Psychology to Host “Through the Doors” Event Highlighting Diversity in Psychology

Through the Doors logoFrom the March 2013 Desktop News | The Department of Psychology will host a student poster presentation on March 15 as part of “Through the Doors,” the year-long commemoration of The University of Alabama’s 50th anniversary of desegregation. The event’s title, “Integration now, integration tomorrow, integration forever,” hearkens back to former Alabama Governor George Wallace’s infamous quote. The event celebrates ways in which the inclusion of African Americans and other diverse groups has enhanced the field of psychology.

The event will be held from 6-8 p.m. in in room 208 of Gordon Palmer Hall on the UA campus and is free and open to the public.

According to Dr. Sheila Black, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, the discipline of psychology has played a seminal role in helping to advance understanding of the science and policy of desegregation, race, and diversity.

Prior to the Civil Rights movement and desegregation efforts of the 1960s, many African Americans were denied the opportunity to pursue higher education and, as a result, were denied the opportunity to make contributions to fields such as psychology. This not only had a deleterious effect on the victims of discrimination but also denied various disciplines the opportunity to benefit from the talents of African Americans, Black explained.

“We hope that people will come away with a realization that the discipline of psychology has been enriched by the inclusion of people of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities,” Black said.

Following remarks from faculty members in the Department, more than 30 undergraduate and graduate students will present their posters. Topics of the posters range from investigating the historical impact of Kenneth Clark, a noted psychologist whose work was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which formally ended racial segregation in American public schools; to an exploration of the work of Frances Sumner, who is commonly referred to as the “Father of Black Psychology.”

In addition to the Department of Psychology, the poster presentation is sponsored by the College and coordinated by faculty members Dr. Jeff Parker, Dr. Beverly Roskos, Dr. Kristine McDonald, and graduate students Gabrielle Smith and Megan Malcomb.

For more information, contact Shelia Black at or Gabrielle Smith at

Read more from this issue of Desktop News | Read all Desktop News