As psychologists, we are uniquely suited to recognize and communicate the importance of diversity, inclusivity, and equity in our teaching and research practices and within our communities. Diversity can take many forms, and we value the presence, perspectives, and voice from people of all ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds; gender identities and sexual orientations; socio- economic backgrounds; citizenship statuses; abilities; religious and political views; and physical and mental health statuses.
Inclusivity is both a practice and a belief in the value of diverse perspectives, and we strive to ensure that all members of our community feel a sense of belonging and that their experiences and contributions are valued. Equity is the provision of access to necessary educational and research opportunities, resources, and information that ensures all members of our Psychology department can thrive during their time at SMCM.
As a department, we aim to create an environment that fosters the growth, belonging, and success of our students and colleagues. In order to build an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive community for all, we aim to:
- Recruit, retain, and support faculty and students who reflect the diverse identities in our society
- Initiate dialogues examining power structures that perpetuate societal inequities and our roles in maintaining and challenging those structures
- Forge concrete steps to dismantle racist, sexist, and other inequitable structures within our department and field
- Encourage instructional, scholarship, and service efforts that incorporate diversity, inclusivity, and equity issues to better understand bias and marginalization, mitigate bias, and promote social justice
- Foster a departmental culture of justice, integrity, and respect
Departmental IDE Committee Members
- Gina Fernandez, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gili Freedman, Assistant Professor of Psychology, email@example.com
- Kristina Howansky, Assistant Professor of Psychology, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Scott Mirabile, Associate Professor of Psychology, email@example.com
We acknowledge that the land on which we are learning, working and gathering today is the ancestral home of the Yacocomico and Piscataway Peoples. We also acknowledge that St. Mary’s City was partly built and sustained by enslaved people of African descent. Through this acknowledgment, we recognize these communities and all those who have been displaced and enslaved through colonization. You can learn more about the history of this region by visiting Historic St. Mary’s City or Maryland at a Glance.
April 2021 Psychology Department Statement on Anti-Asian Violence and Discrimination
As a department, we mourn and condemn the attack this past month in Atlanta that targeted the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, killing at least six women in their place of employment. The United States has a long history of anti-Asian violence and harassment. Within the past year, racially motivated threats, attacks, and discrimination have escalated (CSUSB, NBC, Pew, Stop AAPI Hate) due to bias, misinformation, and prejudice relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research on stereotyping and prejudice suggests Asian Americans experience pervasive stigmatization and denial of their American identities (Chen, 2000; Gover et al., 2020). The “model minority” stereotype often perpetuated against Asian Americans creates imaginary and often harmful boundaries, separating the Asian American experience from those of other minority groups (Moses et al., 2019; Tran & Curtin, 2017). It creates a false standard that Asian Americans may compare themselves against, and often leads to neglect in terms of community support and funding (AAF, AWARE, JAMA, NBC ). Asian-American women are especially targeted and harmed by these stereotypes, with high rates of mental health and safety concerns, including suicidality (Noh, 2018). Further, Asian-American women are at risk for racist and sexist harassment and violence due to the objectification and hypersexualization of their bodies (Wong & McCullough, 2021).
The SMCM Psychology Department is committed to supporting the psychological health and physical safety of AAPI students, faculty, staff, and community members. We stand in solidarity with the members of the AAPI community at our institution and nation-wide. We will speak out against hate and discrimination, and we will work to dismantle the structural and interpersonal barriers that threaten the emotional and physical wellbeing of AAPI individuals within our disciplines, our institution, and our communities.
A number of psychological societies have recently released statements addressing the anti-Asian violence being perpetrated in this country: the American Psychological Association (APA), the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), the American Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African Psychological Association (AMENAPsy), the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), and Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP).
We encourage students impacted by recent events to utilize the SMCM Wellness Center for counseling and emotional support as well as the SMCM IDEA(A)2 Office to connect with ongoing institutional efforts to support the needs of our diverse community.
Summer 2020 Solidarity Statement
As a field, psychology is uniquely situated to use our expertise to address social, economic, and political inequalities. We in the Department of Psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland wish to express solidarity with those around the country protesting oppression, stigmatization, and violence against Black individuals. We mourn the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, and countless other Black people. Black Lives Matter. We know you are frustrated, scared, and anxious. We are too. We see you, hear you, and we value you as humans and members of the psychological community. We demand long overdue accountability and change. We support the American Psychological Association’s efforts to communicate more broadly on racism, to use science-based recommendations to reduce police violence against African Americans, and to address systemic and institutional racism (see their plan below). As a department, we commit to listening, learning, reflecting on our own practices, and doing our part to affirm Black lives and better understand, teach about, and work to change racist systems and structures. In addition to addressing topics of oppression and discrimination in our curriculum, the topic of this coming year’s Psychology Lecture Series will be “Intervention Science: Harnessing Psychology to Address Oppressive Systems” in which we hope our community can learn about and further discuss steps we can take toward change.
The SMCM Department of Psychology
Here are a few resources from the psychological community that we wanted to share:
APA’s action plan for addressing inequality. A message from APA President Sandy Shullman, PhD, and APA CEO Arthur Evans, PhD.
Carter, R. T. (2007). Racism and psychological and emotional injury: Recognizing and assessing race-based traumatic stress. The Counseling Psychologist, 35(1), 13-105. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000006292033
Daumeyer, N. M., Onyeador, I.N., Brown, X. & Richeson, J.A. (2019). Consequences of attributing discrimination to implicit vs. explicit bias. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 84, 103812. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2019.04.010
Hargons, C., Mosley, D., Falconer, J., Faloughi, R., Singh, A., Stevens-Watkins, D., & Cokley, K. (2017). Black Lives Matter: A call to action for Counseling Psychology leaders. The Counseling Psychologist, 45(6), 873–901. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000017733048
Pieterse, A. L., Todd, N. R., Neville, H. a., & Carter, R. T. (2012). Perceived racism and mental health among Black American adults: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026208
Salter, P. S., Adams, G. & Perez, M. J. (2017). Racism in the structure of everyday worlds: A cultural-psychological perspective. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27, 150-155. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721417724239
Schmitt, M. T., Branscombe, N. R., Postmes, T., & Garcia, A. (2014). The consequences of perceived discrimination for psychological well-being: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 140(4), 921–948. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035754
Richeson, J. A., & Sommers, S. R. (2016). Toward a social psychology of race and race relations for the twenty-first century. Annual Review of Psychology, 67, 439-463. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115115
Velez, B. L., Polihronakis, C. J., Watson, L. B., & Cox, R. (2019). Heterosexism, racism, and the mental health of sexual minority people of color. Counseling Psychologist, 47(1), 129–159. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000019828309
Inclusion is both a practice and a belief in the value of diverse perspectives. As a practice, we strive to actively invite persons of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives to be engaged with our community, department and curriculum. Our aim is to ensure that everyone’s experiences and contributions are valued. When these practices are embraced, people will feel that they belong in our community and are represented in our curriculum.
Diversity can take many forms, and we value the presence, perspectives, and voice from people of all ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds; national origins, citizenship statuses, tribes, castes, and socio-economic statuses; gender identities and sexual orientations; abilities; communication styles; intellectual traditions and perspectives; religious, political, and other affiliations; and physical and mental health statuses.
Equity describes a state in which all persons have equal access to educational opportunities, information, and resources because we have removed barriers that impair the equal participation of marginalized groups. Importantly, equitable treatment is not necessarily equal treatment; different groups may need to be treated differently in order to ensure equitable treatment for all.