Diversity Advocacy Statement Department of Educational Psychology

The faculty, staff, and students of the Department of Educational Psychology are unified in our stance against racism in all its forms; against injustice toward the underserved and underrepresented of our society; and against hatred and discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, and culture. We stand for inclusiveness, fairness, and advocacy, and against racism, prejudice, and injustice. We acknowledge our privileged position as a mostly white faculty  within the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and strongly vow to use that privilege to support tenets and actions associated with anti-racism. We also loudly voice our disapproval of violence and systemic racism, as exemplified by recent police killings of Black Americans, rooted in our country’s history of slavery that continues to oppress Black people in our country. Additionally, we are vigorous and persistent advocates for people of color, and acknowledge the inequities they face in our community. We understand the importance of respect and support of individuals, including students, clients, staff, and faculty who are different from us in age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, spirituality, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status. Department students, faculty, and staff are committed to exercising cultural humility, and creating an atmosphere of equality, safety and trust for everyone.

We recognize the enormous social problems that continue to exist in our country. We pledge to work to overcome them, and we embrace the hope conveyed by Dr. Martin Luther King in the following passage to be people of good will unified in our resistance of injustice and discrimination.

"The problem is deep. It is gigantic in extent, and chaotic in detail. And I do not believe that it will be solved until there is a kind of cosmic discontent enlarging in the bosoms of people of good will all over this nation.

There are certain technical words in every academic discipline which soon become stereotypes and even clichés.

Every academic discipline has its technical nomenclature. You who are in the field of psychology have given us a great word. It is the word maladjusted. This word is probably used more than any other word in psychology. It is a good word; certainly it is good that in dealing with what the word implies you are declaring that destructive maladjustment should be destroyed. You are saying that all must seek the well-adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities.

But on the other hand, I am sure that we will recognize that there are some things in our society, some things in our world, to which we should never be adjusted. There are some things concerning which we must always be maladjusted if we are to be people of good will. We must never adjust ourselves to racial discrimination and racial segregation. We must never adjust ourselves to religious bigotry. We must never adjust ourselves to economic conditions that take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. We must never adjust ourselves to the madness of militarism, and the self-defeating effects of physical violence."

-Martin Luther King’s keynote address, 1967 national conference of the American Psychological Association (APA)


Following Dr. King’s goals, our department will never adjust to the influences of systemic racism. Instead we are resolute in our commitment to equity, inclusiveness, and justice, united against racism and destructive prejudice in all its forms. We embrace the concept, value, and unifying nature of diversity and recognize that all of our work in Educational Psychology is anchored in our support for cultural diversity and equality.