African and African Disapora Studies Department
African and African Disapora Studies Department

Dr. Keisha L. Bentley-Edward, Keynote Speaker: Telling Identity Stories: Race, Class and Psychology

Mon, November 16, 2015
Dr. Keisha L. Bentley-Edward, Keynote Speaker: Telling Identity Stories: Race, Class and Psychology
Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology University of Texas, Austin

Global Inequality Research Institute Capstone Conference
Nasher Museum of Art Lecture Hall, Duke University
Monday, November 16, 2015


The capstone conference for the Global Inequality Research Initiative will feature a keynote talk by Stephanie Rowley, a professor in the School of Education, the Department of Psychology and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan; Brittney Cooper, an assistant professor of women's and gender studies and Africana studies at the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences; and Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas, Austin.


8:30- 9:00 a.m.                                  Registration - Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m.                                            Opening Remarks
                                                            Robert Korstad, associate director
                                                            Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity

                                                            Introduction of Speaker
                                                            Salimah El-Amin, senior research associate, GIRI
                                                            Laura Smart Richman, Dept of Psychology & Neuroscience

                                                            Keynote Address:
                                                           "Race, Gender and School Success: The Case of Black Boys"
                                                            Stephanie Rowley, University of Michigan

10:05 a.m.                                           Panelists: 
Laura Smart Richman, assistant professor
                                                            Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
                                                            "Stigma and Implications for Health"        

                                                            Toni Kenthirarajah, postdoctoral associate  
                                                                Department of Psychology and Neuroscience    

​                                                            Makeba P. Wilbourn, asst. professor, Dept of Psychology & Neuroscience

                                                            Jonathan N. Livingston, associate professor
                                                            Department of Psychology, North Carolina Central University
                                                             "Images Of Us: A Historical Analysis"
11:30 a.m.                                                 Lunch

12:15 p.m.                                            GIRI Student Presentations -- Aarti Asrani, Alekhya Sure, Fopefoluwa Idowu

1:00 p.m.                                             Keynote: Brittney Cooper, Rutgers University

2:00 p.m.                                            Keynote: "When Racism Unites & Divides:
                                                            Social Class, Black Racial Cohesion and Dissonance"
                                                            Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards, University of Texas, Austin

3:15 p.m.                                             GIRI Student Presentations -- Ajenai Clemmons, Kristen Cooksey, Taylor Doty

4:00 p.m.                                                Student Film Presentations -- Chris White, Ashlyn Nuckols

4:45 p.m.                                                Closing Remarks 


Stephanie Rowley
School of Education; Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Chair, Combined Program in Education and Psychology
University of Michigan

Rowley's research examines the development of African-American children and how issues of racial identity, perceptions of stereotypes, parental racial socialization, and racial coping influence the development of academic self-concept in African-American students. Two of her current projects explore these issues. Families and Schools Project: A longitudinal investigation of mothers who were interviewed just before their child began 1st grade and who will give periodic updates on their involvement in their child's education. Preliminary data shows that mothers who remember more incidents of discrimination in their school experiences are less involved at school and trust school personnel less than those who remember less discrimination. By understanding how parents' views about education are shaped, policy makers and practitioners can better address weaknesses in the home-school partnership.Youth Identity Project: This project is an examination of African-American youth's transition from elementary to middle school. The study examines both normative development of parent racial socialization, racial identity, academic self-views, and achievement during this transition, but also investigates the extent to which these changes differ when the student moves to a predominantly black versus a racially mixed middle school setting. Another project -- Children's Beliefs about Stereotypes -- is a collaboration with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, that focuses on how race, gender, and the transition to middle school influences students' stereotypes about their own group as well as the out-group. African-American and European-American children in the 4th, 6th, and 8th grades report their beliefs about stereotypes, racial identity, and academic self-concept. 

Brittney Cooper
Assistant Professor, women's and gender studies; Africana studies
Rutgers University

Cooper's work focuses extensively in the area of black women's intellectual history, black feminist thought, and race and gender politics in hip hop and popular culture. She is co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective blog, which was named a top feminist blog by New York Magazine in 2011 and a top race blog by in 2012. She has also published book chapters on black women's history in fraternal orders and the Janet Jackson Superbowl incident. Cooper is currently completing her first book, Race Women: Gender and the Making of a Black Public Intellectual Tradition, 1892-Present., which interrogates the rise of black female public intellectuals during the watershed moment of 1892-1893. In particular, this work interrogates the manner in which public black women have theorized racial identity and gender politics, and the methods they used to operationalize those theories for the uplift of Black communities. Cooper is also a sought after public speaker and commentator. In addition to a weekly column on race and gender politics at, her work and words have appeared at the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and, among many others. She is also a co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective, a popular feminist blog. In 2013 and 2014, she was named to the’s Root 100, an annual list of Top Black Influencers. 


Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
University of Texas, Austin

Bentley-Edwards' research focuses on the racial experiences of youth. In particular, she examines how cultural strengths can be used to minimize the negative outcomes related to bullying, racism stress, violence and aggression, and community stressors. She has co-developed measurements of racial/ethnic socialization and developed assessments of racial cohesion and perceptions of same-race violence in the black community. These culturally relevant measures ascertain how racial experiences influence youth health and academic outcomes. Bentley-Edwards also examines racial socialization in white families, and how these conversations impede or facilitate healthy interracial relationships. As a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connection Scholar, Bentley-Edwards currently studies the assessment, treatment, and socialization processes of black children who experience bullying.




Chinyere Amanze
Undergraduate and former GIRI seminar student
Duke University

Amanze is a Duke junior and Robertson Scholar from Baltimore, Md. She intends to major in public policy and African and African American studies. Her subject of interest is the positive or negative effect intersecting social systems has on different social groups.

Toni Kenthirarajah
Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience & Fuqua School of Business
Duke University

Kenthirarajah examines subtle cues that affect social perception and judgment in intergroup contexts, such as the effects of first names on judgments of who should be granted U.S. citizenship, hired for a job or what the appropriate prison sentence is in a criminal case.  She also studies how a prior record biases criminal sentencing,    employment, and hiring decisions in support of “ban the box.” Her other research is in the education domain. There, she investigates how subtle linguistic cues that signal a fixed versus growth mindset about intelligence in critical feedback affect students' persistence and motivation following setbacks, the social psychological barriers that veterans face when transitioning into employment and educational settings, as well as how differences in working class and middle class students' approach to learning contribute to the adversities that first generation students face.

Jonathan N. Livingston
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
North Carolina Central University

Livingston received his doctorate in Community Psychology and, prior to attending Michigan State, he received a Masters in African and African American psychology at Florida A&M University. His areas of interests are African-American psychological well-being and the cumulative effects of racism and social inequalities on African -American mental health and health disparities. Additional areas of interest include program evaluation, community development, and education reform. Livingston’s current research focuses on social and psychological factors associated with positive mental health outcomes for African Americans. Also, he has served as Director of Outreach for the Export Grant, a project of the Julius Chambers Biomedical Bio-technical Research Institute, evaluating the effectiveness of their efforts to reduce health disparities and educate the African-American community about alcohol and substance abuse; cancer; and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Currently he serves as lead research faculty for the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Laura Richman
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Duke University

Richman’s research interests include the influence of psychosocial factors on health outcomes and health behaviors, with particular attention to identity, emotion, and perceived discrimination. She is particularly interested in how the psychological and physical consequences of perceived discrimination may be moderated by how strongly one identifies with the group that is the target of discrimination. Other interests include the biological mechanisms by which emotion and emotion regulation influence health. 

Monday, November 16, 2015 -
8:30am to 4:30pm
Nasher Museum of Art
Event Link: 
Event Location Link: 
Event Contact: 
Salimah El-Amin, Senior Research Associate
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