tool for affirming Black men’s experiences and supporting their authentic leader identity development, this formal theory is helpful for higher education. Student affairs practitioners will benefit from having a leader identity development theory that considers and supports the process for Black men’s leader identity development. This model gives practitioners guidance on how to support the Black men at PWIs in their leader identity development. This theory also gives theoretical support to researchers in how to understand Black men at PWIs beyond their academic achievement and general social engagement.

Registration Fees:

$10 for ACPA Individual Members

$10 for ACPA Chapter Only Members

$10 for Non-Members

ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies:

Leadership; Social Justice and Inclusion

Presenter: Dr. Michael Daniels, Director, E. Timothy Moore Student Multicultural Center, Kent State University

ACPA Growing Knowledge Series-Leader Identity Development of Black Men: A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study

  • Tuesday May 07 2024, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM