Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Suha Tamim


Inequity in healthcare has long been understood to be caused by individual and structural racism in the health system. Little progress has been made in diminishing the disparities that exist between Black and African American minoritized populations and the White majority. Cultural competence training in healthcare has focused on surface level differences in ethnicities, including language and religious practices, while ignoring difficult to address topics such as race and racism. This action research study, using a convergent mixed-methods design, attempted to address the gap in knowledge of race and racial structures in healthcare for the faculty in the college of health professions at a medium-sized, private university in New England. Constructs such as diversity, unconscious bias, power, privilege, stereotype construction, and racism were addressed in a series of inservice workshops in order to increase skills in cultural competence. The framework guiding the workshop was an intersection of critical race theory and the pyramid model of intercultural competence. Results indicate a significant change effect in median scores on the Intercultural Development Inventory between the pre and post workshop administration of the instrument. Qualitative data support the findings and highlight robust themes of learning and discovery. Although participants learned a great deal and shifted perspectives in some cases, the overall sentiment is more training is required before teaching the constructs to students. An action plan suggesting additional learning material and concrete next steps are provided.


© 2020, Christina B. Gunther