National Traveling Exhibit Returns to Celebrate Women of Color in Psychology
By Tom Durso
March 3, 2022
The I Am Psyched! national touring exhibit has returned to Drexel and is being presented in person this month after last year’s virtual presentation due to the pandemic.
The multimedia pop-up exhibit explores the history and contemporary contributions of women of color in psychology. The 2022 edition is running at Drexel through March 11, in the first-floor Stratton Hall lobby.
Launched in March 2016 by the American Psychological Association, I Am Psyched! began its national tour with an in¬stallation at Howard University in Washington, DC, the following year. Drexel was the second university to host the exhibit, and has done so each year since.
Through quizzes, videos, posters, photos and other interactive activities, I Am Psyched! uses the history of psychology to engage all audiences, including people of color, inspire their interest in the profession, and demonstrate how psychology can be used for social change. Visitors learn the stories of pioneers such as Mamie Phipps Clark, whose research on the effects of racial segregation on Black children was used in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case, resulting in the integration of public schools.
“These contributions went largely unnoticed because they were made by women of color,” said Dorothy R. Charbonnier, PhD, associate teaching professor of psychological and brain sciences and the coordinator of I Am Psyched!@Drexel. “This includes Black and indigenous people, but also Asian and Native American women. I Am Psyched! is an amazing presentation of what these women did and how it changed society.”
Charbonnier brought I Am Psyched! to Drexel after seeing it at a conference. In its third year here, a team from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences was formed to help expand the exhibit’s reach and impact. Charbonnier is the team’s lead; its members include fellow faculty members Brian Daly, PhD, Lila Chrysikou, PhD, Danette Morrision, PhD, the faculty adviser for Students of Color in Psychology, and Ludo Scheffer, PhD, as well as Brittany Thomas, the department’s administrative coordinator.
The timing of the exhibit, which began February 28, is deliberate. It straddles February, which is Black History Month, and March, which is Women’s History Month.
“I use this exhibit to provide role models for our students,” said Charbonnier. “It provides them with an historical context.”
Charbonnier also launched an independent study course to give students of color the chance to be involved with all aspects of I Am Psyched!, including serving as docents for visitors’ tours. The Students of Color in Psychology group was formed by the students taking the independent study.
“Students in this group along with others have helped at every stage of the installation, from planning to unpacking to setting up to breaking down to shipping back,” she said. “They have taken ownership of it. They’ve taken pride in it. And they look forward to participating in it year after year.”
Student docents are available on a limited basis to give tours to small groups. Contact Charbonnier if interested.
Click here for more information on I Am Psyched!@Drexel.