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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

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Friday, March 6 • 2:25pm - 3:25pm
Advocating for Action: Psychology and Ferguson

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Media coverage of Michael Brown’s murder and Ferguson protests have brought into the national spotlight issues that have affected communities of color, particularly black communities, for decades. Although various activist organizations have joined in solidarity with this movement (Bosman, 2014), mainstream media attention is waning and the U.S. government has taken a passive approach (Horwitz & Kindy, 2014; Trott, 2014). As students in counseling psychology, we have found ourselves wondering what the role of psychologists (and future psychologists) can and should be in this movement. Within our own graduate program, a discussion group has evolved out of these events, but deciding how to take action beyond discussion has proven more difficult to accomplish. Racial justice is long overdue--over 150 years since the abolition of slavery, and we are still waiting. Considering the conference theme, we seek to explore what restorative justice might look like in in the case of communities like Ferguson. In areas with a long history of institutional power being used to exploit and oppress, where might the community even begin to restore justice? How can psychologists be most helpful to the social movements already in progress to combat these injustices? What about graduate students? Certainly, research on white privilege and racial prejudice has been one major contribution of the field and should not be discounted. For example, Eberhardt, Goff, Purdie and Davies (2004) found that white males processed weapon imagery faster when primed with black male faces compared to the no-prime control and processed these same images slower when primed with white faces compared to the no-prime control. Although published in 2004, the research remains pertinent today and has clear implications for legislation surrounding events like Michael Brown’s murder. But what is our responsibility to more immediate action when innocent people are dying?


Friday March 6, 2015 2:25pm - 3:25pm
Gold Rush A