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Abstract

The topic of diversity and equity in the field of higher education has primarily been explored through examining the experience of Black students attending Predominantly White Institutions. Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) enroll 16% of Black college students (Nuñez, et al., 2015), yet there is a dearth of research that explores their experiences. Despite the increase representation of Black college students attending HSIs, existing HSI research has focused on the student success and experiences of Hispanic students. In light of these limitations, this paper presents a qualitative-case study exploring the experiences of five Black women attending a HSI located in an urban city. Interviews were conducted with the participants and the data were analyzed using Hurtado et al.’s (2012) Multicontextual Model of Diverse Learning Environments as a theoretical framework. Results offer insight that the participants did not feel like they were included in the institution’s definition of diversity. Findings also highlight the significance of the local community in constructing perceptions of institutional diversity for Black college women. Participants initially chose to attend this HSI expecting inclusion, however, their overall experience speaks to the reproduction of social hierarchies in higher education settings. This article expands and contributes to understandings of Minority Serving Institutions and complicates perceptions of diverse higher education settings.

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