chapter  5
11 Pages

On Becoming Allies: Opportunities and Challenges in Creating Alliances Between White Women and Women of Color in the Academy: Marquita T. Chamblee

WithMARQUITA T. CHAMBLEE

One other contextual consideration I want to raise that also affects the development of cross-race relationships between White women and women of Color in the academy is the size of the institution for which they work. My work experiences have situated me on large, multi-campus, state “flagship” institutions (over 30,000 students), mid-level state institutions (under 10,000 students), and small private, highly specialized institutions

(under 500 students). Size does matter in terms of availability and quality of relationships. At larger institutions, there is at least the potential for diversity and quantity of people with whom one can develop mentoring, ally, peer, or other relationships, both within and across race. At a smaller school you are somewhat confined to seeking out relationships drawn from a small subset of that group. Regardless of the institutional size, opportunities for isolation or connection, self-containment or collaboration exist for women of Color seeking to work their way up the ranks in academia.