Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Muninder Kaur Ahluwalia

Committee Member

Matthew Shurts

Committee Member

Angela I. Sheely-Moore

Committee Member

Milton Fuentes


Race-based cultural centers (e.g., Black Cultural Centers) were established on college campuses in the 1960s in response to the neglect experienced by Black students (Chessman & Wayt, 2016; Gorski, 2019; Gorski & Chen, 2015; Hurtado et al., 1998; Joseph & Hirshfield, 2011; Smith, 2008). During the multiculturalism movement of the 1980s, some institutions eliminated race- based cultural centers and established Minority Student Services (MSS) to support all historically marginalized students under a centralized center (Patton, 2011; Patton & Hannon, 2008). Since the establishment of these cultural centers, scholars reported that directors experienced institutional roadblocks (e.g., lack of funding) and resistance from faculty, staff, and students (Harris & Patton, 2017; Hypolite, 2022a; Jenkins, 2016; Marcy, 2004; Patton et al., 2019; Reid & Ebede, 2018; Stewart & Bridges, 2011). However, the presented scholarship continued to focus on single race-based cultural centers. Therefore, the goal of this dissertation study was to understand the lived experiences of multicultural center directors of color. A total of 16 multicultural centers directors completed interviews, and data were analyzed through Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Theory of Racial Tasks (TRT). Findings suggest that multicultural center directors of color are hired by institutions of higher education to carry out racial tasks. As a result, employee inequities in higher education remain. Implications for counselor education programs, senior administrators, and researchers are provided.

File Format


Available for download on Wednesday, May 29, 2024