Date of Award

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Urban Education

First Advisor

Aaron Schutz

Second Advisor

Raji Swainathan

Committee Members

Decoteau Irby


black males, boys and men of color, dignity


Through “Shaping a Cooperative Vision for Boys and Men of Color” the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Research Center of Urban Education Leadership Development found that organizations working with boys and men of color need tools to conceptualize and measure their efforts towards creating equity as an outcome and indicator of success. The data collected in this research revealed that organizations attribute aspects of their success to the dignity of the boys and men of color that they serve. However, this “dignity-work” is not accurately measured or evaluated. Successful organizations that attribute upholding the dignity of boys and men of color to their organizational success do not have the tools to provide evidence of their dignity-work. Further, organizations that admit that they need to improve their work with boys and men of color acknowledge the need to understand how their organization can uphold and maintain the dignity of Black males. The purpose of this research project is to understand how human service practitioners understand, conceptualize and develop dignity within their organization to support the Black males that they serve. The findings include how practitioners identified R.A.C.E. through Dignity as a theoretical framework to describe their efforts towards creating equity. Chapter 5 discusses changes to the workshops as informed by the findings.