Upcoming Colloquia: Jonathan W. Kanter | UW Center for the Science of Social Connection

May 31, 2017 | 3:30 – 5:00 PM | CMU 126

Racial Microaggressions are Real and Harmful: New Evidence from Psychological Science

As campuses nationwide wrestle with demands to improve the campus climate for students of color, microaggression has become a hot button topic and lightening rod for debate and discussion.  While the term has provided a language for students of color to describe multiple and common experiences of racism and discrimination, it also has become an opportunity for others to invalidate and deny these experiences as “being too sensitive” or politically correct.  Psychological scientists also have weighed in on this issue.  This talk will review research on microaggressions, discuss how they relate to other forms of bias, and present new findings that provide important confirmation that those who experience microaggressions are not simply “too sensitive” and that microaggressions are a legitimate form of racism that needs to be addressed as part of campus anti-racism initiatives.

BIO: Dr. Kanter received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Washington in 2002. Shortly afterwards he became a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  In Milwaukee, Dr. Kanter spent several years collaborating closely with members of the Black community on issues of social and political activism (including police brutality and voter rights), racism and discrimination, mental health stigma, and culturally appropriate treatments of depression.  Dr. Kanter also spent several years working closely with Latino researchers and community members to develop culturally informed treatments for depression in Latino community settings for low-income Latino immigrants.  Dr. Kanter also worked closely with members of the Muslim community in the United Kingdom on Islam-consistent approaches to depression treatment.  His lab consisted of a multi-cultural team of committed student researchers working on individual and collective projects.

In 2013, Dr. Kanter came to the University of Washington to direct the Center for the Science of Social Connection (CSSC).  As Director, he brings a wealth of experience working in the trenches with people of color and disenfranchised groups as a team member, as well as working with scholars and scientists internationally.

Dr. Kanter is regularly invited to give talks and workshops nationally and internationally on topics of interest to the Center, including anti-racism workshops which seek to help white people grow and overcome racism, workshops for therapists on how to improve psychotherapy relationships and help clients with relational problems, and behavioral treatments for depression.

Scientifically, Dr. Kanter approaches projects with a contextual behavioral science model that integrates disciplines, including evolution science, neuroscience, anthropology and psychology, within a behavioral science foundation.  He lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife Gwynne Kohl, who is also a clinical psychologist, and their 11-year-old daughter Zoe.