Narrative Ethnographies of Diverse Faculty in Higher Education: “Moral” Multiculturalism among Competing Worldviews

Lynn Wilder, David Sanon, Cecil Carter, Michael Lancellot


Since the Civil Right Movement in the United States, African Americans and other diverse students have forged through “integrated” educational systems to terminal graduate degrees. Some studies suggest racial integration in U. S. schools made White participants less prejudiced toward others, although the data showed that after schooling, many Whites again lived (and still do) in segregated neighborhoods with separation in places of employment, churches, and social groups (Wells, Holme, Revilla, & Atanda, 2004). One diverse participant in this study asked whether, after decades of integration, there has been any real progress, citing excellent educational experiences with all Black teachers within the all Black schools where he grew up. Is it truly progress for diverse students when they are bussed across town to be treated as minorities in mostly White schools? More diverse students do graduate from college; however, the diversity rate of professors is still abysmal. This study reports the contextual experiences of three African American (one an administrator) and one Latina faculty member with decades of experience in the public educational system and as they engaged in the culture of higher education struggling with a moral multiculturalism—whether worldviews (therefore free speech) could be morally determined and whether they as diverse faculty truly belong and are truly respected.


higher education, diverse faculty, multiculturalism, moral, integration, narrative ethnography

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