The James Sidanius Lecture on Social Inequality: Phillip Atiba Goff, Ph.D.


Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 3:00pm to 4:30pm


Hosted at WJH Auditorium for the Harvard community. Recording link available - email request to:

The Department of Psychology and the Department’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging presents

Phillip Atiba Goff, Ph.D.

who will speak at the inaugural James Sidanius Lecture on Social Inequality

Topic: "Seeing the Forest: What Psychological Science Owes to Black Liberation"

Abstract: Historically, social psychology has too often approached important socio-political issues (e.g., racism) as if they occur only between individuals. This fixation on the individual level of socio-political organization has helped to obscure broader institutional and structural factors and impoverished the theoretical lens through which social psychology offers solutions to group-based injustice. Across a series of laboratory and field studies focused on public safety, I provide models for expanding this lens as well as examples of how social psychologists can contribute meaningfully to a more robust science that diagnoses and combats racism.

Phillip Atiba Goff is the Carl I. Hovland Professor of African American Studies and Professor of Psychology at Yale University.

He received his AB from Harvard and PhD in Psychology from Stanford. He quickly became a national leader in the science of racial bias by pioneering scientific experiments that exposed how our minds learn to associate Blackness and crime implicitly—often with deadly consequences.

This research led Dr. Goff to co-found the Center for Policing Equity (CPE), a university research center now supported by the 501(c)(3) Policing Equity organization. Jim Sidanius was a founding board member.

Created at UCLA, where Dr. Goff took tenure, the Center grew to be the world’s largest research and action organization on race and public safety. CPE also hosts the world’s largest collection of police behavioral data in the National Science Foundation-funded National Justice Database. CPE researchers use scientific analyses of this database as a tool to reduce burdensome and inequitable policing and remove policing from places where it causes harm. Dr. Goff has won two American Psychological Association early career awards, the Association for Psychological Science Rising Star award, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executive’s Lloyd G. Sealy Award, among many others.