Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy


Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Education


College of Education


Shelley Zion, Ph.D. & Sarah Ferguson, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Brianne Morettini, Ph.D.


Black girls, Rural communities, School climate


Race discrimination; Public schools--New Jersey


Elementary Education | Secondary Education


Local and national context, along with some educational research, indicate the racialized and gendered challenges Black girls are facing in schools. Although there has been an increase in research centered on Black girls' schooling experiences, few studies investigate the realities Black girls face in rural communities. Accordingly, the aim of this three-article dissertation is to deepen our understanding of Black girls' schooling experiences in order to improve the climate in schools for Black girls in predominantly white, rural communities. The first article is a conceptual paper that unpacks the four tenets of critical race quantitative intersectionality (CRQI). The second article is a quantitative study that operationalizes CRQI to examine Black girls' perceptions of climate. The third article is a qualitative study that centers the voices of Black girls to share solutions for improving the relationship between Black girls and schools in rural communities. Mental health and bullying are areas where both articles align indicating experiential and practical significance for Black girls. Conversely, discipline was an area where both articles diverge. According to the EDSCLS, Black girls' perceptions of discipline, on average, are favorable. However, the qualitative study revealed the challenges Black girls faced with the enforcement of dress code policies. Based on the overall findings from this study, policy and practice recommendations are offered.