Diversity competency describes psychological characteristics associated with ability to and interest in interacting across boundaries of difference. Dr. James Jones described development of a rubric to assess student learning, a scale to assess diversity competency, psychological and behavioral correlates and an application to multicultural course certification. He also describes a storytelling project that obtains first person accounts of rejection/exclusion and acceptance/inclusion experiences and responses to them.

Dr. Jones is professor of psychological and brain sciences and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity at the University of Delaware, and former executive director for Public Interest and Director of the Minority Fellowship Program at the American Psychological Association. Dr. Jones earned a BA from Oberlin College and MA from Temple University, and his PhD in social psychology from Yale University. He was on the faculty of the Psychology and Social Relations Department at Harvard University, and has taught in the Psychology Department at Howard University. He published the first edition of Prejudice and Racism in 1972, and the second edition in 1997. His most recent book, The Psychology of Diversity: Beyond Prejudice and Racism, with Jack Dovidio and Deborah Vietze, was published in 2014. In 1973, Dr. Jones spent a year in Trinidad & Tobago on a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship studying Calypso humor. This work led to the development of the TRIOS model of the psychology of African American culture.

Dr. Jones is a social psychologist, and serves on several editorial boards including the Journal of Black Psychology, and is past-president of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. He was awarded the 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority, the 2001 Kurt Lewin Award, the 2009 Distinguished Service Award by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the 2007 Distinguished Psychologist Award by the Association of Black Psychologists, and the 2011 Lifetime Contribution to Psychology award from the American Psychological Association.

Learn more about the work of Dr. Jones:

Jones, J.M. (1997) Prejudice and racism, Second edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Jones, J.M. (2010) Diversity Science: The longest journey begins with the first step. Psychological Inquiry, 21, 127-133.
Jones, J.M. (2006) From racial inequality to social justice: The legacy of Brown v. Board and lessons from South Africa. Journal of Social Issues, 62(4), 885-909.
Jones, J.M. (2003) TRIOS: A Psychological Theory of African Legacy in American Culture. Journal of Social Issues, 59, 217-241.
Jones, J.M. , Lynch, P.D., Tenglund, A.A. & Gaertner , S.G. (2000) Toward a Diversity Hypothesis: Multidimensional Effects of Intergroup Contact. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 9(1), 53-62.

The NCID Research and Scholarship Seminar Series features scholars who have furthered our understanding of historical and contemporary social issues related to identity, difference, culture, representation, power, oppression, and inequality — as they occur and affect individuals, groups, communities, and institutions. The series also highlights how research and scholarship can be applied to address current and contemporary diversity, equity and inclusion issues in higher education and society.