Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Anti-racism, Civil rights workers-United States-Psychology, Whites-United States-Attitudes, Motivation (Psychology), Racism, White people


The purpose of this study was to explore the question: What motivates White people in doing antiracism work? The research was a qualitative study with a sample of 12 participants who self-identified as White clinicians or teachers and as engaging in antiracism work. Participants reflected on their motivations for entering and staying engaged in antiracism work during in-person or phone interviews. The findings of this study offer insight into the many factors of motivation of White people involved in antiracism work as well as what support structures sustain long-term action and engagement. Nearly all participants spoke about personal benefits from the work and the presence of supportive personal relationships as an important factor in maintaining engagement in antiracism work. Through the experiences of these teachers and clinicians, I hope to highlight important components of motivation for White clinicians engaging in antiracism work.




iii, 72 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 61-65)