Shedana Hayes-Agent, Ed.D., is a 2024 graduate of the Ed.D. program in Educational and Professional Practice at Antioch University.

Dr. Shedana Hayes-Agent

Committee Members:

  • Emiliano Gonzalez, PhD, Chairperson
  • Lesley Jackson, PhD, Committee Member
  • Gary Delanoeye, EdD, Committee Member


racial trauma, race-based trauma, racial stress, racial discrimination, mental health, racism

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Racial trauma is deeply institutionalized within our educational system because of the primary focus on the dominant Western society ideology of culture, language, literacy, and academic standards. Due to minimum recognition in the mental health field or the education arena, the effects of such trauma are profound. They can account for social and behavioral dysfunctions seen in high school adolescent students of color as well as low academic achievement. The phenomenon of racial trauma in society is deeply tragic, with historical roots that pervade public high school campuses and classrooms. The premise of this research was founded on White dominance and privilege. Today, the effects of racial trauma have become dominantly prevalent and still trickle into the personal and academic lives of high school students of color. This study aims to understand the problem through the eyes and lived experiences of high school students of color. The overarching research question is: How does racial trauma impact the mental health of high school students of color? Individual interviews and narrative inquiry were used to encapsulate and validate the issues of racial trauma and its impact on students of color’s mental health. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (


ORCID No.: 0009-0007-8838-5353


Dr. Shedana Hayes-Agent, an educator with a wealth of experience, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Growth & Development/Psychology, Counseling from Sojourner Douglas College, a Master of Arts in Education with a focus in School Counseling from the Loyola University of Maryland, and Doctor of Education Leadership and Change from Antioch University. Her dissertation title is Racial Trauma: The Silent Killer Among High School Students of Color.

Dr. Shedana Hayes-Agent, a Black Woman, has navigated the challenges of being authentic in spaces that often lack understanding and acceptance. Her personal journey has been marked by instances of discrimination, desolation, and disembodiment. However, these experiences have not deterred her. Instead, they have strengthened her voice and deepened her commitment to advocacy, particularly for students of color.

Dr. Hayes-Agent is a passionate advocate who is fearless in challenging the status quo. Her mission is clear: to dismantle educational inequities experienced by students of color. She believes that the best way to effect change is to empower those on the front lines of education with the latest educational research and awareness.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Shedana, as she is also known, is a wife and mother of a blended family: three beautiful and unique daughters and two deeply compassionate sons. In addition to her educational and advocacy work, she enjoys her role as the First Lady of the Truth Seeking Temple, overseen by her husband, Pastor Steven Agent, who teaches the word of God “Line by Line and Precept upon Precept.”