My name is Thelathia "Nikki" Young, and I am a Black queer doctoral candidate at Emory University. I have lived in Atlanta since 2001 and have enjoyed the energy, generosity of spirit, displays of solidarity, and stands for justice that I have witnessed in this city's Black queer community. Through your work in the community and mere visibility in the city, you have motivated me as a scholar, activist, and young adult – so much so that I have focused my dissertation on you! As part of my dissertation research, I am seeking Black queer adults (18 and over) in the metro-Atlanta area to participate in interviews and possibly in focus groups.
My study, titled The Black Queer Family Project, investigates the ways in which Atlanta Black queer people understand, value, and construct "family." I invite you to participate in interviews and focus groups wherein you will be asked to share narratives of your own life experiences that contribute to your definition(s) and practice(s) of "family" as a queer person of color. The purpose of this research is to contribute information to my larger project, which puts Black queer experiences and narratives in conversation with Womanist and Feminist ethics as well as Queer Theories. My study aims to acknowledge our voices and experiences and make them available in community and academic discussions of family and familial practices.
I am asking participants to be interviewed for approximately 1.5 hours, though the interviews may be longer or shorter depending on your preference. Participants in focus groups will only be asked to attend three sessions that last approximately 1.5 hours each. This means that the total commitment from participants ranges from 1.5 hours to 6 hours.
Basically, I will engage subjects that include family make-up, family structure, familial practices, relationship constructions, moral motivations, and ethical standards in relation to familial relationships.
I am only seeking persons who are at least 18 years of age and who self-identify as Black queer Atlanta residents.
· "Self-identify" – individuals whose sexuality and/or relationship status is commonly known via statement, title, or any official public documentation, and/or through personal disclosure in their homes, communities, workplaces, and social affiliations.
· "Black," – in this study, refers to anyone who self-identifies as a person of African descent. Subjects are not limited to African-Americans and thus may include Atlanta residents whose nation of origin is outside of the United States.
- "Queer" – in this study, is used as an umbrella term that includes individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, gender-queer, polyamorous, and sexually non-identifying.
- Residency includes partial or full-time status in the metro-Atlanta area.
This study will not include any persons who do not meet the criteria above. This study also excludes any persons who meet the criteria but who are enrolled in a K-12 institution.
If you are interested, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at 404-643-1339. I am looking forward to hearing you and learning about your family!
With great respect for you,
Thelathia "Nikki" Young, M.Div, Th. M
Doctoral Candidate – Graduate Division of Religion, Ethics and Society