Five Questions with Cultural Psychologist Valerie Purdie-Vaughns

The issue of race is foremost in the nation’s consciousness as events in Ferguson, Mo. unfold. But for Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, there is a more important message. “There are parents sitting in their home right now who buried their son,” said the associate professor of psychology at Columbia. “It is a lesson about our humanity. Every other lesson is secondary.”

An associate professor of psychology studying intergroup relations and diversity, Purdie-Vaughns’ research centers on race, and the unexpected ways it can play out.


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