Research Interests

​​Donnamaria Culbreth, Ph.D.

Research Interests

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.

Audre Lorde

Dr. Culbreth's interdisciplinary research interests include the following:

  • Intraracial and interracial colorism issues in society, the workplace, and educational settings.
  • The Intraracial Colorism Complex
  • The Interracial Colorism Complex
  • The Complexity of colorism 
  • Skin color complexes, girls and women of color, standards of beauty and skin color, phenotype ideologies (Culbreth, 2014) and the PEPS effects of colorism.


  • Race issues involving identity, racial unity, racism, equality, issues affecting people of color, and mixed race identity, in society, the workplace and educational settings.


  • Quality education (including closing the achievement gap for students of color), student success, mentoring students of color in higher education, higher ground, academic rigor, and reviving the purpose of education, developing degree programs in alignment with business and industry needs.

The Workplace

  • Administrative leadership, ethical decisions and management in diverse settings .
  • Employee relations, employment law, equal employment opportunity, Title VII and disparate treatment.
  • Training and development, human resource risk management and discrimination, organizational behavior and equal employment opportunity.
  • Cultures of Ignorance (Culbreth, 2015), Cultures of Exclusion (Culbreth, 2015), and Cultures of  Blindness (Culbreth, 2015).

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, intraracial diversity and interracial diversity.
  • The inclusive/exclusive workplace.

  • Colorism in the workplace.

  • Identity groups, the social identity theory, prejudice, stereotypes and groupthink, understanding privilege and psychic prisons in the workplace (Plato's Cave).
  • DEI risk assessment.
  • Women of color in the workplace: authenticity and belonging 

 Girls and Women of Color

  • Personal enrichment (self-esteem, self-love, self-identity, self-pride and self-respect) of girls and women of color.

  • Defying negative stereotypes and breaking down skin color and racial barriers, and biased standards of beauty that continue to ignore the diversity of girls and women of color.
  • PEPS Syndrome (Culbreth, 2014), girls and women of color.
  • Issues that continue to stagnate the PEPS well-being and growth of people of color (societal, workplace, and educational settings).