Working Against Gender-Based Violence in the American South: An Analysis of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality in Advocacy

Ebru Cayir, Mindi Spencer, Deborah Billings, De Anne K. Hilfinger Messias, Alyssa Robillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Non-profit organizations that address gender-based violence must create diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplaces for advocates so that they can adequately serve diverse survivors. Despite recent efforts, differential treatment and high turnover among minority advocates continue. Further strategies to eliminate discriminative organizational practices are needed. We interviewed 25 advocates employed by non-profit organizations in a Southeastern state to examine how race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality shape their work experiences. Guided by constructivist grounded theory and intersectionality, data analysis yielded four major themes that covered white dominance in advocacy, essentialized womanhood and heteronormativity, serving communities of color, working in the Deep South. Patriarchal values, religious norms, and gender roles influenced how advocates’ work was received by the communities. Racial/ethnic minority, and sexual and/or gender minority advocates faced discrimination, tokenism, and negative stereotypes. Transforming organizational climate and policies is necessary to support minority advocates’ work engagement and ability to serve marginalized communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2454-2469
Number of pages16
JournalQualitative Health Research
Volume31
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • American South
  • advocacy
  • constructivist grounded theory
  • ethnicity
  • gender
  • gender-based violence
  • intersectionality
  • non-profit organizations
  • organizational climate
  • race
  • sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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