Amplified Voices

Amplified Voices: A Conversation and Action Series 

About: Amplified Voices is a graduate student-led initiative in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University, designed to provide a platform that honors and celebrates BIPOC scholars. Diversity speaker series traditionally reach the short-term goal of providing representation for scholars of color, However, this brief exposure fails to address the deeper political alienation students of color often experience within academia. The Amplified Voices series attempts to address this void by extending beyond mere representation to building community by bookending every guest presentation with opportunities for community preparation and practice. ASU Psychology community members will be provided with speaker-curated resources as a primer for the presentations. To facilitate post-event practice, each presentation will include calls-to-action (CTAs) to activate change. These CTAs will be ongoing calls aimed at addressing areas of growth, particularly as they relate to race relations and other intersectional social justice issues.

Upcoming Events

#Blackintheivroy: Amplifying the Voices of Blackademic Truthtellers About Anti-Black Racism

Feb 3, 2021

Dr. Shardé M. Davis will discuss the concurrent struggles and triumphs of being Black in the Ivory and how Blackademics (faculty and graduate students) can stand in our right as "truth tellers" to talk back and resist the racist systems that have historically oppressed us. When Blackademics tell our truth it has the possibility of empowering us all, yet this empowerment comes with great risk, institutionalized exploitation, and conspicuous consumption of our narratives. The benefits and costs are intricately connected and must be discussed as such. Dr. Davis will also offer personal accounts of how truth telling has unfolded in her life and how she has named, maneuvered, confronted, and resisted the problematic systems that are embedded within the academy. By the end of this talk, Dr. Davis will demonstrate the various ways that racism eats its way through the ivory tower and offer prescriptions about how academic institutions—and its individual members—might make lasting change. As preparation for this event, The Amplified Voices team suggests familiarizing yourself with the conversations on social media under the hashtag #BlackInTheIvory."


Dr. Shardé M. Davis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut and is the creator of the viral Twitter hashtag, #BlackintheIvory.

Sharde M davis

Calls to Action:

CTA #1 A Renovation is Overdue

It’s time to get serious about uprooting anti-Black racism, anti-Blackness, and white supremacy from the university structure. A critical first step is naming these specific issues and voicing an explicit commitment to enact change within your immediate sphere of influence.


CTA #2 Reflect on Anti-Black Beliefs in One’s Personal Life

Before you do anti-racism work in the university, you should turn inward and consider the extent to which you perpetuate these beliefs “at home.”


CTA #3 Structural Changes at Departmental, College, and University levels

Quite simply, universities should engage in efforts that support racial equity by setting aside dedicated, institutional resources and dollars for Blackademics only.


CTA #4 Personal MicroBehaviors

There are simple yet impactful behaviors that everyone can employ day to day to begin changing the communication climate.

Past Events

The Danger of Silence

December 2, 2020

As a researcher and poet, Clint's work lies at the intersection of art and social science, creating a unique lens through which to think about American social stratification. Clint discusses the ideas of silence and empathy—both on a macro and micro level context. What are the historical silences that have shaped the landscape of our country and often go unacknowledged? What are the interpersonal silences that we perpetuate with our complicity? In what ways is our empathy towards people often contingent on the identity of those individuals? In this talk, Clint helps organizations understand and address how internal and external stakeholders are deeply affected by the sociopolitical phenomena that they experience every day in this age of political and social tumult. Clint shares personal stories to illuminate how we as individuals and organizations can all recognize the power of our voice. 


Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic and author of the poetry collection, Counting Descent, which won the award for best poetry collection from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He is also the author of the forthcoming nonfiction book How the Word Is Passed (Little, Brown, 2021). His writing has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review and elsewhere. Clint received his B.A. in English from Davidson College and a Ph.D. in Education from Harvard University. 

Calls to action

  • CTA #1 (Everyone)
    Reflect on what stories and histories are included or omitted from our narratives.
    Who is included or excluded? What is the impact of this erasure and omission?
  • CTA #2 (Course Instructors/Educators at All Levels)
    Add historical context to your courses.
    When you discuss inequities, especially as they relate to health and other psychosocial outcomes, name the practices and policies that have impacted those inequities (e.g., redlining impacting food access, healthcare barriers to quality care, etc.).
  • CTA #3 (Researchers):
    Reframe your work that may be rooted in deficit models
    that also tend to pathologize behaviors that are simply different than behaviors based on white norms.

Steering Team

The Amplified Voices project was conceived and is coordinated by a team of graduate students in the Department of Psychology.

Beza Bekele, B.A.Second year, clinical 

Juan Hernandez, B.A.Third year, clinical psychology

Skyler Mendes, Ed.M.Third year, developmental psychology

Felix Muniz, M.A.,Third year, quantitative psychology

Veronica Oro, M.A.Sixth year, developmental psychology

Vanesa Perez, M.A.Fifth year, clinical psychology

Rana Uhlman, B.A.Second year, clinical psychology

Financial Support

A central tenet of the series is to compensate for labor and to not expect work around issues of DEI to automatically fall into service. We are grateful to the following groups who provided funds for our series, beginning with the highest level of financial support.

ASU Natural Sciences JEDI Grant

ASU Developmental Psychology Training Area (Area Head: Dr. Leah Doane)

ASU Quantitative Psychology Training Area (Area Head: Dr. Mike Edwards)

Dr. Armando Pina, individual contribution

ASU Clinical Psychology Training Area (Area Head: Dr. Will Corbin)

Graduate Studies Area Representatives 2020-2021 with Dr. Steven Neuberg, individual contribution

Dr. Frank Infurna, individual contribution

If you wish to…

  • make a financial contribution to support the series
  • nominate someone as a potential speaker or become a speaker
  • join the leadership team (planning to welcome new student members each academic year for as long as the series continues)
… please contact Skye Mendes: with subject line “Amplified Voices”