Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Eleni Roulis, Jean-Pierre Bongila, Cesar Augusto Rossatto


Older Adults are a rapidly growing population in the United States and in the state of Minnesota (Passel & Cohn, 2008, Minnesota Department of Human Services, 2018). African Americans as well as other minority groups experience race, socioeconomic status, and health disparity issues found to be “large, pervasive, and persistent over time” (Williams, Mohammed, Leavell & Collings, 2010, p. 93). This study asks three questions to learn about the lived experiences of African American Older Adults residing in a large Minneapolis nursing facility: How they experience life in the nursing facility; what elements of racial disparities exist in the facility as they experience them, and how staff/administrator perceive such racial disparities. In-depth interviews, participant observations and research of facility were sources of data.

Answers revealed that: Seven out of the ten interviewees moved North to avoid segregation and seek a better life for themselves and their families. Each African American resident participant grew up under segregation surrounded by loving adults who buffered them from their suffering and providing solidarity in their shared experiences of dehumanization. The African American resident participants exhibited strength, resilience, pride, joy and triumph as they examined their lived experiences and took stock that they have indeed overcome obstacles.

It is recommended that staff and administrators explore training in understanding disparities, inequities, and structural racism to be better prepared to welcome diverse residents, and to better match residents’ wants and preferences. Inviting resident participants’ voices into the administration of the nursing facility and listening to their opinions, suggestions and ideas for improvement of the quality of their experiences in the facility, could help add to their quality of life, provide opportunities for their voices to be heard both inside and outside the facilities in the community where it is located.


aging, African American, nursing facilities, disparities

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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