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The Black Scholar Series: Dr. Shawn Jones

Dr. Shawn C.T. Jones

We welcome our next speaker, Dr. Shawn  C.T. Jones, a current Assistant Professor in the Counseling Program in the Psychology Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Children and Families from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a Child Clinical Psychology Predoctoral intern at UCLA. He also holds a Master of Health Science in Mental Health from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (2010) and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University (2008). Dr. Jones endeavors to impact the psychosocial wellbeing of Black youth and their families by: a) exploring mechanisms undergirding culturally-relevant protective and promotive factors; b) translating basic research into interventions that harness the unique strengths of the Black experience; and c) disseminating this research to be consumed, critiqued and enhanced by the communities the work intends to serve.


Tuesday, September 14, 2021,  12:30PM – 2:00PM CT
Main Lecture: Using Family Systems to Promote Dignity & Prepare for Discrimination: Racial Socialization of Black Youth
Keniston (1978) asserted that Black youth are “the most endangered children in our society.” Indeed, Black children and teens are exposed to myriad risks, particularly those that emanate from the legacy of racism in this country. Yet, despite historical deficit-oriented narratives concerning them, Black youth—and their families—have continued to demonstrate positive psychosocial outcomes. Moreover, assisting diverse family structures in cogently providing racial socialization may optimize the historical psychosocial protection of this racially-relevant factor. In this presentation, conceptual and empirical work on mechanisms undergirding the salutary benefit of familial racial socialization will be discussed. Specifically, mixed-methods (i.e., survey, observation, interview) research will be presented that addresses how diverse families of Black youth navigate teaching their children about race. This presentation will conclude with a discussion of ongoing and future research, including how both experimental and prospective studies can serve to promote the resiliency of Black youth.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 1PM – 2PM 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.

Friday, September 17, 2021, 10AM – 11AM CT
Special Session: Belonging Required, Fitting In (Optional): Graduate School for Trainees of Color
Graduate training in psychology is both a challenging and exciting endeavor for all students. However, the historical and contemporary realities of race and culture both in society and our discipline often make the training experience for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students a unique journey. In this session, we take up three points. First, we outline the quantitative and qualitative experience, noting common inhibiting factors to thriving as a BIPOC trainee. Second, we introduce a number of culturally-relevant strategies for navigating one’s time in graduate school. Third, we underline the importance of thriving (as opposed to simply surviving) in graduate school as a BIPOC student. We conclude with a set of BIPOC graduate student provided affirmations for doctoral students from underrepresented backgrounds.