Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Education PhD, Joint with San Diego State University


School of Educational Studies

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Deborah Faye Carter

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Eligio Martinez

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Linda Perkins

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2020 Matthew Smith


Black males, Higher education, Intergroup relationships, Latino males, Men of color, Peer relationships

Subject Categories

Higher Education


Heightened competition between racial groups, coupled with negative perceptions of one another, has led to increased conflict between people of color in urban communities. Often at the center of conflicts are men of color. Despite vast research studying experiences of men of color, very little research has explored how men of color build relationships across racial differences. This study examines how Black and Latino males in a Male of Color Initiative (MCI) at a public 4-year university developed intergroup relationships across racial differences. This study used a phenomenological approach consisting of in-depth interviews with current and former participants in MCIs. The findings revealed that many of the participants were socialized to fear and distrust outgroup males. As a result, the majority of participants did not have meaningful relationships with outgroup males. Additionally, evidence suggested that the MCI helped develop intergroup relationships by creating space for men of color to heal from traumatic experiences, which allowed them to be vulnerable and connect in meaningful ways. The men in this study described intergroup relationships as expanding their support network and helping them to imagine new possibilities for their community. As a result, the participants were inspired to improve Black and Latino relationships in their community. This study can help educators develop transformative MCIs, improve coalition-building, and enhance the educational experiences of men of color.