Sister Resisters advances a robust model of mentorship in support of young Black women on campus. The book offers a multifaceted approach to cross-racial mentoring in higher education that promises growth and change for both mentees and their mentors.
Janie Victoria Ward and Tracy L. Robinson-Wood, experts in the developmental and identity challenges of young people of color, provide guidance for the faculty, advisors, and administrators (typically white women) who invest in the success of this historically underserved student group. Through case studies, student narratives, and research findings, the authors document the specific deterrents young Black women face daily on campus, from cultural pressures and class bias to racist and misogynistic microaggressions.
Ward and Robinson-Wood call on campus mentors to increase their own cultural competencies so that they may better support, work with, and advocate for their student mentees. This Sister Resister mentorship model emphasizes the acquisition of cultural knowledge, the power of intersectionality, and the critical role of resistance in the lives of Black (and white) women as they navigate interpersonal and institutional bias and discrimination.
Sister Resisters highlights the dual and interactive developmental processes that transpire in both halves of the mentor–mentee relationship. The book provides anti-racist, consciousness-raising self-assessments, and other growth-enhancing recommendations for women who endeavor to mentor as staunch supporters.
Suggesting evidence-based strategies that promote healthy resistance to negative social and political experiences, Sister Resisters equips both mentors and mentees with thoughtfully designed, culturally informed skills that can further educational, racial, and gender equality on campus.
Janie Victoria Ward is professor emerita in the Departments of Education and Africana Studies at Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a master’s degree in counseling and consulting psychology and a doctorate in human development from Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Ward is a coeditor of Mapping the Moral Domain: A Contribution of Women’s Thinking to Psychological Theory and Research (Harvard University Press, 1988) with Carol Gilligan. With Tracy L. Robinson, Ward coedited a compilation of sixteen autobiographical statements written by African American, Caribbean, and Black Canadian college students entitled Souls Looking Back: Life Stories of Growing Up Black (Routledge, 1999). Ward’s book The Skin We’re In: Teaching Our Children to be Emotionally Strong, Socially Smart and Spiritually Connected (Fireside, 2000) focused on racial socialization in Black families.
For over thirty years, her professional work and research interests have centered on the developmental issues of African American adolescents, focusing on identity and moral development in African American girls and boys. Professor Ward continues to work with youth counselors, secondary school educators, college staff, and other practitioners in a variety of settings.
Dr. Tracy Robinson-Wood is a professor of applied psychology at Northeastern University. Her research explores intersectionality and psychosocial identity. She and her intersectionality research team have examined microaggressions among highly educated BIPOC and White people who identify as LGBTQ, racial socialization messages among adult biracial people, and the psychological impact of viewing videos of interactions between police and civilians. The fifth edition of her textbook The Convergence of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender: Multiple Identities in Counseling was published in 2017.
A native of Sacramento, California, Dr. Robinson-Wood earned her bachelor of arts in psychology and communication arts from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. Her EdM and EdD are in human development and psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Robinson-Wood is a certified EMDR therapist and a licensed clinician both in Massachusetts and in New Hampshire. She resides with her husband, twin daughters, and lovebirds in NH.