Calling in Black: A dynamic model of racially traumatic events, resourcing, and safety

Courtney L. McCluney, Courtney M. Bryant, Danielle D. King, Abdifatah A. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Purpose - Racially traumatic events - such as police violence and brutality toward Blacks - affect individuals in and outside of work. Black employeesmay "call in Black" to avoid interactingwith coworkers in organizations that lack resources and perceived identity and psychological safety. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach - The paper integrates event system theory (EST), resourcing, and psychological safety frameworks to understand how external, racially traumatic events impact Black employees and organizations. As racially traumatic events are linked to experienced racial identity threat, the authors discuss the importance of both the availability and creation of resources to help employees to maintain effective workplace functioning, despite such difficult circumstances. Findings - Organizational and social-identity resourcing may cultivate social, material, and cognitive resources for black employees to cope with threats to their racial identity after racially traumatic events occur. The integration of organizational and social-identity resourcing may foster identity and psychologically safe workplaces where black employees may feel valued and reduce feelings of racial identity threats. Research limitations/implications - Implications for both employees' social-identity resourcing practice and organizational resource readiness and response options are discussed. Originality/value - The authors present a novel perspective for managing diversity and inclusion through EST. Further, the authors identify the interaction of individual agency and organizational resources to support Black employees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-786
Number of pages20
JournalEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Black employees
  • Black lives matter
  • Event system theory
  • Racial trauma
  • Resourcing


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