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Black Psychology Lectures Ends March 1

UC Riverside Lecture Series Honors Former UCR Professor

Dr. Wade W. Nobles from San Francisco State University will talk about achieving educational excellence

(February 22, 2006)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- UC Riverside’s Psychology Department will salute the past and future of the African-American psychology movement with weekly guest lectures by distinguished black academics every Wednesday in February. The final lecture, preceded by a reception at 5 p.m., will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 1 in Humanities and Social Sciences 1501. The speaker is Dr. Wade W. Nobles.

Founded in memory of the late Reginald L. Jones, former professor and chairman of UCR’s School of Education and a pioneer in black psychology, the series is free to the public.

Titled “The Psychology of the Black Experience,” the series aims to attract an audience of students, therapists, social workers, teachers and community leaders, said UCR Professor Carolyn B. Murray, a series organizer and one of the six lecturers.

“These are all dynamic speakers at the top of the field of black psychology, with a wealth of knowledge and years of research and publishing and clinical experience,” Murray said. “What they have to say in these lectures -- where the audience is made up of students, professionals and community leaders who will be counseling and providing care for decades to come -- has the potential to have a major positive effect on the people whose lives those professionals will touch. It’s awesome in terms of the possible impact.”

This series is especially relevant, Murray said, as area school districts and governments work to protect minority youths from risks of gang violence, emphasize good health habits and medical care, and place more attention on achievement in school.

Murray said the speakers have approached problems from a utilitarian standpoint, looking at what parents, therapists and community members can do to have a positive effect on black youngsters’ lives and futures.

“This is not just about what the problems are, but about where the solutions lie,” Murray said.

On Jan. 25, Dr. Thomas A. Parham, director of UC Irvine’s Counseling Center, spoke. Assistant vice chancellor for Counseling and Health Services at UCI, Parham is a past president of both the National Association of Black Psychologists and the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, which is an arm of the American Counseling Association. He is a member of the Orange County chapter of The 100 Black Men, and has led the group’s education committee. He designed the "Rites of Passage" program for The 100’s "Passport to the Future" and Los Angeles-based "College Bound" outreach. Parham co-wrote the second and third editions of The Psychology of Blacks: An African-Centered Perspective, and wrote Psychological Storms: The African American Struggle for Identity.

On Feb. 1, Kwanzaa founder, cultural activist and scholar Dr. Maulana Karenga lectured on “Black/Brown Cooperation and Conflict: Toward an Ethics of Sharing.” Professor Karenga is a past chairman of the Department of Black Studies at Cal State Long Beach, where he now leads the President's Task Force on Multicultural Education and Campus Diversity. He has served as visiting professor in black studies at UC Riverside, Stanford University and the University of Nebraska, Omaha. He directs the Institute for Pan African Studies and the National Organization of Kawaida Organizations. Karenga has written many books, including The Quotable Karenga; Kwanzaa: Origin, Concept and Practice; Selections from the Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt; The Book of Coming Forth By Day; Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture; Odu Ifa: The Ethical Teachings; and Introduction to Black Studies.

On Feb. 8, clinical psychologist Dr. Robert L. Williams gave a lecture titled “Overrepresentation of African American Children in Special Education.” A retired Washington University professor, Williams in 1973 coined the term “Ebonics,” which came into use as controversy grew around the linguistic status of black English. He has been a steadfast critic of racial and cultural inequities in standardized IQ testing of schoolchildren. Developer of the Black Intelligence Test of Cultural Homogeneity, he has published more than 60 professional articles and several books, including Ebonics: The True Language of Black Folks and The Collective Black Mind: Toward an Afrocentric Theory of the Black Personality. His latest book, Racism at an Early Age, explores how racist attitudes are transmitted to children by parents, relatives, media, peers and the broader society through a process he calls “racial scripting.” Williams has appeared on several national TV news and talk shows to address issues related to IQ testing and Ebonics.

On Feb. 15, Dr. Harriette McAdoo of Michigan State University gave a lecture titled “The Imbalance of Men to Women: The Effects on Black Children.” Professor McAdoo's teaching and research interests in the Department of Family & Child Ecology center on the social, educational and parental environment of black children and the psychology of African-American families. Her work documents the social and psychological development and experiences of people of the African Diaspora. She has published widely on this subject, including the nationally acclaimed book "Black Families." Other publications include "Family Ethnicity: Strength in Diversity," and "Black Children: Social, Educational and Parental Environments." She has spent several summers working for AIDS-related programs in Africa. She also has taught at the University of Michigan, Smith College and Howard University.

On Feb. 22, Dr. Murray gave a lecture titled “Conditioned Failure: Black Child Educational Underachievement, What Parents Need to Know.” Professor Murray, the recipient of a four-year grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Mental Health (NIH), performed a pioneer longitudinal study of socialization processes in African-American families. Her research and writing in the past has addressed ways in which teachers’ negative stereotypes can mold their expectations for students and, in turn, influence the students’ achievement. Murray also has investigated disparities in mental health service delivery. Published in a wide array of scholarly journals and author of many textbook chapters, Murray is working on a book about how African-American parents can become advocates for their children within the educational system.

On March 1, Dr. Wade W. Nobles, an experimental social psychologist from San Francisco State University, will give a lecture titled “Touching the Spirit: Achieving Educational Excellence.” Professor Nobles is founder and executive director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Family, Life and Culture, at San Francisco State University. A prominent theoretical scientist in the fields of African psychology and cross-cultural and ethno-human functioning, Nobles has written extensively on African-American family dynamics, the psychological aspects of mythology, black child development, parenting and systems of human transformation and development.

Professor Reginald L. Jones, who died Sept. 24 at the age of 74, was a clinical psychologist who first practiced in military and state hospitals, moving on to UCLA and UC Riverside, where he focused on special education in 1971 and 1972. After his work at UC Riverside, he became professor and director of the University Testing Center, Haile Sellassie I University, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, where he spent most of his academic career. He also taught at Ohio State University and Hamilton University in Virginia. His 1972 book, "Black Psychology," was a seminal work in its field, Murray said. It inspired a flowering of research into the psychology of African-Americans. In 2003, the American Psychological Association recognized Dr. Jones for distinguished career contributions, and he was heralded worldwide as the father of black psychology. “His work was a springboard for most of us,” she said.

Co-sponsors for the series include: African Student Programs, Associated Students Program Board, CHASS Dean's Office, Center for Ideas and Society, Department of Psychology, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor/Vice Provost for Conflict Resolution, and the University of California, Riverside Libraries.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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