White men dominated the field of psychology up until the Civil Rights and Women’s Movements of the 1960s and ‘70s. But even before then, a few daring women of color strove to diversify the field as scientists, practitioners and policy makers.
In celebration of those pioneers, Black History Month and Women’s History Month, an interactive exhibit that features minority women who have contributed to psychology will be on display at Drexel University’s W. W. Hagerty Library from Feb. 27 to March 10.
“I am Psyched! Inspiring Histories, Inspiring Lives: Women of Color in Psychology” began as a pop-up exhibit hosted by the American Psychological Association (APA) in Washington, D.C. Now the APA is bringing the display to universities around the country, and Drexel will be the second stop on the tour. The Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and Drexel Libraries is sponsoring the program.
“We hope that by learning about the challenges and successes of these psychologists, young women of color will be inspired to reach for their dreams,” said Dorothy Charbonnier, PhD, an assistant teaching professor in the College of Arts and Sciences who is coordinating the exhibit.
The traveling exhibit uses the history of psychology to engage girls of color, inspire their interest in the profession and demonstrate how psychology can be used for social change. It features quizzes, videos, posters, photos and other interactive activities.
Visitors will learn the stories of African-American researchers, like Mamie Phipps Clark, whose research on the effects of racial segregation on black children was used in the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court Case, resulting in the integration of public schools.
An opening reception will be held in the Hagerty Library on Monday, Feb. 27, at 5 p.m. to unveil the exhibit and kick off its 10-day run at Drexel. On the final day of the exhibit, the Department of Psychology will host a panel discussion about how women of color are continuing to push the boundaries of the field while still facing challenges.
The exhibit is open to all Drexel faculty, staff, and students, as well as the Philadelphia community. Individual self-guided tours are available during regular library visiting hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday). Visitors without a Drexel DragonCard should schedule an appointment by contacting Dorothy Charbonnier at 215.571.4407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Exhibit
“I am Psyched!” was designed and implemented by the APA’s Women’s Programs Office (WPO), the Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron, and Psychology’s Feminist Voices Oral History and Digital Archive Project as part of Women’s History Month in 2016. Other partners include the Council on Women and Girls at The White House and the Smithsonian Institution Affiliations program.