The Underground Railroad: Critical Race Theory, Oppression, and the Fight for Equitable Treatment in the North Carolina Healthcare System — A Critical Phenomenological Study

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Leadership for Organizations


Department of Educational Administration


Advisor: Aaliyah Baker


This study was a qualitative participatory action research study that focused on the lived experiences of Black women who received prenatal care and gave birth in the state of North Carolina. The study was meant to investigate and address the racism and implicit biases these women experienced from the medical community they encountered, and the often-unintended consequences of those actions and mindsets. A cohort of Black women who received prenatal care and gave birth in the state of North Carolina was assembled to help provide qualitative data for the study through sharing their lived experiences. The women were interviewed using a peer-to-peer method. The Aaron J. White Foundation (AJWF), a Black owned, 501c(3) non-profit organization, will use this study to help create a comprehensive action plan to offer healthcare and healthy living education and resources to Black women and other marginalized communities in North Carolina. This study will add to the existing body of knowledge and offer replicability to like-minded researchers with similar capacity and resources.


black women, maternal, mortality, critical race theory, racism, healthcare, disparity

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