SPSSI Representative to APA COR
Sonji (Sahn-juh) Jones-Manson, Ph.D. shaped her skills, values, and experience through 23 years of supporting social issues related to youth, education, and community wellness in Chicago. Her professional work has been dedicated to empowering residents from marginalized communities with limited access to systemic knowledge and opportunities to build their capacity to improve their quality of life. Colored through the lens of her social-constructivist worldview, Dr. Jones-Manson combines practical application of the scientific skills and knowledge acquired through higher education with her lived experiences in marginalized communities. She earned her doctoral degree in Community Psychology at National Louis University in Chicago, IL, and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Education and Social Policy respectively at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Her contributions have been primarily with start-up programs in schools and non-profit organizations designing and implementing strategic plans, logic models, and formative evaluations. Her ongoing interests are student voice, educational equity, and equitable access and opportunities for BIPOC scientists. Sonji is the founder of The Humanization Affair, a consulting and coaching organization committed to building our capacity to become a more humane society. She is also is employed as a Management and Program Analyst at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Education and Innovation Research program where she served as the 2021-2022 American Psychological Association Executive Branch Science and Technology Policy Fellow.
As an undergraduate student, Sonji was introduced to and fascinated by the process through which psychological and sociological research is applied beyond the lab to understand the way people interact with society and to establish policy. It was in this environment where she discovered her passion for applying research in service to others, and her desire to work with marginalized communities and support the advancement of their well-being. She believes that social change occurs when the human voice and experience is centered in social research and evaluation, and commits her time, skills, and abilities to creating spaces for the voice and experience of humans subjected to conditions and systems that marginalize them.