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Greer Charlotte Stanford-Randle, Ph.D. is a 2017 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dr. Greer Stanford-Randle [second from left] at her Dissertation Defense

L-R : Dr. Philomena Essed, Committee Chair, Dr. Greer Stanford-Randle, Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts, Committee Member, Dr. Kevin McGruder, Committee Member

Dissertation Committee

  • Philomena Essed, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Laura Morgan Roberts, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Kevin McGruder, Ph.D., Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

The dissertation is a deep study of an iconic 20th century female, African American leader whose acclaim developed not only from her remarkable first generation post-Reconstruction Era beginnings, but also from her mid-century visibility among Negroes and some Whites as a principal spokesperson for her people. Mary Jane McLeod Bethune arose from the Nadir- the darkest period for Negroes after the Civil War and three subsequent US Constitutional Amendments. She led thousands of Negro women, despite social adversity, to organize around their own aspirations for improved social and material lives among America’s diverse citizens., i.e. “the melting pot.” The subject of no fewer than thirty-two dissertation studies, numerable biographies, innumerable awards, and namesake educational institutions, Bethune ascended to public leadership roles. Her renown of the first five decades of the 20th century is reconstructed to be less enigmatic for people of African descent, and more visible for other mainstream Americans. Remarkably, she employed a uniquely crafted philosophy of interactional destiny for the world’s “races” anchored in her brand of Christian evangelism. Bethune’s uniquely early feminist worldview and strategies for inter-racial cooperation, different than the worldviews of some of her contemporaries, achieved much social capital and opened doors of opportunity for herself and countless others through a brief federal government position, and organized women’s work before 1955. Since much of her meta-narrative was riddled with hagiography and myth, this study has fettered out some myths and eradicated some of the hagiography. The study combines primary sources, secondary sources, photo-ethnography, and hermeneutics to illuminate another pathway for future leadership students and organization developers to appropriate aspects of Bethune’s 20th century leadership performance as their own. Unintended to merely applaud Dr. Bethune’s leadership performance, this study is discourse anchored in the researcher’s belief and scholarship that leadership is both teachable and learnable. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/ and OhioLINK ETD Center, http://etd.ohiolink.edu

Comments

Greer Charlotte Stanford-Randle

ORCID Scholar ID# https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0138-7847

It is important to attach ourselves to the past, because the past has wisdom, secrets, and things we can use to move forward. As Vice President for Membership in a 102 year old NPO founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, I find there is much to share and shape through ethical leadership. Although the ‘world’ has changed in many ways, some of the social ills, such as gender oppression, the patriarchy, xenophobia, racism, and nativism, still persist. My capacity to make change in our world has come through my capacity to ‘lead change,’ as Vice President through Association of the Study of African Life and History, Inc. [ASALH].

I was able to, through this dissertation journey, to connect to my ancestors and try to understand through an historical project what they had experienced and how that affected me and the world. The person about whom I wrote in my dissertation, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, carried me through this process. It was important for me to understand her leadership as a national past President for the Association of the Study of African Life and History. I needed to learn how to become a leader, if I was going to be a leader, and I needed to learn how to help other people develop their leadership. I do appreciate the opportunity to connect myself to an esteemed intellectual community. One of the goals I had when I came to the Leadership and Change program in 2013 was to find an intellectual community. Voila! Eureka! I found them at Antioch University

Dr. Greer Stanford-Randle, Antioch alumna of the PhD in Leadership & Change, Vice President of ASALH, Inc. Participating at the organization’s 102nd Conference in Cincinnati, OH on September 30, 2017

Dr. Greer Stanford-Randle, [front row, second from left] with the Executive Council of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

I am part of a collective leadership community, the Executive Council of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Dr. Greer Stanford-Randle is an example of a septuagenarian “lifelong learner.” One never gets too old to learn or to contribute. She has attached herself to Horace Mann’s edict that people should be ashamed to leave the world without doing something to improve it.