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The Black Scholar Series: Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler

Dr. Burnett-Zeigler

We welcome our second speaker for the 2023-2024 Academic Year, Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler, a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She has two decades of clinical experience helping people with stress, trauma, mood and anxiety conditions, and difficulty in interpersonal relationships. In her clinical practice she promotes holistic wellness through mindfulness, self-compassion and healthy behavior change. Inger’s scholarly work focuses on the role that social determinants of health play in mental illness and treatment, particularly in the Black community. She conducts community based effectiveness-implementation research that squarely centers the needs of the most underserved. Inger has written dozens of articles and other publications on mental health in the Black community and lectures widely on barriers to access and engagement in mental health treatment, mindfulness and strategies to improve mental health outcomes and participation in treatment. She is the author of the book Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen: The Emotional Lives of Black Women. Inger is an advocate for normalizing participation in mental health treatment and ensuring that all individuals have access to high-quality, evidence based mental health care. She is an active contributor to the public discourse on mental health and she has been featured in the New York TimesTIME Magazine, and Chicago Tribune. Inger received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Cornell University, her doctorate in clinical psychology from Northwestern University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the VA Ann Arbor/University of Michigan. She lives in Chicago.


Thursday, November 2, 2023
10:00 – 11:30 AM CT
Main Lecture: Trading the Strong Black Woman for the Soft Life: Mindfulness as a way for Black Women to Cope with Chronic Stress and Improve Wellness

Epidemiological studies have shown that socio-demographic characteristics such as gender, race/ethnicity, education, employment, and income are associated with one’s risk for developing a mental health condition, access and engagement in treatment. Similarly, cultural factors play a key role in the expression, identification, and perceived need for treatment, particularly among Black women. In this presentation, characteristics of the cultural icon the “Strong Black Woman” will be discussed as it relates to how Black women cope with stress. Additionally, mental and physical health challenges that are disproportionately prevalent among Black women will be highlighted. Preliminary findings of a randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness and implementation of a mindfulness based intervention for depressive symptoms among Black women in a Federally Qualified Health Center as one pathway toward mental health equity will be presented.

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM CT
Affinity Session: 
The Affinity Session provides the opportunity for Black students, staff, and faculty to come together in community with each other and the visiting scholar to collectively reflect on their realities of being Black and in the field of psychology.

1:00 – 2:00 PM CT
Special Session: Expanding your reach: Sharing your scholarship through multi-media outlets

This special session will engage faculty and students in a discussion on how they can share their expertise with broad audiences by writing op-eds, conducting television interviews, trade publication, and presenting for lay audiences. Strategies for writing op-eds and conducting television interviews will be discussed.

Virtual registration will become available on 10/30/23 .

**Zoom Auto Transcription is provided for virtual attendees. If you require a Live Transcriptionist, please email Dr. Loretta Hsueh ( or Dr. Dennis Sparta (