The Black Scholar Speaker Series

Black students are a critical part of our community and contribute to the field of psychology immensely. 

We recognize the critical role and incredible value that black students bring to the UIC community. Despite this, the number of black students and black faculty do not support the commitment to supporting black undergraduate students. UIC as an institution exists because of its students and, specifically, black students are a key part of this campus community.

Only 8% percent of the undergraduate student population at UIC is Black, 1 in 4 Black students choose not to come back after their first year, and only 25% of Black students graduate in four years. At UIC, only 5% of all faculty are Black.

This disparity may be a result of the diminished sense of belonging that Black students feel within institutions of higher learning, in part, because of the underrepresentation of Black faculty within these spaces. This disparity is particularly pronounced within the Psychology Department, which currently has no Black faculty.

The Department recognizes that as a predominantly white faculty, it is our responsibility to foster an inclusive climate for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues and students.

Through the Black Scholar Speaker Series, the Psychology Department invites Black scholars from the field of psychology to UIC for a day of virtual engagement including a main lecture on the scholar’s work; an affinity session providing dedicated space for Black students to engage with the scholar; and a special session on a selected topic. Initially launched in 2020, to date, we have successfully hosted events with four Black psychologists, and plan to host another five Black scholars this academic year. This effort to support the BSSS has been funded by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Academic Programs, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Psychology Department.