The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience’s inaugural Junior BIPOC Scholar Speaker Series launched on Monday, May 2, 2022. The department hosted Jasmin Brooks, UNC-Chapel Hill alumna and PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology from University of Houston, and Jazlyn Nketia, PhD candidate in Cognitive Science from Brown University, as invited scholars. Dr. Dana Miller-Cotto, Assistant Professor at Kent State University, was also invited as a speaker but was unable to attend due to unexpected circumstances. The event was organized by the Climate and Inclusion DEI subcommittee aimed towards enhancing the diversity of speakers in our department who are early in their academic career as advanced graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or assistant professors.
This all-day event started with presentations by the invited speakers on their innovative work in the Toy Lounge of Dey Hall. Jasmin presented her talk “Addressing Suicide and Mental health in Black Communities” focusing on her recent publication reporting racial discrimination as a painful and provocative event contributing to suicide capability for Black adults (https://doi.org/10.1111/sltb.12671). Jazlyn presented her talk “Towards a more inclusive and equitable developmental cognitive neuroscience” focusing on her recent publication calling on the field to collectively revise current practices in developmental science that have perpetuated narratives supporting systemic injustice (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101014). Following their talks, trainees discussed professional development with the invited scholars during lunch. The day concluded with a panel discussion on diversity in psychology and neuroscience training at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The department plans to make this event an annual event elevating voices of early BIPOC scholars and provide networking opportunities for trainees in and outside the department.