Jennifer Eberhardt to Deliver 2021 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture

Author Jennifer Eberhardt

A social psychologist at Stanford University and recipient of the 2014 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant, Jennifer L. Eberhardt studies the consequences of the psychological association between race and crime.

Eberhardt will deliver her lecture, “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 18. In her lecture, she draws from state-of-the-art technology, innovative experiments and meticulous data to uncover how implicit bias shapes our visual perception, attention, memory and behavior. Taking audiences behind the scenes of her research, including the police departments that are implementing her strategies, she offers a shocking but reasoned look at the effects of implicit racial bias while offering practical suggestions for reform.

Eberhardt’s book of the same name is available for purchase from the Occidental Bookstore.

As part of the Intercultural Community Center’s Social Justice Education programming and the Black Action Plan, students, faculty, staff and alumni are meeting in small groups this semester to engage in community discussions about the book. After the public lecture, Eberhadt will meet with the Oxy community members who are a part of this effort to mitigate racial bias. 

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The Phi Beta Kappa Speakers Series was created in 2006 with a gift from New York entrepreneur Robert M. Ruenitz ’60 and his wife Jeri Hamilton through the Ruenitz Trust to honor the memory of Ruenitz’s parents, Esther Merriman Ruenitz and Dr. Robert C. Ruenitz. 

Founded in 1926, the Occidental Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa is one of the first chapters of the country’s oldest academic honor society to be chartered at a liberal arts college in the western United States.

Previous Ruenitz lecturers have included Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the physician, scientist and activist who exposed the Flint water crisis; law professor, civil rights advocate and intersectional theorist Kimberle Crenshaw; John Holdren, climate and energy scientist and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for President Barack Obama; physicist and computer scientist Stephen Wolfram; former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, MD; Ahmed Zewail, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist; author and educational critic Jonathan Kozol; social critic Judith Butler; author and activist Ayaan Hirsi; Bill Nye the Science Guy; medical activist Paul Farmer; mental health legal expert Elyn R. Saks; and psychologist and human memory expert Robert A. Bjork.

Register for the lecture