The Psychology Department’s Black Scholar Speaker Series: Dr. Shawn Jones

Date / Time

September 14, 2021 - September 17, 2021

All Day


The University of Illinois Chicago’s Psychology Department Presents

The Black Scholar Speaker Series 2021-2022


We welcome our September 2021 speaker, Dr. Shawn Jones

September 14, 15, and 17, 2021

Dr. Shawn Jones is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling Program in the Psychology Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Children and Families from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a Child Clinical Psychology Predoctoral intern at UCLA. He also holds a Master of Health Science in Mental Health from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (2010) and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University (2008). Dr. Jones endeavors to impact the psychosocial wellbeing of Black youth and their families by: a) exploring mechanisms undergirding culturally-relevant protective and promotive factors; b) translating basic research into interventions that harness the unique strengths of the Black experience; and c) disseminating this research to be consumed, critiqued and enhanced by the communities the work intends to serve.


Main Lecture: Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 12:30-2pm CT

Using Family Systems to Promote Dignity & Prepare for Discrimination: Racial Socialization of Black Youth: Keniston (1978) asserted that Black youth are “the most endangered children in our society.” Indeed, Black children and teens are exposed to myriad risks, particularly those that emanate from the legacy of racism in this country. Yet, despite historical deficit-oriented narratives concerning them, Black youth—and their families—have continued to demonstrate positive psychosocial outcomes. Moreover, assisting diverse family structures in cogently providing racial socialization may optimize the historical psychosocial protection of this racially-relevant factor. In this presentation, conceptual and empirical work on mechanisms undergirding the salutary benefit of familial racial socialization will be discussed. Specifically, mixed-methods (i.e., survey, observation, interview) research will be presented that addresses how diverse families of Black youth navigate teaching their children about race.  This presentation will conclude with a discussion of ongoing and future research, including how both experimental and prospective studies can serve to promote the resiliency of Black youth. Register for this event here.


Affinity Session: Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 1-2pm CT

The Affinity Session provides the opportunity for Black students, staff, and faculty to come together in community with each other and the visiting scholar to collectively reflect on their realities of being Black and in the field of psychology. Register for this event here.


Special Session: Friday, September 17, 2021, 10-11am CT

Belonging Required, Fitting In (Optional): Graduate School for Trainees of Color: Graduate training in psychology is both a challenging and exciting endeavor for all students. However, the historical and contemporary realities of race and culture both in society and our discipline often make the training experience for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students a unique journey. In this session, we take up three points. First, we outline the quantitative and qualitative experience, noting common inhibiting factors to thriving as a BIPOC trainee. Second, we introduce a number of culturally-relevant strategies for navigating one’s time in graduate school. Third, we underline the importance of thriving (as opposed to simply surviving) in graduate school as a BIPOC student. We conclude with a set of BIPOC graduate student provided affirmations for doctoral students from underrepresented backgrounds. Register for the event here.

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