The American Council on Education (2012) made a commitment to diversity in education, but it has not upheld the commitment by supporting learners at all levels. This roundtable will present findings from a doctoral study about Black doctoral student fathers and their transformative learning experiences throughout their doctoral journey. By combining the individual transformative learning and critical race theory, the participants could make sense of their challenges, barriers, and successes. CRT provided a broader frame work to share topics of social, political, and economic factors that often challenges the progress of Black fathers (Lemmons & Johnson, 2019). By combining both transformative learning and CRT, the experiences of Black fathers in doctoral programs could be more deeply understood.
Key findings included, 1) understanding the Black father narrative; 2) acknowledging racism within higher education; 3) managing multiple roles (father, spouse, student, worker); and 4) preparing for the future self as Black male scholar/doctor. The participants also highlighted the need for critical praxis research not only on Black doctoral students as well as Black doctoral student fathers. They recognized systemic racism, lack of support, and the effects of their own mental health on their process and success in the doctoral program.