First Advisor

Christopher Borgmeier

Term of Graduation

Summer 2023

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Special and Counselor Education


Special Education




Colorblindness, Critical Consciousness, Equity, Leadership, Phenomenology, White Practitioners



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 247 pages)


This interpretive phenomenological study aims to understand the lived experience of White educational decision-makers (EDMs) as they make equitable decisions for racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse (RCLD) students. Six decades after the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education, the landscape of American education changed. Many scholars theorized the impact of colorblindness in decision-making and the connection to disproportionate outcomes for RCLD students.

The Student Success Act (2019) brings an additional $1 billion in investment to schools in Oregon annually. This allocation of school resources required an initial and ongoing community engagement process to ensure funding supports well-rounded education centered on those historically underserved. As districts try to make equitable decisions about using these funds, the context of our collective human experience has changed. Our world is fundamentally different amid a global pandemic and social and racial unrest. School communities were left to make sense of this new world as students and staff returned to school impacted by trauma.

This study occurred in a midsized school district in Oregon, where 84% of the educators are White, and RCLD students comprise 46% of the student body. The district’s commitment to equity through culturally and community-responsive decision-making and actions has a chance to see its impact in this historic investment in Oregon’s educational system. We can learn from the impact of colorblindness in decision-making and holistically serve RCLD students centering on racial consciousness. This study will contribute to current research by making the essence of leading for equity tangible.


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