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Psychology Colloquium with Valerie Purdie-Greenaway, PhD
WhenWednesday, Nov 7, 2018, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Campus locationPhysics / Astronomy Auditorium (PAA)
Campus roomA114
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsDepartment of Psychology……

Valerie Purdie Greenaway, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology &
Special Advisor to the Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences,
Department of Psychology, Columbia University

What Does it Mean to Build an Inclusive Environment for Historically Marginalized Groups?

Throughout American history, persons in positions of power have contorted racial narratives to make it appear that those who fight against structural inequality are misguided. For instance, in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) Justice Brown, who wrote the majority opinion supporting separate but equal laws, argued that if the separation of race by law made blacks feel inferior it was of “the negroes own doing and fault.” This seminal case sheds light on fundamental questions studied by social psychologists over the last century: what is the relationship between societal structures and psychological experiences for members of historically disadvantaged groups? How do structural, contextual and situational aspects of a given social environment convey identity threat or safety with implications for cognition, emotion and motivation? This talk will cover two programs of research that seek to address these questions. The first part of the talk will present a series of field experiments on social identity threat in achievement contexts and psychological interventions to mitigate its effects. The second part of the talk will present longitudinal social network analysis on threatening environments. I will use an intersectionality lens to explore the impact of threatening environments for women of color on friendship networks over time. The talk will close with a broader discussion on the meaning of inclusion and how to build empirically grounded inclusive schools and workplaces.

This free lecture is made possible by a generous endowment from Professor Allen L. Edwards.

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