Non-SPSP members may complete a donation in Jenessa’s honor here

On December 6, 2018, UCLA social psychologist Jenessa R. Shapiro passed away from metastatic breast cancer at the age of 38. Her death is an enormous loss for her family, friends, colleagues, and the field. Jenessa made extremely important research contributions in the areas of stereotyping, prejudice, identity, and performance. To commemorate her legacy, her friends and family have pledged a $25,000 match to diversity. 

Jenessa1 Jenessa was perhaps best known for proposing and testing The Multi-Threat Framework of Stereotype Threats. Rather than conceptualizing stereotype threat as a singular construct, this framework argued that there are actually six qualitatively distinct stereotype threats that emerge from two intersecting dimensions—the source of the threat and the target of the threat. Outside of this work, her research program more generally sought to understand prejudice and discrimination from the perspective of both those who hold prejudices and stereotypes as well as those who are targeted by them. As a result, her research was conducted on very diverse, often hard-to-recruit populations, including racial minorities and women in traditionally male-dominated fields, as well as under-studied groups such as those negatively stereotyped for their weight, religion, mental health, physical health, or physical disability.

Jenessa also thought it was extremely  important to promote diversity and inclusion in her lab, at the university, and in the field more generally. Jenessa took concrete actions to do this in a number of ways, ranging from volunteering for mentorship lunches at professional conferences to serving on committees to address issues of diversity within her departments as well as at the National Institutes of Health. She also engaged in countless other less visible activities to contribute to the goals of diversity, inclusion, and social justice that she never advertised.

Jenessa2As much as Jenessa’s research and service has had a major impact on the field, the impact that she considered to be most important was the potential influence that she had on the students she mentored, many of whom were from traditionally under-represented groups.

To honor Jenessa’s dedication to diversity, her friends and family have created a fund with SPSP to support programs and/or awards that are consistent with the values, principles, and goals that Jenessa so passionately believed in, and acted on, to enhance diversity and inclusion in the field and to study these important topics.

All donations are 100% tax-deductible and will be used to honor her and continue her passionate efforts to support underrepresented minorities in social and personality psychology and research on these important topics.  Together, we as a community have the potential to commit $50,000 to diversity initiatives in the field.

The friends and family of Jenessa Shapiro are also matching all gifts made to the SPSP Diversity Fund as well. You may complete a donation to the Diversity Fund here.

Jenessa Shapiro Diversity Fund

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For questions regarding the Jenessa Shapiro Diversity Fund, please contact:

Travis Clark, Development Manager
The Society for Personality and Social Psychology
1120 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 280
Washington, DC 20036

EIN: 59-1667323

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology is a non-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax-deductible as by law. Our Tax ID Number is: 59-1667323. For additional information, please contact us for more information about giving to SPSP.