Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organization and Leadership (O&L)


School of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Seenae Chong


Filipino American students often begin their leadership journey while developing a stronger sense of their racial identity when they begin and navigate college. This study examines the phenomena of racism among Filipino American student leaders as their racial identity positions them to experience a dual layer of racialization as Asian Americans among other communities of color and Filipino Americans within the Asian American identity. Semi- structured interviews were conducted among four graduating or recently graduated Filipino American student leaders across the US. The phenomenology methodology approach allowed semi-structured interviews to capture the essence of the experience among Filipino American student leaders in higher education while the theoretical frameworks Critical Race Theory and Asian Critical Theory offered lenses that assisted in the formulation of the research questions, analysis of the literature review, and analysis of the findings discovered across the four interviews. Analysis of the findings discovered that participants' perceptions of themselves were strongly influenced by their environments and upbringings, the structures in higher education that impacted participants included the peers they connected with, the student organizations they participated in, and the communities they were members of, and the perceptions participants sensed from others included othering and exclusion. This study concludes that Filipino American student leaders actively combat racialization within themselves and from others, persevere against structures that perpetuate racialization when they’re grounded in themselves, their peers, and their community, and experience discrimination across multiple leadership roles, among communities of color, and within the Asian American community.