Strategies for Practicing Self-Care from Racial Battle Fatigue

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Stephen John Quaye
Shamika N. Karikari
Courtney Rashad Allen
Wilson Kwamogi Okello
Kiaya Demere Carter


Racial battle fatigue is the exhaustion that People of Color feel from repeated exposure to racism, as well as its negative impact on their emotional, physiological, and psychological health and wellbeing. Although People of Color have engaged in resistance and resilience in the midst of racism, it still takes a toll on their bodies. In this article, we focus specifically on Black student affairs educators, given the racial battle fatigue they navigate working in a helping profession where they are often expected to prioritize students’ needs above their own. Using a narrative methodological approach, we centered the stories of 35 Black student affairs educators across various institutions to identify the strategies they used to practice self-care in the midst of racial battle fatigue, including unplugging from the people and places that caused them harm, building community with other Black educators, caring for their bodies, finding safe spaces, and using counseling. We offer implications for practice for Black student affairs educators and those working to support them in navigating racial battle fatigue.

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