Brittney Pemberton

The white supremacist norms of academia perpetuate policies and practices that center individualism and competition as measures of success. For Black women academics, systemic discrimination on account of racism and sexism results in increased levels of stress producing negative effects on their health and wellbeing. While data suggests that access to supportive relationships correlates to healthier outcomes, research has not fully explored the role that intimate relationships (e.g., friends, family, romantic partnerships) play in Black women academics’ work/health (im)balance. Brittney’s research suggests that intimate relationships can be crucial for wellbeing. By calling attention to systemic barriers that affect the wellbeing and success of Black women in academia, Brittney aims to address the misrepresentation and dehumanization of Black women in higher education such that their emotional and physical wellbeing can be fully included in explorations of their success.

As the eldest daughter of Caribbean immigrants, Brittney’s navigation through academic spaces has been a difficult yet rewarding experience. Relationships have been crucial to fostering success, informing her interest in rejecting exploitative academic norms to uncover success and wellbeing as simultaneous goals for Black women.


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