Fall 2022 Registration Procedures
Diversity Committee Statement June 2020
The nation-wide protests are not just a response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, they are also a desperate cry from Black people, their families, friends, and allies to highlight how lethal systemic racism is. This is not just a matter of hurt feelings, of being excluded, of not being liked or befriended or welcomed or valued or being robbed of opportunities to self-actualize (although all of these things are critically important), it is also and most fundamentally a matter of life and death. It is absolutely shameful that in 2020 Black people still have to worry about the most basic of needs: that of physiological integrity and safety. That many times the right to life is stolen by a person who is sworn to serve and protect, an officer in uniform, creates a pain whose depths most cannot even fathom.
Addressing systemic racism is not about rooting out the racists- the “bad apples” among us. As Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre noted, systemic racism is not a shark in the water; it is the water. We all live in this water, and it is poisonous.
Our department has committed itself to “fostering a climate that advances diversity, inclusion, respect, and social justice.” This means that we are committed to fighting systems of oppression that threaten diversity, inclusion, respect, and social justice. This is done with statements and actions. It is not enough to say that we value these; we have to show it. It is in moments like these where our actions speak significantly louder than our words. As behavioral scientists, we rely on evidence to support claims. As educators, we actively engage in constructive, difficult dialogues to promote understanding and deepen perspective.
While we express our deep sorrow and outrage at the continued murdering of our Black siblings, we can and must do more. It is not just communities like Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington DC, Charleston, Miami… even Bentonville or Fayetteville. The department is swimming in these toxic waters, and we are all responsible for their decontamination.
Realizing the waters are toxic is difficult; even more difficult is the recognition that waters that are clearly toxic to one type of fish are actually privileging other fish. Awareness of how systemic racism (and sexism, and ableism, and heterosexism, and other forms of systemic oppression) benefit us creates a deep sense of shame and challenges our belief in a meritocracy, or a just world. We may quickly find ourselves asking, “But what did George do that resulted in his being stopped by the police?” “Did he have a gun?” “Was he resisting arrest?” Recognize that such questions are the equivalent of asking a victim of sexual assault what she was wearing that night- they serve to protect our sense of “we are not the shark” and therefore keep us from recognizing that the water is toxic. So yes, this is uncomfortable. Cleaning up this toxic mess is going to be unpleasant and will take time. But it must be done.
Therefore, the diversity committee encourages each of you to commit to a specific action you will take to challenge white privilege and express anti-racism. If you feel comfortable doing so, we encourage you to share with others what action you plan to take. This is a way to make a public commitment to one another to enact our diversity values and to state powerfully and unequivocally to each other that we stand in solidarity with our colleagues and are committed to clean the waters where we swim.
Here are a few links to get you started:
CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19 UPDATES
For everyone’s safety, many faculty and staff members are continuing to work remotely. We are still available to assist you during our normal office hours, and recommend reaching out via email to get in touch.
Looking for the latest campus updates on Coronavirus/COVID-19? The #UARK website has the most up-to-date information at https://health.uark.edu/coronavirus/.
Please note: Guidance from the CDC, Arkansas Department of Health and university may change rapidly given the fluidity of the situation.
News and Events
Colloquim! Dr. Donna Garcia, Professor of Psychology at Cal-State San Bernadino, will give an in-person talk on Friday, April 22nd at 3:30pm in Memorial Hall Rm 242. The talk is tentatively titled "Evidence-based Approaches to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Academy."
Applying to Graduate School? The Diversity Committee is hosting a panel discussion on applying to graduate school on Friday, April 15th from 2-3pm in the Student Success Center Room 213. Come hear from students who recently went through the grad school application process and get tips, tricks and advice they wish they'd known before applying!
We Are Psyched for "I am Psyched!" The Department of Psychological Science is proud to host APA's I Am Psyched! exhbit. The exhibit explores the history of women in color in psychology by bringing the contributions of women of color forward: past, present, and future. This interactive exhibit will be available to view from February 1 to February 14, 2022. More info can be found here.
Congratulations to Dr. Stacey Makhanova! She received a $168,396 grant from the Social Psychology program of the National Science Foundation to examine how immune system activity affects people's social perception. Many people go to work when they are feeling a little bit under the weather and make important social decisions. This research uses an experimental approach to mimic people getting sick in a safe and controlled way by giving participants the seasonal flu vaccine, and then measuring different social perceptions. People interested in participating can get more information at https://sparklab.uark.edu/flushotstudy/
The department hosted a conference focused on Diversity Science in the Spring of 2018. Please see the conference page for more information.