Non-SPSP members may complete a donation in
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.
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
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.
As 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
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.