In honor of Black History Month, we recognize ground-breaking African American social work, psychiatry, and psychology professionals whose work is rooted in helping communities address issues of race and mental health.
The negative effects of racism on mental health are profound and there are major inequities in the services available for minority communities. In 1967 Martin Luther King spoke before the American Psychological Association Convention and called upon the audience to focus their profession on addressing racism as the central issue in American society and address the crisis of the harmful health impact of racism across generations.
This call for action remains deeply relevant today as our nation struggles with issues that disproportionately impact Black communities. Across the past five decades of research, publications that highlight race is rare, and when race is discussed, it is almost entirely by white scholars.
Today we celebrate Professor Steven O. Roberts at Stanford University who has highlighted this problem in his recent work. “Psychologists are supposed to know about racial bias and how to prevent it from stratifying the world,” Roberts said”, but if we the so-called experts have a problem, then society really has a problem.”
Roberts is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford University. His teaching and research show the need for psychological research and practice to address race. You can learn more from Professor Roberts’ work on children’s conception of race at https://stanford.io/3uyi6z4.