Date of Conferral







Alice Eichholz


The need for educational leadership to prepare multicultural students for 21st-century careers in a global economy is high; however, there is scant research on the right to culturally relevant education and its potential to foster the dispositions required of individuals and society in this context. Critical race theory, human rights ideals, and distributed leadership theory provided the conceptual framework for this interpretive qualitative study to explore the experiences of those who participate in African-centered arts education and to investigate its possible benefits as a reparative human rights tool. Data were collected from semistructured interviews with 9 former and current members of the Indiana University African American Dance Company’s academic course and performing ensemble. Results from hand coding and thematic analysis indicated that participants identified leadership and shared responsibility for group success as core influences that enhanced their development as artists and global citizens. Participants perceived the dance company as historic, essential to campus and community, and life changing. Social change implications include increased understanding and collaboration across races and cultures through sustained African-centered teaching and learning.