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Race, Gender, and Computer Science

The Exploration of How Identity Intersectionality Strengthens STEM Identity for Black

Female Undergraduates Attending a Historically Black College and University (HBCU)

Smith, Boakye, Williams, and Fleming analyze a report that speaks to the impact of attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on the STEM identities of Black female undergrads. This report illuminates what changes we can make at NYU to help improve the STEM identities of our Black STEM students. An interesting element of this study is how the quantitative data and qualitative data tell two different stories regarding the impact of HBCUs on the STEM development of students. The qualitative data stresses the positive impacts of attending an HBCU on the professional development of Black female STEM students, but the quantitative data suggests otherwise. This data suggests that a feeling of racial security is incredibly important to students, even if the gendered dimensions of the inequality they face as female STEM students are not adequately addressed. This report highlights the importance of both racial and gender inclusion everywhere, but especially in the classroom, to enhance confidence in STEM identities for Black women. Read the full report here.

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