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Guest Editor

Brenda Marina, Georgia Southern University


Betty Cox, Senior Editor, University of Tennessee at Martin

Young Imm Kang Song, Assistant Editor, Lesley University


This article uses numeric and qualitative data to interrogate the impact of affirmative action policies on shattering glass ceilings and resolving impasse in the academic lives of African Americans. This work takes its trajectory from previous research on glass ceilings (Marina and Fonteneau, 2012). Two brief case studies from both PWIs and HBCUs are mentioned to ponder complex attitudes toward race, gender and power. In extracting meaning from the policies, practices, and cases, it became clear that attitudes toward power and authority are influenced by context, but even more, by an individual’s sense of right and wrong. This work is heavily vested in the African American woman’ s social and professional mobility, the very nature by which African Americans have gained presence in academic environments. This work suggests that affirmative action policies and institutional systems of redress have had little effect on resolving impasse and career gridlock.

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Volume Number

Volume 1

Issue Number

Special Issue

Document Type



Glass ceilings, African American women, Academy, Academia, Race, Class, Gender


Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Gender and Sexuality | Higher Education | Race and Ethnicity

Dismantling Glass Ceilings: Ethical Challenges to Impasse in the Academy