America's empathy deficit [thesis]

Jae M. Williams
This study was designed to examine the on-campus experience of Black male visual and performing arts students at Storytelling University (pseudonym), a predominantly white institution in the Northeast, particularly how those experiences shape their careers as storytellers in mainstream media. The analysis of this research is expressed through a creative format illustrated in an open letter addressing Storytelling University and its role in perpetuating the problem of practice. The inquiry
more » ... the firsthand expression of the researcher's experience as a Black male visual and performing arts student at the research host site almost two decades prior. The open letter uniquely reveals the parallel between the lasting impact of white privilege in American society and how higher education institutions have played a considerable role in the continued underrepresentation, marginalization, and racial disparities of Black male storytellers seen in mainstream media today. This research illuminates the lack of diverse, authentic stories of people of color results from insufficient support of Black students in American higher education systems. It reveals that even in 2021, racism remains systemic in our societal institutions. The study discovered that the Creative Café workshop series could increase a sense of belonging and persistence for visual and performing arts students of color at Storytelling University. Implications for the institution included increased visibility of visual and performing arts students of color, professional development through internship opportunities, and a continued program offering for this demographic.
doi:10.17760/d20439272 fatcat:ihgldkh7urf2xjydd55gnabd7u