Why does Beneath the Facade exist?




Discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race and gender is a chronic stressor for African America women (Hall, Everett, Hamilton-Mason, 2012)​


Encountering gendered racism has been linked to unhealthy coping skills (e.g., detachment, denial, minimizing the severity of an issue or concern) and psychological distress (Thomas, Witherspoon, & Speight, 2008) 

Black women who have encountered gendered racism report greater psychological distress (Thomas, Witherspoon, & Speight, 2008) 

African American women experience stress when hiding their emotions (Shavers & Moore, 2014)


Black women who accept and remain quiet about biased treatment were 4.4 times more likely to report hypertension than Black women who took action and talked with others (Krieger, 1990) 

The Strong Black Woman stereotype is a perception that Black women are naturally strong, resilient, and self-sacrificing. Individuals endorse the Strong Black Woman stereotype are more likely to have stress and depressive symptoms than those who do not endorse this stereotype.(Donovan & West, 2014)

Choosing to wear the “academic mask” or being the model student, in predominately white institutions to cope with racism can result in feeling incomplete, disconnected, and exhausted (Shavers & Moore, 2014)

Reducing ambiguity and making the invisible visible can lower the stress levels among marginalized groups (Sue et al, 2010)

Being able to define and label experiences lowers feelings of uncertainty and increases your ability to predict microaggressions (Sue, 2010)

Using social support to cope with discrimination can reduce helplessness behavior, such as: giving up in the middle of doing something about discrimination against women or escaping a situation after being the victim of a discriminatory remark. The more women use social support coping to deal with personal discrimination, the less helplessness behavior they report (Foster, 2000)

Social support and reassurance from others helps you not feel isolated and alone. Likewise, both validate your experience and helps guide you to have appropriate coping skills in similar situations (Sue et al., 2010)

Gendered racial microaggressions predicted both self-reported mental and physical health outcomes among Black women (Lewis et al., 2017)