Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Proweller, Amira

Second Advisor

Monkman, Karen

Third Advisor

Hall, Horace


This dissertation proposes a further conceptualization of intersectional identity as a fundamental topic in education reform research. Overlaying the theoretical lenses of Critical Race Theory and intersectionality, a modified narrative inquiry methodology was used to investigate the self-perceived identities among seven women of color, who are alumnae of an all-girls secondary school, in their current context of higher education. Analysis of data from in-depth, open-ended interviews, a focus group interview, and a fictional writing sample illuminated the role of meaning-making capacity in determining the extent to which contextual influences shape self-perceptions of gender, race, and other emergent identities at their intersection. This study explored the meaning-making capacity of its participants and the implicit frameworks of understanding around intersecting identities, revealing epistemic accounts that can help address the relationship between knowledge, power, and political change. Implications for research, education, and practice are discussed.