Valerie Robinson

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

For Black Women Who Code-Switch When Authenticity is Enough: An Exploration of How Black Women Navigate Microaggression in Workspaces


This capstone presentation explores the history of Black women who have long been subjected to microaggressions in workspaces. Like most pervasive acts of oppression, discrimination situates itself in workspaces, affecting Black women who must constantly police themselves against these microaggressions of projected stereotypes, feelings of invisibility, visibility, and tokenism. This capstone presentation provides an overview of how microaggression is perpetuated against Black women as a result of their dual marginalized identities. Coping strategies are also examined, as Black women often feel the need to modify their behaviors, speech, and hairstyles to overcome the afflictions of microaggression. Support groups and mentoring frame the analysis of how Black women cope with microaggressions in workspaces. The phenomenon of Black women empowering one another by utilizing the integrated perspectives of Intersectionality and Black Feminist Thought Alliance Theory is discussed. Finally, this capstone presentation offers a fresh perspective on addressing microaggressions through a tech-savvy intervention for Black women to lessen the adverse impact of their experiences while collaborating with organizations to combat microaggressions through their diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives.


Valerie Denise Robinson holds a psychology degree from the illustrious Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and a master’s in social work from the University of Louisville. Mrs. Robinson is a doctoral candidate with the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky in the Leadership Administration Program. Mrs. Robinson is the current Assistant Chief of Social Work at the Robley Rex VA Medical Center in
Louisville, Kentucky. For 17 years, she has worked with Veterans in several roles, demonstrating her expertise as a licensed clinical social work leader. Her extensive program management and administration knowledge involves supervision, consultation, and monitoring to ensure program effectiveness. Mrs. Robinson is an expert in designing and executing programs that help patients manage their mental and physical
well-being by emphasizing recovery-focused solutions.

Mrs. Robinson is an experienced public speaker, an influential figure in the community, and an inspiring narrator strongly dedicated to social activism and helping Black women who face marginalization in professional environments. Serving as a social work leader in a prominent integrated healthcare organization, she has firsthand awareness of the urgent need to address the microaggressions that Black women notably face due to their dual marginalization. With this enthusiasm, she developed a strong spirit of activism, which helped her become the powerful change agent she is today.