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Sarah Herrmann


Germine "Gigi" Awad


SPSSI Summer Conference 2024 Preview

Sarah Herrmann, Associate Professor of Psychological Science, Weber State University

Germine “Gigi” Awad, University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan

We are quickly approaching SPSSI’s 2024 conference, which will take place June 21-23, 2024 in Philadelphia. We chose the conference theme “Frontiers of Justice: Using Psychological Science to Reinvigorate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” to reflect the recent attacks against Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the U.S. and globally. While psychological science is a useful tool to confront attacks on DEI and fight misinformation, the field faces internal and external challenges. Some believe that the topics we research are overly political and/or unscientific. Others may inadvertently exclude or appear exclusionary toward applied and critical work. SPSSI and its members stand at the intersection of these conflicts. We hope that the conference will provide us a vehicle to critically examine these conflicts, broadening notions about what is included in “psychological science,” what is defined as “rigorous,” and what possibilities lie in diversity science that foregrounds concerns with justice.

We received an impressive 428 submissions for the conference this year. The themes of the various symposia, interactive discussions, and posters are as varied as our membership, reflecting the latest research, pedagogy, and practice in the domains of health, diversity, prejudice, politics, sustainability, policy, and law. Our keynotes also reflect the most pressing issues of the moment. Dr. Patrick Grzanka (SPSSI President) will deliver the presidential address: “Intersectionality and Fascism: Harnessing Critical Psychology to Disarm Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Dr. Helen Neville (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) will give a keynote address entitled, “Psychology and Racial Justice: Dismantling Color-blind Racial Ideology and Advancing Healing among People of Color.” Additionally, Dr. Sara McClelland (University of Michigan) will discuss “The Imagined Woman Driving Abortion Attitudes: Weaving Experimental and Qualitative Perspectives to Reveal Racist Habits of Mind.” Finally, Linda Tropp (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) will deliver the 2024 Kurt Lewin Award address on “A Renaissance of Social Relevance: Maximizing Insights and the Impact of Psychological Research.”

We would also like to highlight our excellent preconferences, which will take place on June 20. The 2024 SPSSI Policy Preconference Workshop focuses on “Campaigning for Justice: Skills and Strategies to Advance Policies Centering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” Additionally, the SPSSI Graduate Student Committee will present a Preconference Workshop on “The Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - and How Accessibility and Retention are Often Left Out.” We are also fortunate to intersect with the 4th Institute for Academic Feminist Psychologists, presented by The Committee on Academic Feminist Psychology, from June 18 to June 20. The conference will also feature networking opportunities including lunch sign ups and receptions as well as late-breaking sessions focused on current events.

We are excited to see you in Philadelphia for lively discussion, innovative research, and community. For more information, please visit

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