Racial battle fatigue and activist burnout in racial justice activists of color at predominately Whi
Updated: May 2
Racial battle fatigue and activist burnout in racial justice activists of color at predominately White colleges and universities
Activist burnout scholarship has inadequately considered challenges marginalized-identity activists, such as racial justice activists of color, experience in the course of their activism – challenges from which privileged identity activists, such as white racial justice activists, are protected. This article attempts to address this gap through a phenomenological study examining activist burnout in racial justice activists of color whose primary sites of activism are predominantly white colleges and universities in the United States at which they work. In order to stretch activist burnout theory to differentiate unique marginalized-identity activists’ burnout causes from general causes that do not consider specific activist identities, the lens of racial battle fatigue is employed. Findings show that, although participants shared many causes of burnout that are consistent with general non-identity-specific causes described in existing literature, racial battle fatigue hastened their burnout while their activist commitments elevated their battle fatigue.