Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Todd Lilly

Second Advisor

Terrance McAdoo


The anti-critical race theory movement began in 2020, propelled by the fear of topics on race and racism overtaking lesson objectives, course content, and class discussion, and, in turn, making some students feel uncomfortable (Duhaney, 2022). Opposition to critical race theory (CRT) and any initiative considered adjacent to the concept, such as the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion, set in motion legislative proposals in nearly every state and enactment in many (Greene, 2022). Anti- CRT regulation of the content and activities teachers can use comes at a time when American student enrollment has never been more diverse (Carrillo, 2022). This research study explored the current tension between distal policymaking that decenters diversity, equity, and inclusion and local efforts to effectively serve diverse student groups. This action research highlighted the perspectives and experiences of three English educators as they reflected on teaching in the era of anti-critical race theory. Findings show that meeting the needs of their students and advancing social justice justify the extra effort they make to maintain diverse, equitable, inclusive curriculum and instruction in their classrooms.


© 2023, Muzical D. Waite