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Diversity Works: Racial Bias In the Mind & On the Ground

Courtney Bonam
Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm


Join our Diversity Works discussion with Courtney Bonam, assistant professor of Psychology and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies, UC Santa Cruz.

Physical space is racialized— it has been and remains a tool for maintaining racial hierarchy. Accordingly, racial stereotype content extends beyond personal attributes to physical space characteristics (e.g., impoverished Black areas, wealthy White areas). These space-focused racial stereotypes guide perception of physical spaces (e.g., houses, neighborhoods), making them targets of racial stereotyping and discrimination. Dr. Bonam will detail empirical evidence for these psychological ties between race and physical space, discuss implications for reinforcing environmental racism (e.g., racial disparities in industrial pollution exposure), and provide insight into strategies for change via civil rights law and social justice education partnerships with community organizations.


About Courtney Bonam

Courtney Bonam is an Assistant Professor in Psychology (Social Psychology) at UC Santa Cruz. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor in African American Studies and Psychology at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Prior to becoming a faculty member, Dr. Bonam completed a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Trained as a social psychologist, her research focuses on stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination; environmental justice; racial disparities in access to high quality physical space; as well as the experiences and perceptions of multiracial people. Dr. Bonam is a PhD alum of Stanford’s psychology program. During her time there, she published research focusing on multiracial individuals' views of race as a social construct, as well as how this view can afford them resilience in potentially challenging social situations.

Dr. Bonam has been the recipient of the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University's Diversifying Academia Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Fellowship for advanced PhD candidates, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Grants-In-Aid research award, as well as the American Psychological Association Dissertation research award. She also received the Stanford University Lyman Award for University Service, highlighting her efforts to enhance graduate and faculty diversity while at Stanford.


Join the virtual session at 12:00PM on Thurs., Feb 11 via Zoom. A Zoom link will be emailed to you once you register for the session.


About Diversity Works

Come together with academic leaders to discuss issues related to diversity and excellence in higher education at Diversity Works. 

Open to enrolled graduate students at any stage in any discipline or degree program.



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