Patricia Gurin, PhD
The National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) are pleased to announce that Dr. Patricia Gurin — the Nancy Cantor Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Psychology and Women’s Studies — was selected as the 2019 recipient of the James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship.
Collectivity, Community, and Connections in the Pursuit of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Monday, November 18, 2019 | 4:00-5:30 p.m., reception to follow
East Hall Auditorium Room 1324
[Tabbye Chavous, Director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID)]
Welcome. Beautiful to see all of your faces today. My name is Tabbye Chavous, and I'm the director of the University's National Center for Institutional Diversity. We're thrilled to be able to cohost this event together with the University of Michigan's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Again, really glad to see so many of you here today, to honor the James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship awardee, and to share, to have her share with us, her lecture and award presentation.
This award recognizes Dr. Patricia Gurin, for her critical scholarly contributions to understanding diversity and addressing disparities in contemporary societies. As a testament to her incredible impact, and they were fun to read, we received no fewer than eight separate nominations, so, you know, some people get one or two, for Pat, for this award, and most of those nominations were multiple people. And that included many different constituencies, students, staff, faculty, both past and present alike.
As many of you know, Dr. Gurin is the national exemplar of a scholar, teacher, mentor, and activist, who's played leading roles on issues of race and gender diversity, particular with regard to higher education. As a social psychologist, Dr. Gurin's work has investigated social identities and the ways that such identities inform academic and professional motivation, cognition, and achievement, political and civic attitudes and behaviors, and intergroup relations, that a lot of you know about. One of her most impactful efforts, with respect to social inclusion, includes her expert witness status and testimony in support of affirmative action programs at the University of Michigan, as well as related scholarly work, focusing on issues of diversity in higher education. The theoretical framework that Dr. Gurin established in "The Compelling Need for Diversity in Higher Education" was masterful, and established the U of M as a major thought leader in this area. This work also helped equip higher education with critical evidence, concerning the value of diversity, as many institutions were looking to fortify the diversity, equity, and inclusion infrastructures and capacities. As a testament to the impact of this work, for example, her 2002 article on the topic, "Diversity and Higher Education: "Theory and Impact on Educational Outcomes", has been cited almost 2,500 times to date.
Dr. Gurin has also been instrumental in articulating effective pedagogical practices for intergroup education drawing on research and scholarship. She was the driving force behind the establishment of the university's renowned program on intergroup relations, known as IGR, affectionately to many of us, and also principle investigator of the first multi-university, multi-method longitudinal assessment of the impact of intergroup dialogues in higher education. These efforts have resulted in the comprehensive publication, "Dialogue Across Difference: Practice, Theory, "and Research on Intergroup Dialogue," which has been the benchmark for a generation of scholars and their scholarship, working on educationally meaningful and effective ways of educating diverse groups of students, around often divisive social dynamics. Furthermore, the intergroup dialogue curricular method, developed by IGR, is now being applied at more than 100 universities and counting.
Her contributions to the academy, along with research and scholarship, are almost too many to mention. As Department Chair of Psychology, she led the department's efforts in diversifying faculty and student ranks, by demanding the highest of standards, helping search committees understand issues of inequality, and recruiting top candidates from underrepresented groups. Due in large part to her leadership and efforts, the Psychology Department became one of the most diverse academic departments on campus during her tenure as chair. And her support and mentoring of these scholars is one her most significant contributions to the field of psychology, as well as to diversity scholarship. As many of these scholars have gone on to have prolific scholarly careers of their own, becoming leaders in their fields and mentoring other young scholars. And…I will say it personally, Pat was the chair who recruited me to Michigan, and so, I count myself as, hopefully, one of her, the success stories. And as someone who viewed her as both a leader and a model for excellence in research scholarship, but also the ways that we can use our faculty roles to make meaningful impacts on our campus, and as models for the broader society.
At the University of Michigan, Dr. Gurin has also served in numerous leadership and administrative roles, including Interim Dean of LS&A and chair of the Provost Committee on a Diverse Democracy, along with her faculty appointment and honors. Nationally, Dr. Gurin has received professional lifetime achievement citations, the American Psychological Foundation's Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement in Psychology in the Public Interest, as well as the American Psychological Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, from Division 45, The Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues. Dr. Gurin is also the recipient of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues' Presidential Citation for Research Contributions to Social Justice in America.
These are just a few snapshots of her professional career. Since her formal retirement, kind of got more busy. I don't know how that happened. Has remained just as active, and in fact more. As one of the few scholars who's worked tirelessly to bridge the divide between academic and student affairs, Pat co-developed a first-year experience course, "Making the Most of Michigan", which is housed in LS&A's Applied Liberal Arts division, to help students, particularly those from underrepresented or minoritized social and economic backgrounds, develop skills and tools for success. But is of note, that the course is particularly emphasized as identity exploration, and how students background experiences are strengths to build upon. This program has now also been incorporated into the Comprehensive Studies Program, here at Michigan, in its curriculum. And she's the guiding spirit and heart and soul of this course, which aspires and inspires, aspires and inspires to grow a movement.
I would like to acknowledge the support for the establishment of this reward from the Offices of the President and Provost, that the University of Michigan recognizes the importance of diversity scholarship, on the overall advancement of our institution, is what brings us all here today, in celebration of Pat Gurin's life's work. And without further ado, I would like to invite to the podium, for her distinguished lecture, Dr. Pat Gurin. Play to the crowd.
More than any other award, the James S. Jackson Diversity Scholar Career Award matters to me enormously. It reflects who I am, the core of who I am. It reflects my activities of leadership at Michigan. And so, I'm incredibly grateful, to the nominating people, those who've nominated me, the selection committee, the provost and the vice provost, and the leadership of the National Center for Institutional Diversity, whom you just met, Tabbye Chavous. It also means a huge amount to me, because it is named after James Jackson. James is over here. I'd like a standing ovation for James. So, I know you know a great deal about James, but I want to say a few things. He has done more than any social scientist in the country, to change both the compensation and the scholarship, having to do with black Americans. His scholarly work speaks for itself, and to my mind, his greatest legacy is what he's done in sponsoring, funding, through doctoral training and post docs, truly a huge, I mean literally, a huge number of social scientists of color, who are now doing incredible scholarship across this country and are leaders in any number of higher education institutions. Rob Taylor, who's over here, sends out a newsletter, from the program on Black Americans. And it's just amazing, every month, we learn one more thing about some extraordinary scholar, who's doing great things in our country. I also want to pay tribute to my husband, Jerry Gurin, who died in January. So, all the aspects of my life and my work, have been part of Jerry's mind and heart. I think this award is for both of us. A look back at my age inevitably means that I'm trying to figure out, what has it all meant? Especially, what has meant, with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion? It is my view, that scholarly impact, for most of us scholars, not all, but for most of us, is very time limited. What we study and what we write may change the field, may receive recognition, but except for a very few truly notable scholars, that's temporary impact. Long-term impact is about people. So, while I'll talk some about my scholarly work today, I believe that it's through my collaboration with lots of other people in this room and many other colleagues, is in the training of graduate students of color and white students as well, and in the Psychology Department, hiring a very diverse faculty. Over my training period of graduate students, which is largely before 2013, although I'm on two committees now. I mentored 46 graduate students of color and 25 white graduate students. And if you live long enough, which I have, you have the chance to mentor a student, and then that student's daughter. And here they are. Here's one up here, stand up Kathy.
- [Kathy] Thank you!
- And then the other daughter is here somewhere. Amanda, where are you? Stand up Amanda.
- So, they are Jaclyn Rodriguez, who's a faculty member, former chair of the Psych Department, and is in Latino Studies at Occidental College. And her daughter, Amanda, who is a current graduate student in social work and psychology, in her case, in Personality & Social Contexts. And I'm serving on her committee. Kathy Burlew was a former faculty member and chair of the Psych Department at the University of Cincinnati, among other things she did. And then her daughter, Randi, who got her degree in clinical psychology here, and whose dissertation I helped co-chair. Randi is now the Senior Research Associate at Philliber Research Associates, and is in Cincinnati, where her mother is also living.
All right, I'm especially proud of the faculty, the faculty who were hired during my tenure as this department chair, and then, of course, I don't mean that I hired them myself, I didn't. It was through this enormous commitment of lots of members of our department. Altogether, during my tenure as this chair, the department hired 45 faculty members in primary appointments. There were other people who had primary appointments elsewhere and were affiliated with our department in one way or another. Of those 45, 27 were faculty of color, 18 were white. And this includes nearly all of them. Importantly, nearly all of them received tenure. Only two in each group did not received tenure during that period of time. Many of both groups are leaders at U of M, including Tabbye Chavous, for sure, and including our department chair, Patti Reuter-Lorenz, who's here somewhere. Patti, stand up. The majority of these faculty members are still here at U of M, 10 of 18 white faculty, 18 of the 27 faculty of color. By highlighting some of the achievements and leadership positions of the faculty of color, I, of course, do not mean to underemphasize that what's happened with the white faculty as well. But, of course, when you're trying to change something, it's the people who were not there before that we somehow need to pay attention to, when they become part of a more inclusive department. Two of the faculty of color, who were hired during that period, became department chairs in Psych. Three have been associate deans in LS&A, one became in interim dean in LS&A, four became heads of other units, as is Tabbye. Two became associate vice presidents for Research. And, of course, there is Rob Sellers, who plays it all--who was our department chair and is now vice provost. Three won the distinguished teaching award, the Thurnau Award. So, this is truly the legacy I feel most proud about. That it was possible to significantly diversify the department racially and ethnically, and launch these terrific U of M leaders, making an impact on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Well, it happened, because of top leadership. President Duderstadt's Michigan Mandate and Lester Monts', what he called, cluster hires. And Lester is here, where are you Lester? Of course, the current administration has its own initiatives in diversity, equity, and inclusion. And I just took part in a conversation, a discussion about the current three-year, where we are in the three-year strategic plan that Rob Sellers gave, and it's a very impressive record.
There are two main thrusts to my scholarly work. The first, is how do members of groups that lack the usual resources for political involvement manage to create social change in their group's behalf? And second, how do members of groups that differ in power, cultural practices, and histories, how do they at times, manage to work together to create a different path to social change? But before turning to those two areas of my work, I want to go back in time a bit and talk about Social Psychology, when I became part of that program. A wonderful joint program in both sociology and psychology. Social psychology was energized by researchers right after World War II. I thought, at the time, that it was long time ago, that we had World War II. Now I realize, it was 1960, and that guess what. Wasn't so long before. They energized it with a great concern about, how did Adolf Hitler and the Nazis manage to create such extraordinary obedience and conformity? And there followed, therefore, wonderful studies, classic studies on conformity, and on how authorities manage to create obedience. And at the same time, there began to be studies on the more positive side. And here we have a picture of Gordon Allport and the seminal book that he published in 1954, "The Nature of Prejudice." That book and the conditions laid out in that book are still really the foundation of much of psychological research on intergroup relations. Well, I came into this joint program, in sociology and psychology, at a time when so much was happening in the world and in this university, and it was the epitome of interdisciplinarity that works. Faculty, teachers, and mentors who truly cared about us as students, student colleagues that were intellectually and politically vibrant, a faculty whose morale and democratic values were transparent and important to all of us, and the whole notion that what social psychology was about, was the potential linkage between social science and action, action for the public good. There were also two psychologists that were not at Michigan and not in social psychology, Kenneth and Mamie Clark. They partnered to extend Mamie Clark's research on black children, called The Doll Experiments. It was that research that became very well known and was part of the spur for changing what happened in Brown versus Board of Education, in 1945. The Clarks were the first African Americans to obtain their degrees from Columbia University, in psychology. Kenneth Clark was the first African American president of the American Psychological Association. And when I was constructing a study of historically black colleges, or really of the students in historically black colleges, how they manage to combine their individual ambitions and their enormous commitment to social change, I met with Kenneth Clark at Sylvia's in Harlem, to talk about that study. And I can't tell you how much it meant to me. But I want to focus, really on Mamie Clark, because she's the one who did the Doll Experiments. She was a woman psychologist when there weren't so many of us. Of course, there are lots and lots of us now. And so, she had, for me, a major impact, and she was figural for that legal, those legal things about Brown v. Board, that would be true of me, many decades later.
All right, the joint program was a perfect fit, and now I'm gonna get a little more personal. It provided theoretical and empirical ways of understanding how society works, how inequalities in discrimination structure people's life chances. It made obvious, how identities have something to do with those life chances. So, why was it a perfect fit? Well, a story about inequalities and privilege in my life, just before I came to graduate school. I was interracially married in the 1950s, long before it was very common. My marriage to Andrew Billingsley was indelibly formative in my life. I especially learned about privilege in that marriage. One story, in the late 1950s, illustrates that learning. Andy and I were new to U of M, we'd been here since September, and we went into Detroit, to the ballet, on New Year's Eve. After the ballet, we stopped to get a bottle of wine, to welcome in the new year. Andy went in to get the wine and I was driving. Suddenly, a police car was next to our car, and two white policemen now know, as Andy came out with the wine, that we were an interracial couple. So, they took us into the precinct, ostensibly, because we still had a Wisconsin license on our car, four months after moving to Detroit. This story is not about police harassment. It's a trivial example of that, stuff that people of color face everyday. It's about privilege, it's about my outrage in that precinct, about being held and held and held. Why were they doing, why were they stepping on my rights? This is not fair! And Andy, poor Andy's trying to shut me up, so we don't go to jail. I had to learn a huge amount about how my class and racial background had put me into a position of privilege, and I knew nothing about how it worked, until that marriage. This and other personal stories framed what I wanted in PhD program. I came into social psychology at that particular moment, when it would help with my motivation to understand, how does this all work and what can I do to make it better. So, how did that get expressed in my research? First, Collectivity, Solidarity, and Social Change. How groups lacking the usual resources manage to create change in their group's behalf. There were really three theories at the time, in the 1960s and 70s, when I was doing this work. First, Relative Deprivation, the idea that only when individuals see their situation as common for others in their group, and that they are relatively deprived, would they become motivated to do something about that disadvantage. So, two things, they had to see the deprivation as group based, and they had to experience group-based emotion. The second big approach was called, at the time and still, Resource Mobilization. The best example is sociologist Charles Tilly, who was, in fact, at Michigan for many years, before he went to New York. He developed a paper in 1978, on the concept of solidarity, and it had two ideas in it. “Catness”, the idea that people perceive boundaries between groups and that they have a group identity. And “Netness”, or the density of the networks in that category. Tilly argued that collective action and political mobilization will only happen when catness and netness exist, and when lots of other organizational resources also exist. The third, is Social Identity Theory. It was social psychologist, Henri Tajfel, who in 1972, proposed how social identity has something to do with collective action. He argued that as people's perceptions of the social structure, much like relative deprivation, that will help explain when people identify with a group of which they're a member, and that identify would foster social change when they realized that the boundaries between groups made it impossible to move, to pass into higher status groups. And secondly, when people saw those disparities as illegitimate and unfair. And third, as potentially unstable.
Well, my work in the 1960s and 70s, was developing along those lines. In a 1972 paper, I laid out what I called Group Consciousness. This is something that many people in the audience, Lorraine Gutierrez, Rob Sellers, many others, have now developed and done a lot with, of their own. It was comprised of four things. Group Identity, that's the awareness of commonality and common fate. Wayne McCullough's here, he did his dissertation on common fate, he's somewhere here. And the centrality of the group membership to the sense of self. Second, Power Discontent, discontent with the group's power, economic situation, and share of societal resources. Third, Illegitimacy, that these disparities between groups are viewed as unfair and illegitimate. And fourth, a Commitment to Collective Strategies, to bring about social change. So, for me, group consciousness was the social-psychological resource that motivates collective action, and I, with many others, have explored it, in a number of books. So, first, the participation of students at historically black colleges, in the southern civil rights movement. A book that I did with Edgar Epps. Secondly, the political engagement of the black electorate, in the 1984 election, presidential election, when Jesse Jackson was a candidate. And this is a book that I did with Shirley Hatchett and James Jackson. Third. Many historical examples of women, gathering together, collectively, for women's rights. And this is a book I edited with Louise Tilly. And fourth…this is Henry Mochida. I would not exist without him…this is a book about identity in the Chicano movement. It's really, primarily, written by Aida Hurtado, who's here somewhere. Where are you Aida? I was just a hanger-on. Examining current scholarship on collective action reveals that these major approaches, relative deprivation, resource mobilization, and social identity, are still behind most of it today. But today, practically none of it is being written by social psychologists, nearly all by sociologists. A recent collection of articles on collective action had not one United States' social psychologist. Instead they were from Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, England, and Scotland.
All right, let me turn to the second theme. How do members of groups that differ in cultural practices, histories, how do they manage, at least at times, to work together? This is the part about community and connections, in the title of our talk today, and this is the part that takes us back to Allport. The conditions in which intergroup contact can have positive, rather than negative, outcomes. The social psychological research based on Allport's ideas reveals both positive and negative, or challenging, outcomes. This body of research is nearly, entirely laboratory and experimental, and the lion's share of it is with whites and various groups of color, although there is a considerable amount in Israel, between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs. And what do we know about intergroup contact from this literature? Well, we know there's both positive and negative outcomes. There’s lots of positives. Reduction in unintentional bias. Positive feelings, not just about the group with which we are interacting now, but other groups as well. More heterogeneous friendships. An increase in egalitarian values. An increase in commitment to reduce disparities. And in the very large problem-solving literature, that's really based very much on Scott Page's theoretical work on diversity, more information and perspectives in diverse, rather than in homogeneous problem-solving groups. Thinking differently and harder, in those groups. Performing better on complex tasks. And greater creativity and innovativeness, also in those diverse problem solving groups. But, there've also been a lot of challenges. For example, less satisfaction and cohesion in those diverse and homogeneous problem-solving groups, and in the experimental literature, different problems for whites and people of color. For whites, concerns about appearing prejudiced. Greater anxiety. Depleted executive functioning, which means the front brain. Increased cardiovascular reactivity and nervous behaviors. It's what we have now come to know as white fragility. And for other groups, concerns about, once again, being the target of prejudice. An arousal of negative emotions. Having to come up with compensatory strategies to handle this intergroup situation, again, once again. And feelings of being inauthentic. These studies, and many others, have also demonstrated that members of higher and lower power groups have different motivations for taking part in conversations and interactions with people different from them. So, for higher power groups, members of higher power groups, a great desire to focus on our commonalities. Focus on individual change, what individuals can do to make a difference. And interestingly, wanting all disagreements to come at the end. Members of lower power groups want to get right at it. They want to focus on the power difference. They want to talk about power structure change. And they want to talk about it right away. So, what comes out of the intergroup contact literature is not simple. And that's where the secondary of my work resides, along with many people in this audience today, intergroup dialogue.
I've focused on that particular kind of contact, because it deals with some of those problems in the intergroup contact literature, because, first, it's sustained over time, it is facilitated, and it is structured. I was part of launching this at the University of Michigan, along with Mark Chesler and David Schoem. I know that Mark is here, I don't know if David is. And they really had much more to do this than I did. It was back in the 1990s. I shifted to concern about intergroup dialogue for two reasons. One, because I knew that there was all this problem in the intergroup contact literature, that something had to happen, besides people just getting together in the same space. Something had to make that work. And secondly, because of the rapid racial and ethnic diversification of the United States, what William Fry calls the diversity explosion. It's been brought about by the 1964 Immigration Act, by greater fertility in some groups than others, and the aging of the white population. Well, increased diversification of the United States is a given. That's not the interesting question. The interesting question is whether that diversification is going to be associated, as it has up to now, with greater racial and ethnic segregation, and greater ethnic and racial inequality. Or whether, as a nation, we can do, as Nancy Cantor, who is here somewhere, and Earl Lewis write in this book, a very important book called "Our Compelling Interests"--can we ensure a diverse, healthy, vibrant democracy through the mechanisms for civic connections and for pathways to economic opportunity? Scholars writing in that book all pointed to higher education as one of the most important institutions for creating those civic connections and pathways of opportunity. So, it falls to all of us, to help our students ensure that they're going to be part of making that kind of democracy work. Intergroup dialogue is one of the ways in which higher education is trying to do that. So, what is it? Well, it's interaction across difference, but it's not just any old talk. It's talk that involves sharing of experiences and perceptions. It, most importantly, it involves listening. It really, really involves listening, which many undergraduates, and many people in this room, don't exactly know how to do. It involves asking questions, a big focus on inquiry, following up on their peers’ ideas, saying, "Tell me more." And finding both commonalities and differences. It's talk that fosters, what I think of, as three major goals of intergroup dialogue. Intergroup understanding, especially about group-based inequalities. Second, more positive intergroup relations, greater empathy, and greater motivation to bridge differences. And third, the practice of intergroup collaboration and action. And here is a video that will make this get clearer…there we go.
[speakers on Video]
- I think intergroup dialogue has ignited my, just understanding of myself. My partner, my wife, we're in a biracial relationship, and so we're trying to understand various cultures and differences and communication styles.
- I felt very isolated, I believe, when I first came to the University of Michigan, and so it was the first time I was able to build relationships, in a space that felt safe, but also where I felt like I could talk about issues.
- That's just been so meaningful to me, in all aspects--
- There's Amanda!
- My family relationships, my personal friendships, my romantic relationships.
- I've been able to have really, really difficult conversations with my parents, with my cousins, even with my sister, that I don't think I would have been able to have, if I didn't have this dialogic approach.
- The country is just more polarized than I've certainly seen in my lifetime, I think even more than my parents have seen in their lifetime.
- Being able to talk about issues that trouble us across difference, is one of the most important things in the United States right now.
- The goals of a debate, are trying to convince the other side that your viewpoint in correct. And that's not the case with dialogue.
- In dialogue, you're simply having a conversation, to gain better perspective, to gain empathy, and you might not agree at the end of the day, but you actually are better for it, because you've gained that perspective.
- So, critical elements of the dialogic process involves active listening, empathy, and perspective taking.
- What intergroup dialogue really helped me with, was gaining tools, strategies, and ideas, in a network of people.
- So, really listening to somebody, to understand where they're coming from, not just to refute what they're saying or react to it or respond to it.
- As we practice intergroup dialogue at the University of Michigan, we have what has been described as, The Michigan Model, which is very intentional and deliberate four-stage model of dialogue.
- And stage one really allows people to get to know one another, to establish trust, so that when conflict does arise, you have confidence in the relationship.
- Personally, this is where I came to terms with educating myself around my racial privilege and racial identity. So, stage one lets you reflect internally and be introspective, but you do that as a collective, as a team, everyone is doing that together.
- Stage two really gives us the tools and the language and the shared sort of definitions necessary to move forward together, sort of on the same page.
- Through that active listening, it gives me a sense of empathy and understanding for where they've been in life, what struggles they may have incurred, and because I have that understanding from them, it also gives us this ability to have a broader perspective.
- So, when you're discussing hot topics, there's, obviously, these social identities that are wrapped up, and it's not necessarily a debate, it's really trying to gain empathy and understanding, and moving the conversation forward.
- In dialogue, the real currency is my lived experience, and my preparation to share that experience with you, and my willingness to appreciate your lived experience.
- I think by the time you get to stage three, you're really prepared to do that in an authentic way, where you're not worried about speaking honestly or candidly, because you've established the trust with the rest of the group.
- So, stage four really opened my eyes into, I now have these tools and these skills of dialogue and facilitation, how can I change that and move that into actionable items.
- Stage four, I think is what sets intergroup dialogue apart from a lot of other sort of social justice initiatives, because it's not just enough to say, "Okay, let's come together and talk about these issues", but it really stresses the importance of action and working together and alliance building and collaborative action.
- As an outcome, we can hope that they'll be motivated and committed to participating with others, in co-creating a better future and a better society than the one we presently occupy.
- Research that was done, that had very clear evidence that we have a positive impact on the three major goals of IGR, that is the goal of intergroup understanding, empathy, motivation to bridge difference, those relational ones, and action.
- I think the intergroup dialogue, in the four stages, really helped me internalize this lifelong learning perspective, that once the class is over, there's still a lot more to reflect on and to learn.
- When we are fortunate enough to achieve what our goals are around intergroup relations, it holds the possibilities that we can address even the hardest, thorniest, intractable dilemmas that we face between social groups, in this country, and maybe even globally.
Okay, does it work? At the end of my involvement in the affirmative action legal cases, I was motivated to address a major weakness in those, in the empirical literature we could bring to the court. Namely, there was practically no experimental evidence that diversity causes something to happen. I wanted to move forward with something that would address that, and would also speak to the second theme in my work, that is intergroup connections. Colleagues and I, from eight other universities and the University of Michigan, and here they are. These are all places where intergroup dialogue had been implemented, to put together a field experiment, to see if the goals of intergroup dialogue were being achieved. All applicants to a race dialogue and a gender dialogue, at each of these institutions, were randomly assigned, either to the dialogue course or to a control group. And all applicants were taken, we took the pretest test at the beginning of a semester, when the dialogue course was being offered, again at the end of that course, and a year later. So, it's an 18-month period. The participants, we wanted an equal number of white men, men of color, white women, and women of color. Now, we knew that all groups of color are not alike, so it's not that we thought calling this groups of color was a good thing to do in this study, but there were not enough students of color, even at Michigan, which had the largest number of students of color enrolled in dialogue, to have separate studies of various groups of color with white students, or groups of color with each other. So, it's clearly a limitation of this study. We wanted to know, what's the effect of dialogue, especially on those three major goals. An effect is a statistically significant larger change from the beginning, at the pretest, to the post test at the end of the course, in the dialogue students and in the control groups, and also over the 18-month period. And what did we find? We had 24 measures of the three goals of dialogue, and the effective and cognitive processes that theoretically go on in intergroup dialogue, and we found statistically significantly effects on 20 of the 24, in both race and gender dialogues, for all four groups of students. Slightly larger for white students, but statistically reliable effects for students of color, and that's important, because lots of people feel that students of color would not benefit from this kind of intervention. And interestingly, nearly all of those effects were still evident, 21 of the 24, a year later. We also videotaped dialogue sessions. We interviewed students in one race and one gender dialogue at each of these institutions. And because all students in these dialogue courses, like 780, some of them, all had the same final paper assignment, regardless of what institution they were enrolled in, we were able to content analyze those papers, and that work is in this book. A former student of mine, who really made this, made this project work, is Nick Sorensen, who's right over there. Nick is now in his own career in Chicago, but he was, he's what made this study work.
All right, conclusions. Over many years, in many studies, not just by me, but by many people, there's been support for the connection between connectivity, solidarity and social change, and also support for the connection between community and connections, or intergroup connections, the other path to social change. We see both paths going on today in contemporary social movements like Me Too, Black Lives Matter, March for Our Lives, the DREAMers…The Women's Resistance Movement, the LGBTQ Rights Movement, the Sunrise Movement, the Sanctuary Movement, Green New Deal, the Tea Party, and Occupy. Identity plays a role in both. It's obvious in the solidarity approach, but identity's also important in the interconnection approach as well, and contrary to many views about identity, vassal views I think, that it only leads to separatism. In my work, and many other people's work, it turns out that people who are the most identified with their own group, are also the most active in alliances with other groups. So, in the black electorate study, the most identified members of the black electorate in 1984, were less resentful hostile to whites, compared to other African Americans. In the intergroup dialogue research, those most identified are more motivated, not less motivated, to bridge differences and to take part in action across difference. Of course, there are contrary examples, but I hope everyone in this group, today, takes away at least, that the rising, increasing racial and ethnic diversification of this country requires that we have a much more complicated understanding about what social identity is all about and how it relates to social action. Community is also important in both pathways, and again, the bonds of common fate, the bonds of being of the same, are very obvious in the collectivity, solidarity pathway, but community's important in the other one as well. Achieving a sense of community is hard, when you're interacting across difference, across power, across inequalities, but it's important for it to happen. In an intergroup dialogue, it does.
All right, I'm taking a bit of a risk. I'm gonna end with a personal note. Why on Earth is diversity so important to Pat Gurin? Well, a long time ago, as a six year-old, I was sitting on the steps of my aunt’s house, in southern Indiana, where I grew up. I have a very clear memory of this. There were birds up on the telephone wire, and I knew that those birds would fly away, and some of them would fly away to far-away places. And I wanted to go too. I was also fascinated with the National Geographic. Which for some inexplicable reason, my farm grandmother, who raised capons, subscribed to the National Geographic. I devoured every issue. Who are these people who looked and seemed so different from me? What are their stories? This is really more than being a voyeur. It was a little girl's understanding that I wanted, somehow, to get away from my own restriction. And that brings me to Zadie Smith. Zadie Smith is an English novelist, an essayist, and a short story writer. In a recent New York of books, in an essay, she ponders, "How can a novelist write about people whose identities she does not share? How can we know others?" She writes, "What insults me, insults my soul, is the idea that we can and should write only about people who are fundamentally like us, racially, sexually, genetically, nationally, politically, and personally. That only an intimate, authorial, autobiographical connection with a character, is a rightful basis for fiction." She says, "I do not believe that and if I did, I couldn't have written a single book." Of course, she says when she writes about people who do not share her experiences, her identities, she may not write a correct depiction, but she says, "I may not write a correct depiction of people who are fundamentally like me." So, how do we do this? Well, we can try. In intergroup dialogue, we try. We try to understand others, we try, and hope they try understand us. We can listen to their perspectives and their experiences, and they can listen to ours. We can focus on the challenges with inequalities and privilege. We can empathize, we can build trust, and we can commit to work together, at least sometimes, as we always remind ourselves, that kind of action is not better than the solidarity-based action that's needed also, for the revitalization of democracy. So, surely as we try to bridge divides, it's better to try than not to try. And in trying, we learn a great deal, about ourselves, about others, about how to collaborate at times, and how to work separately at times. We gain experience with empathy, that's so crucial to the democratic project. It's what I learned, all the time, from the students in my practice of teaching, from data and evidence, from reading, from scholarship, from my personal and collegial relationships, and from my family. And here they are. These are hats, or caps, that I ordered last holiday season, for us all to be Gurins. Signifying our bonds within our differences. Some are visibly obvious. Some of us are White, some of us are Latinx, some of us are Black, several of us are mixed. But some are differences that are not so obvious. So, we have Jews, we have Buddhists, we have Christians, we have Atheists. Some are academics, but not many. We're in very different walks of life, but what we have in common is an enormous commitment to social justice and social change. Finally, my note of enormous appreciation for this award, and the myriad opportunities that gave that little six-year-old girl collectivity, community, and connections, Michigan has been incredibly good to me. Thank you. Thank you! I do want to note that Laurita Thomas is here, I didn't see her come in. Laurita, how lovely to see you.
[Question and Answer session]
- Okay, we have a, thank you Pat. We have about until 5:20, for questions from the audience. If you have a question, if you would raise your hand, and we'll get a microphone to you. Pat's already mic'd up, so she can answer. Ah, I get to get my steps in, yay.
1) - Thank you for a--
- Hi, David.
- Lovely presentation.
- Thank you.
- [David] In one of your slides, you talked about one of the challenges to groups that are trying to emerge, would be a threat to their authenticity. We talk about diversity is sometimes inclusion at the expense of diversity.
- As the what?
- [David] Diversity of ideas. So, is that, partially, the price that people pay to be included, and how do we prevent that from happening?
- Well, I actually think that in the right conditions, which doesn't always happen, of course, in diverse situations, people are not experienced of cost in the, in the heterogeneity of ideas, because, in fact, much more gets on the table. So, that's what the problem-solving groups in fact show, that in diverse problem-solving groups, there are more ideas on the table, there's more perspectives. If we're all clones of each other, we don't get very much on the table. Of course, the conditions have to be right, so if it's in an intergroup situation, where somebody takes over, it's clear that there's some kind of replication of hostile relationships in the wider society in this group, there are gonna be costs. But those are not automatic, those are the costs when we don't do it right. My little granddaughter is finding herself in the picture.
2) - [Man] Hello. You were my first supervisor, coding about when affirmative action has some effect, when the head of the top person has commitment to it, that's when it has effect. The question that I'm engaged with, and I hope you can have perspective. Ann Arbor is trying to develop the center of the city as a commons, inclusive of everyone. With all the diversity in this town, how does one take this research you've done on intergroup relations and apply it to an area where very mixed people come through it? How do you create the culture of that intergroup relation, independent of having each person in some kind of ongoing dialogue?
- So, before I respond to that, I think you should tell people in the audience who you are. This is an old warrior. He's Alan Haber, from way back, okay.
- [Alan] I'm Alan Haber, I was an activist for the students for democratic society, participatory democracy, and how the little people can have power in a society that really runs on money.
- And at one time, he worked for me.
- Okay, how do we do that? Well, we do it the way you are doing it. You're out talking with lots of groups, you're getting people to have those conversations, themselves, in their own groups. I'm a recent member, participant at an incredible church in town, called the Church of the Incarnation, which is a progressive church. Those conversations happen all the time in that church, and it's that kind of interaction, all over Ann Arbor, where people have to talk about, what do we want the center of Ann Arbor to be. Is it, is it to be a place where homeless people are not wanted? Is it a place where interactions, that are positive and wonderful, can take place? Is that what the library lot should be? That's what all the conversation has to be about. And it's long and tidies, and I know that.
3) - [Patti] Thank you, Patti Hurn, thank you for a wonderful lecture.
- Where are you?
- [Patti] I'm right here.
- [Patti] Thank you for a wonderful lecture. Many of our students say daily, how they think the United States is more fractured now, and more polarized around the issues of the things you've addressed today, than perhaps in our history. Perhaps, you, who understand history in this so well, would have some lessons that we could share with those students.
- Well, in an interesting way, I too agree, that it's harder in some ways, for people to interact in a deep way, because everybody's either at their cellphone, or at the university, they're not in their offices. People are not in their offices. In the 60s and 70s and 80s, grad students and faculty in psychology were all there. We had lots of dancing parties at James's house. At my house. That doesn't happen today, because of how atomized and, I think, individualized a lot of this has become. So, the community part of this, I think is the cost, that makes us feel like it's somewhat more polarized. So, I agree that it is somewhat more. I long back for those days.
4) - [Woman] Pat, actually, I have a slightly similar question, which is about your historical perspective and what you've watched over the decades. We're kinda struggling to try and figure out what's unique and what's so troubling about this particular moment. And, for me, one of it is this kind of upsurge, again, and ideas around white nationalism.
- Ideas about what?
- White nationalism.
- [Woman] And the ways that young people are being radicalized into these ideas about white identity and white nationalism, and that all of negative resonance of that, right? So, to claim a white identity is to be imperilled, it's to be at risk, it's, you know, there's this thing that you have to fight, to preserve and to maintain. And so, I'm just curious about, from the perspective of intergroup dialogue and all this diversity work, what you make of that resurgence in this particular moment?
- Well, certainly, white nationalism has been with us for a very long time. I think what's really different, is that it's validated, not only by our president, but by lots of other people. So, that it's been validated and normalized, and so it's got hearing that's not what it used to be. And it is hard. We in intergroup dialogue, have not done dialogue across political differences. We've been avoiding it for a long time. I think it's our time to start doing more with it. I think we should be doing stuff in intergroup dialogue on this huge rural-urban split that we have, politically. When I read the New York Times, on Sunday, I'm often stuck, that in the arts section or in the business section or almost any section, there's a world that's gone way beyond me. And I live in a city that has broadband. So, I think there's enormous problems in this society, about the ways in which people are reacting to the rapidity of social change, without the possibility of ways to talk about that or to deal with that. So, I'd love intergroup dialogue to be doing more with the rural-urban split as well. So, we're not a finished product, in that we have certainly avoided the political part of it, I think, in many ways, to make us feel, and to be received by the institution, by Michigan, as not political. But, we have to change that.
5) - [Woman] Hi, I was really stuck by the beginning of the talk, when you featured the faces of all the faculty you hired. Could you talk a little bit about what was important and significant in--
- Oh, I would love to that. What was really important was, is sitting next to you. So, what happened? In 1992, when I became Department Chair, the Psych Department and every other department there was, they had a 10% cut. We were gonna lose seven retirements in Psychology. At the same time, there was the Michigan Mandate, and Lester Monts' ways of having resources that could go for the kind of hiring that would make it possible to diversify a faculty. So, I said to the seven area chairs in Psychology, there's, I probably won't name them all. Bio, Cognitive, Developmental, Social, Organizational, blobbity-blah. We can hire, we're not hiring for the next two years, at least. Faculty love to hire, 'cause it tells them that they're still great. That we can hire, if you're ready to use these resources. And, you know what? Every area did it. And what did they do? They went out and looked, nationally, for an outstanding scholar that might not have fit their little, tiny definition of a position request, had this institutional resource not been available. And all those people who were hired, as I mentioned earlier, have gone on to do terrific scholarship, almost all of them got tenure, and they're leaders. That was what made it possible, a hire freeze. It meant people couldn't go on acting the way they'd always acted, that they had to do something different. And that was really crucial. Thank you for asking that question.
6) - [Woman] I hope this is an easy one. What has been your, if you could name one of your major regrets, like things you could not, haven't been able to do?
- One of reasons, what?
- [Woman] Regrets, regrets.
- Oh, I don't have any.
- I'm sorry, I really don't.
7) - [Woman] So, Pat, I'm sure that there is a little girl or little boy, sitting on a porch somewhere, wanting to get out of their world and have something like the life that you've had. What advice would you give them or their parents or somebody that is mentoring them, to help them achieve that?
- Well, I don't think my parents did very much.
- Well, what would you--
- What could they have done, or what could parents do? I think it is extremely important, for parents who want their kids to be part of 21 century, democratic project in the United States, to get their kids interacting across difference. And we're still incredibly racial segregated in our schools. And so, how do you do that? You gotta be creative and figure out how to do it. You can't just let it happen. It's not gonna happen. It has to be created. So, with this little one who's here. How about you stand up, Brooklyn. It's deliberately trying to find places where she can be with all kinds of kids, and sometimes, she's the only one. Or I'll never forget, Chloe, my granddaughter is here. I joined the Sunday school at Bethel AME Church, when Chloe was eight and Brian was four. I had 14 years of Sunday school with Ron Brown, who may or may not be in the audience. It was an incredible experience for me, and it was for the kids. And shortly after we started going, Chloe said to me, "Grandma, you're the only white person here, "are you comfortable?" And I said, "Chloe, you're the only African American kid in your class at school--are you comfortable?" She said, "Yes." And I said, "So, you know what? "Sometimes it's gonna be all black, sometimes it's gonna be you're the only one, and sometimes it's gonna be mixed." And that's what we've gotta create, and that's what I think parents have to do. That the safe havens are also fine, but not only. If I embarrassed you, Chloe, I'm sorry.
8) - [Damon] Pat, it's just a blessing to be here.
- This is, this is Damon Williams, who's a big honcho all over the country and a wonderful former student of Jerrys.
- [Damon] No, no, no, no. It's just a blessing to be here, and to hear from your lecture, was magnificent. One of things that has always stuck me, and made you and Jerry-- And Nancy and others-- That's okay.
- [Damon] So different and significant, is your courage. And I believe that courage is the rate-limiting factor, in terms of really being able to move a change agenda. What would you offer to your colleagues, to your peers, particularly, those who have cultural capital, who are white, who are in positions of influence and authority, but yet are fearful to stand in the breach for others? What would offer to those individuals, to help them to find a stronger pathway to courage?
- Well, that's why the middle thing is community. Because you're very lonely, you can't do this alone. So, I do think the most important thing that we've had, and that Michigan provides, in abundance, for people, are small communities, where we support each other when the going is really rough. I know there's burnout for lots of people, but there's a, there's just a bunch of intentional communities at Michigan, that are really, I think, the primary way in which people keep moving on, even when things are difficult. So, that's why I do think that's a really crucial part, of both pathways, for change.
- [Tabbye] Join me, again, in thanking Pat.
- [Patricia] Thank you, thank you so much.
- And to move us towards closing, I would like to bring up Dr. Rob Sellers, professor of psychology, as well as our vice provost for equity and inclusion, and chief diversity officer.
[Rob Sellers, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion]
Thank you. Please, one more time, for that just wonderful, unbelievable-- I'm not sure, lecture? I think, sermon? Opera? I'm not sure what the, what the word is, to describe how just wonderful. It just seems lecture is too small of a word, to describe what you've just shared with us. Thank you, Pat.
Four years ago, the University of Michigan embarked on a historic journey, to become the very best institution it could be, and doing so, by becoming more diverse, more equitable, and more inclusive as a community. In fact, our objective is not simply to become diverse, equitable, and inclusive, but to have these principles become our core, bedrock values of who we are, as well as a key strategy, for us achieving that excellence we strive for.
I believe that the best way to achieve this objective, to make DEI a core institutional value, is simply to celebrate and honor those who best epitomize these ideals. It is with this principle in mind, that the inaugural James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship was established in 2017. As you can imagine, the award is named after its inaugural recipient, James S. Jackson. And as Pat mentioned, James' career epitomizes the type of dedication, commitment, and accomplishment that we envisioned, in thinking and founding the award. James, thank you. In founding the award, we wanted the James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship to honor only the highest level of career contribution. And as a result, it's only awarded every two years. This award is a permanent tribute to those who've made significant, sustained scholarly contributions throughout their careers, to our understanding of issues related to such topics as diversity, inequality, and justice. The award honors scholars whose work provides precious insights into lived experiences of people who have traditionally been understudied or inappropriately studied. The criteria for this award, is that the scholarship is no less than transformational. Awardees also must be outstanding teachers and mentors.
This year's recipient, Dr. Patricia Gurin, more, more than exceeds these very, very lofty standards. Pat has spent her career producing science that is of unquestionable value to our society. Of particular note, is her research that provided incontrovertible evidence to the Supreme Court, of the intrinsic value of diversity in higher education. Her earlier research on African Americans and locus of control, in particular, always began with a place of understanding their humanity, as opposed to viewing them from a perspective of deficit or damage. Her scholarship has inspired generations of students to pursue social justice for all, and generations of scholars, who continue to do work that supports and affirms the educational benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Over the years, Pat has mentored legions of undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, early-career professionals, mid-career professionals, as well as some of older-career professionals. Like James, Pat exemplifies our highest ideas, of what we strive to do, as a great research university. We seek to strengthen knowledge itself, by understanding that the convergence of students, faculty, and staff, from all backgrounds, leads to better research, better teaching, and better learning. We seek to create a campus that serves, and is welcoming, to all.
This is the work of University of Michigan, but even before that, this is the work of Pat Gurin. Ah, what the heck! You know, some people talk the talk, and when you're lucky, you run into people who walk the walk. But it is especially rare to run into people who lived the life. And Pat, you are the prime example of someone, throughout, in every aspect of her life, that you have lived one, that we are all greatly and deeply enriched, by having you a part of ours. So, it is my great honor. Tabbye, would you come and join me as well? James, are you, no, you're still here. Would you mind?
- It is our great honor, and in fact, James, you more than well deserve, to give to Pat Gurin, the 2019, James S. Jackson Distinguished Diversity Scholar Career Award. Pat, would you please join us up here?
- [James] Let me get it, let me have the box, you take the award.
- [Pat] It's very beautiful.
- [Cameraman] Okay, you want to just turn it around? That's good. Right here, that's good. Good. And now right here, please. Thank you very much.
- [Group] Thank you.
- [Patricia] I just love you so much!
About Dr. Gurin
Patricia Gurin is the Nancy Cantor Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She is a faculty associate of the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Institute for Social Research and of the Center for African and Afro-American Studies. She directs the research program of the Program on Intergroup Relations, a curricular program co-sponsored by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Student Life. A social psychologist, Dr. Gurin’s work has focused on social identity, the role of social identity in political attitudes and behavior, motivation and cognition in achievement settings, and the role of social structure in intergroup relations. She is the author of eight books and monographs and numerous articles on these topics. She is an expert witness in the University of Michigan’s defense of its undergraduate and law school admissions policies. In collaboration with Sylvia Hurtado, Eric Dey, and Gerald Gurin, all of the Center for Post-Secondary and Higher Education at the University of Michigan, she provided the expert report on the Educational Value of Diversity for these lawsuits.
Selected Publications and Works
Gurin, P., Nagda, B.A., & Zúñiga, X. (2013). Dialogue across difference: Practice, theory, and research on intergroup dialogue. Russell Sage Foundation.
Gurin, P., Lehman, J., Lewis, E., Dey, E.L., & Gurin, G., and Hurtado, S. (2004) Defending diversity: Affirmative action at the University of Michigan. University of Michigan Press.
Hurtado, A. & Gurin, P. (2004). Chicana/o identity in a changing U.S. society: Quién soy? Quiénes somos? University of Arizona Press.
Gurin, P., Dey, E.L., Hurtado, S., & Gurin, G. (2002). Diversity and Higher Education: Theory and Impact on Educational Outcomes, Harvard educational review 72 (3), 330-367.
Gurin, P. (1999). The Compelling Need for Diversity in Higher Education (1999). Expert report prepared for the lawsuits Gratz and Hamacher v Bollinger, Duderstadt, the University of Michigan, and the University of Michigan College of LS&A, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Civil Action No. 97-75231; and Grutter v Bollinger, Lehman, Shields, the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Civil Action No. 97-75928.
Reprinted in: Michigan Journal of Race & Law, 5(1), 1999, 363-425.
Reprinted in: The University of Massachusetts Schools of Education Journal, 32(2), 1999, 36-62.
Tilly, L, & Gurin, P. (1990). Women, politics and change. Russell Sage Foundation.
Gurin, P., Hatchett, S., & Jackson, J. (1989). Hope and independence: Blacks' response to electoral and party politics. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Gurin, P., & Morrison, B. M. (1976). Education, Labor Market Experiences and Current Expectancies of Black and White Men and Women. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research.
Gurin, P., & Epps, E. (1975). Black consciousness, identity and achievement: A study of students in historically black colleges. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Katz, I., & Gurin, P. (Eds.) (1969). Race and the social sciences. New York: Basic Books.
About the Award
The James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship recognizes a senior faculty member at the University of Michigan who has made important contributions to understanding diversity, equity, and inclusion through research, scholarship and creative endeavors, who has an outstanding record as an educator in teaching and mentoring, and whose work has focused on issues of importance to underrepresented communities.