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Organizational Diversity Rationales: Why Value Diversity?

Examining why people and organizations purport to value diversity can illuminate how racial inequality is ironically perpetuated even amidst a widespread commitment to diversity.  In this work, we distinguish between rationales for diversity that are instrumental (i.e., embracing diversity for the benefits it can provide) versus moral (i.e., embracing diversity due to intrinsic values or principles).  We explore the factors that make these rationales more or less appealing to different groups of people and more or less effective at directly bringing about more racially equitable outcomes. 

Mapping and Mitigating Racial Bias Among Helping Professionals

Certain industries are considered uniquely caring, such as education, or uniquely objective, such as the law. These industries have huge societal impacts. And, despite industry stereotypes that might suggest otherwise, we know that racial bias levels among these professionals mirrors those of the rest of society.  These biases matter because they can contribute to racially disparate treatment and outcomes for the people and communities these professionals serve. How can we intervene on the way these professionals carry out their work to reduce the impact of individuals’ biases on their students’ and clients’ outcomes?

Anti-Racist Training & Education

The factors that contribute to racial disparities are complex and varied. Many models of personal and social change take raising awareness of the issue as a starting place, yet we still have much to learn about how coming to perceive racism as a systemic issue might affect majority and minority group members’ support for antiracist policies, sociopolitical engagement, social perceptions, mental health, and understanding of themselves. What are the positive and negative outcomes associated with providing this sort of education, and what tactics can be utilized to maximize the benefits while managing the downsides such an education might provide? 

Education Entertainment

The media industry can play a powerful role in facilitating social change due to its ubiquitous reach, the intimate parasocial relationships viewers develop with beloved characters, and the fact that its fictitious nature reduces the defensive reactions people can have in real world intergroup situations. However, evaluating the causal impact of certain televisual content or viewing experiences can be tricky. We’re developing experimental approaches for evaluating how the nature of racial representation in television content impacts viewers in an effort to understand how televisual media can be leveraged to improve race relations.

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