The Department of Psychology at UC Berkeley is committed to the development of a diverse psychological science, reflecting the diversity of California’s population and that of the United States and a globalized world. Our field has long emphasized universal principles, too often based on narrowly defined samples, with far less attention paid to variation in participants and contexts that shape brain, mind, and behavior. Many groups and their experiences have been excluded from study, and diverse contexts that shape development have largely been ignored. Examples of understudied topics include cultural, ethnic, and class variation in neurodevelopmental processes, sex differences in drug metabolism, and resilience in populations facing risk.
Our commitment to a diverse psychological science is essential, as our nation and its institutions were built on genocide, slavery, and the exploitation of women, people of color, and others placed on the margins. Many in our society continue to face structural barriers and encounter racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other forms of injustice. Our discipline has at times helped create and maintain such oppression. As examples, pathways into psychology careers have not always welcomed women, individuals of color, and disabled people. Infamously, psychological research was used to provide support for the Eugenicist tenet that there are hereditary differences in intelligence between racial groups. And yet psychology has much to contribute toward repairing these harms, illuminating opportunity gaps, identifying strengths, and constructing a more equitable society.
All of this requires cultivating an inclusive community of students, staff, and faculty that represents the wide variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews associated with different identities and social contexts. Such diversity includes differences based on age, gender identification, sexuality, race and ethnicity, ability/disability, culture, religion, income and education level, citizenship status, their intersections, and more. However, representation is only one step, as all of us must collectively ensure that the research, teaching, and service that we undertake engages diverse populations, gives voice to diverse perspectives, and addresses real-world social problems.
Our overarching goals include: 1) creating an environment that attracts, retains, and supports a diverse set of students, faculty, and staff; 2) ensuring that our curriculum and research/intervention training opportunities substantively address diversity and equity; 3) driving new research on diversity, equity, and underrepresented populations; and 4) engaging in public scholarship and service that contributes to equity and social justice.
We recognize that the fostering of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging requires a long-term, sustained commitment with critical self-reflection and evaluation throughout the process. And together, we will frame a series of short- and long-term plans of action.
For more information on the department's diversity-related goals and activities, you can contact the Department's Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) committee. Current faculty co-chairs of this committee are:
Mahesh Srinivasan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Arianne Eason, email@example.com