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 college 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 college students to join the movement. This group is open to anyone and all regardless of race or ethnicity.

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

Danette Buie Headshot
Danette Buie, Ed.D.

Sr. Program Manager, Coursera

Althea Counts headshot
Althea Counts, M.Ed.

Director, TRIO Programs, University of South Carolina

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

The First-Gen Lounge,

Nataria Joseph Headshot
Nataria T. Joseph, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Pepperdine University

Kaye Monk-Morgan 2020 Headshot
V. Kaye Monk-Morgan, M.P.A.

Interim Vice President for Regional Engagement and Economic Development, Wichita State University

Symone Morales Headshot
Symone Morales, M.Ed.

Director, FLI Office, Stanford University

Kelley O'Neal 2020 Headshot
Kelley O'Neal, M.Ed.

Director, Byrne Student Success Center, Texas A&M University

Yolanda Norman Headshot
Yolanda Norman, Ed.D.

CEO, FirstGenCollege Consulting; Assistant Director, Engineering Career Center, University of Houston

La'Tonya Rease Miles 2020 Headshot
La’Tonya Rease Miles, Ph.D

Director, First Year Experience, University of California, Los Angeles

Charmaine Troy Headshot
Charmaine Troy, Ph.D.

Program Director for First-Generation Student Support, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Kimberly Walker Headshot
Kimberly Walker, Ph.D.

Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Compliance, University of South Carolina Upstate

James Winfield Headshot
James Winfield, M.Ed.

Director, Student Retention, Benedict College


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Contact Us

To learn more about the Black First-gen Collective and to get involved, please email BlackFirstGens@gmail.com.