The Department of Psychology has been a leader in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusivity (JEDI) initiatives at the University of Rhode Island. These efforts align with our department’s core values and serve to train psychologists who practice cultural humility and to create a community that is fair, equitable, and welcoming for all members.
Justice: We acknowledge past and current policies, practices, and attitudes in psychology and the academy that have been unfair, unequal, and inequitable toward individuals from systematically excluded and marginalized groups. We are committed to rebuilding our community to be one that is just, fair, and equitable. We are resolute in our mission to provide equitable access, opportunities, treatment, and outcomes for all members of our community.
Equity: We strive to promote fair and just practices and policies to ensure that all members of our community can thrive. We work to ensure accessibility to all members of our community, especially those from systematically excluded and marginalized groups. We aim to provide all of our community members with the resources and opportunities that they need to succeed and grow in their roles.
Diversity: We embrace human diversity including, but not limited to, cultural and individual differences in race, ethnicity, national origin, language, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, parental status, ability, and religious affiliation. We are committed to providing a supportive and encouraging learning environment that is conducive to learning about, and demonstrating respect for, cultural diversity, with the objective of preparing all members of our community to work competently, effectively, and compassionately with diverse populations.
Inclusivity: We seek to create, foster, and sustain practices and conditions in our learning environment that not only include and accommodate for people who have been systematically excluded from psychology and the academy (e.g., because of race, gender, or ability), but that also encourage and allow all community members to be their authentic selves. We strive to think critically about how psychology and the academy have failed to meet the needs of people from systematically excluded and marginalized groups. We are committed to engaging in intentional and ongoing actions to create a community where individuals from these groups can fully participate while being and feeling heard, welcomed, respected, supported, and valued.
The Department of Psychology’s steadfast commitment to JEDI is demonstrated across a wide range of actions. Some examples include:
- Creating the Inclusion and Diversity Committee (IDC) and elevating it to permanent departmental status. The IDC was formed in 2017 following JEDI work over nearly a decade by the Multicultural Task Force. The IDC is comprised of graduate students and faculty that work collaboratively to develop, implement, and evaluate JEDI initiatives in the department.
- Creating the Multicultural Consultation (MCC) Team in 2020, which is comprised of graduate students in the Department of Psychology. The MCC facilitates culturally-informed, inclusive, and equitable research, teaching, and practice by providing consultation on these topics to students, faculty, and staff across the university.
- Hosting and organizing biannual Department-wide JEDI trainings (recent examples include Responding to Microaggressions and Understanding and Dismantling White Supremacy).
- Conducting biannual Department-wide evaluations of integration of JEDI content into course curricula and classroom climate.
- Initiating a monthly Department of Psychology JEDI Brown Bag series in 2018. The JEDI Brown Bag talks bring in experts from across the country to exchange ideas and examine best practices for JEDI in research, teaching, and practice.
- Hosting a monthly meeting that brings together graduate students of color from the Department of Psychology (“Students of Color Meeting”). These meetings serve to build solidarity among students of color through constructive conversation, in hopes that it will aid these students in being effective change agents in their communities.
- Offering a Multicultural Focus Area in the Department of Psychology, which includes intensive training through coursework, research, and practice to build cultural humility. Of note, all graduate students—regardless of focus area—are required to demonstrate competency in multiculturalism. Specifically, students are required to take a class in multicultural psychology, participate in multicultural clinical practicum (clinical students only), include a multicultural question in their comprehensive examinations, and demonstrate attention to JEDI in their theses and dissertations.