Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Deb DeMesster, Stephen Brookfield, Sharon Radd


This qualitative study, written as a Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN), explores how experiences of difference, stigma, marginalization, and loss resulted in an evolving social justice identity further shaped by resilience and hegemony. Living in a family defined by mental illness and poverty, the narrative arc of the SPN explores how this scholar learned and lived resilience, ultimately resulting in a passion for social justice. The discovery of hegemonic norms at play ultimately opened new understandings, which evoked healing, joy, and a desire to build classrooms where students can claim the power of their own stories. This study recommends the need to extend social justice beyond the walls of academia as a way to cultivate environments that honor the lived experiences of all people while also challenging hegemonic norms that oppress and marginalize. It further recommends using other theoretical lenses beyond the risk resilience binary as a way to disrupt the overcoming narrative while challenging deficit thinking so prevalent in how we frame our lives and make meaning of our experiences.


resilience, stigma, hegemony, social justice

Creative Commons License

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

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