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2019 Featured Keynotes


Kurt Lewin Award Winner, Dr. Ervin Staub
University of Massachusetts Amherst


"Witnesses/Bystanders: The Tragic Fruits of Passivity and Generating
Active Bystandership in Children, Adults and Groups"

Dr. Ervin Staub was born in Hungary, where as a young child he lived through Nazism, and then communism and escaped there when he was 18 years old. During his career he has studied the influences that lead to caring, helpful, altruistic behavior in children and adults, and the development of caring and helping in children. Having studied both “active bystandership,” and passivity in the face of people in need, he then turned to a focus on perpetration, studying the social conditions, culture, and psychology of individuals and groups, and social processes that lead to mass violence, especially genocide and mass killing, but also violent conflict, terrorism and torture. 

Please join us for the Kurt Lewin Keynote Address given by Dr. Ervin Staub on Friday evening at 6:15 pm followed our welcome reception at 7:30pm.  All are invited!

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SPSSI President, Dr. Elizabeth Cole
University of Michigan

"Reflections on Power, Voice, and Free Speech" 

SPSSI President Dr. Elizabeth Cole will deliver her presidential keynote address with a discussion of how power and voice impact the debate about diversity, inclusion and free speech on college campuses. In this talk, Dr. Cole will consider how a psychological understanding of power and voice are missing from current national conversations on free speech and argue this omission constitutes a "missing discourse" (Fine, 1988).  A discussion of the ways that research on social norms, gendered self-silencing, stigma, and activism complicate questions of whether to speak, who gets the floor to speak, and whose speech is considered legitimate by listeners and potential remedies with caveats will be included in the conversation.

Please join us for the Presidential Keynote Address given by Dr. Elizabeth Cole on Saturday evening at 7:30 pm followed by a reception co-hosted by our Diversity, Graduate Student, and Early Career Scholars’ Committees.


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Dr. Kimala Price
San Diego State University

"The Role of the Scholar-Activist in a Shifting Political Landscape"

For more than two decades, Dr. Kimala Price has been active in the reproductive rights and reproductive justice movements, including working for a number of national women’s rights organizations in Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA; she has also worked as a legislative fellow on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. 

A self-avowed accidental professor, Dr. Price will discuss the benefits and challenges of being a scholar-activist on the academic tenure track. In this keynote, Dr. Price will challenge you as she argues that now more than ever it is important for us to bring our informed insights to bear on pressing social and political issues and to engage with local communities to address these issues.  She also argues that we should develop equitable partnerships and projects with local communities that places their concerns and needs at the forefront of analysis. Moreover, she will emphasize the need to model thoughtful, compassionate reflection, healthy skepticism, sharp analysis, and respectful critique, which have been noticeably absent in our public discourse during this era of “post-truth” and “alternative facts.” 

Please join us for the Invited Keynote Address given by Dr. Kimala Price on Sunday afternoon at 12:15 pm.

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