In February, 2020, the Black First-gen Collective published Black First-generation College Students Matter: A Call to Action. This document provides an intentional focus on the unique experiences of Black first-generation college students will only bring nuance to existing research and university praxis.

This page is dedicated to the incredible work led by the Black First-gen Collective and supported by the Center.


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Mission Statement

Despite the narratives and mainstream popularity of multiple notable first-generation college graduates, such as Michelle Obama, and the increased focus on first-generation college students at institutions nationally, there is little scholarship on Black first-generation college students. In fact, as of this writing, we found fewer than 10 published articles on this population since 2008.1 In response to the dearth of information and targeted resources, the mission of the Black First-Gen Collective is to support, study and disseminate intentional research, praxis and policy that specifically explores, interrogates, unpacks and disaggregates the unique experiences of Black first-generation undergraduate and graduate or professional school students.

We intend to address this literature gap by doing the following:

  • Collecting qualitative and quantitative data on Black first-generation college students and the programs that support them.
  • Summarizing and analyzing pre-existing data on this population and the programs that support them.
  • Disseminating findings via reports, presentations, and journal articles.

We invite scholars, practitioners and stakeholders who are invested in the success of Black first-generation undergraduate and graduate or professional school students to join the movement. This group is open to anyone and all regardless of race or ethnicity. Feel free to include any additional sources to this evolving bibliography.

1These include: Field, K. (2019). This Woman Goes Door to Door to Steer Students to College. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 25; Liversage, L., Naudé L. & A. (2018). Vectors of identity development during the first year: black first-generation students’ reflections, Teaching in Higher Education, 23(1), 63; Owens, D., Lacey, K., Rawls, G., & Holbert-Quince, J. A. (2011). First-generation African American male college students: Implications for career counselors. The Career Development Quarterly, 58(4), 291-300; Parks-Yancy, R. (2012). Interactions into opportunities: Career management for low-income, first-generation African American college students. Journal of College Student Development, 53(4), 510-523; Wilkins, A.C., (2014). Race, Age, and Identity Transformations in the Transition from High School to College for Black and First-generation White Men, Sociology of Education,87(3), 171-187, Jul.

Steering Committee

Selena Blair, Ed.D.

Rogers-Ingram Vice President for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Presbyterian College

Eve Hudson Headshot
Evingerlean D. Blakney, Ph.D.

Co-chair; President and CEO, Evingerlean Worldwide, Inc.

Ashley C. Bodie Headshot
Ashley C. Bodie

Assistant Director for Exploration & Experiential Learning, Davidson College

Shakima M. Clency Headshot
Shakima M. Clency, Ph.D.

National Director of Campus Partnerships and Student Success, Kessler Scholars Collaborative

Bianca D. Evans Headshot
Bianca D. Evans, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Recruitment and Retention, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida

Ciera Graham-Graves Headshot
Ciera Graham-Graves, Ph.D.

K-12 Manager, Department of Education & Early Learning, City of Seattle

Karen Jackson Headshot
Karen Jackson, Ed.D.

Associate Dean for Advising Programs, Georgia Gwinnett College

Tracie Lowe, Ph.D.

Dean of Student Success Research, Dallas College

Dekendrick G. Murray Headshot
Dekendrick G. Murray

Executive Director for Student Access & Success, North Carolina Central University

Trent Rodgers Headshot
Trent Rodgers

Career and Community Leadership Coordinator, Leadership Public Schools

Tommie L. Smith Headshot
Tommie L. Smith

Director of Student Success and Graduate Opportunities for the BUILD and U-Rise Programs, University of Detroit Mercy

James Stukes, Ed.D

Assistant Dean of Student Success & College Access, Wofford College

Bio: James K. Winfield
James Winfield, Ed.D.

Co-chair; Associate Dean, Global Campus First-Year Experience, General Education, and Retention Strategies, Southern New Hampshire University


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Get Involved

We invite scholars, practitioners, and stakeholders who are invested in the success of Black first-generation undergraduate and graduate or professional school students to join the movement by joining our mailling list below. Please note that this group is open to anyone and all regardless of race or ethnicity.

For more information, please email us at [email protected].