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Five Strategies to Prevent the Spread of Non-Diverse Zombies

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Writer/Journal Managing Editor, Monday, October 15, 2018
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2018


Yep, the title says it all! We’re going to have some Halloween fun and promote diversity issues—all at the same time. Are you aware of the five ways below to support diversity with Psi Chi?

We at Psi Chi passionately believe in the importance of embracing the unique characteristics and perspectives of all types of people in our increasingly diverse world. This is true in the classroom, workplace, family settings, and yes, even on the brink of a zombie apocalypse! That’s why Psi Chi provides a special online resource, Diversity Matters, which features free teaching tools, group activities, and other materials to help you support diversity issues in your local communities.



So, let’s talk zombies! In recent years, numerous articles have been published concerning issues of diversity in television programs such as AMC’s The Walking Dead. At times, that particular show has suffered from criticisms for lack of diversity, and yet in later seasons, it has been recognized as one of the most diverse casts for any top-rated series.

There are many reasons why people care about the inclusion of diversity in programs like The Walking Dead. For example, it helps viewers connect with people of different backgrounds, and it provides unique, and sometimes untold, story-telling opportunities. Diversity in children’s programming helps introduce kids at an early age to diverse peoples who can serve as role models. And of course, diversity in television and other media results in more jobs for individuals in underrepresented groups too!

As actor Ross Marquand says, who plays the LGBTQ character Aaron on The Walking Dead, “I’m very grateful that AMC and Scott [Gimple] and Robert [Kirkman] have done such a good job of maintaining the vision of those original [Walking Dead] comics, because I think it’s a really wonderful kind of metaphor for how we can all bind together in times of real struggle and real chaos.”

Beyond television, a large amount of psychology research has more generally indicated the value of embracing diversity-affirming stances with regard to sexual and gender diversity, racial and ethnic diversity, disability status, religious diversity, refugee and immigrant status, SES and social class, and many others. You can learn more about this in the “Related Articles” section at the end of this post.

So, in recognizing the importance of diversity everywhere (including in hair-raising scenarios involving the living dead), here are five strategies that you can use with Psi Chi to help prevent the spread of non-diverse zombies! Or in other (less playful) words, here are five strategies that you can use to help increase diversity awareness—both for yourself and for others.

1. Learn to Recognize Your Implicit Biases

Anyone can have implicit biases—even you! At this link, legendary psychologist Dr. Mahzarin Banaji encourages you to open yourself up to the possibility that you might have implicit prejudices. Dr. Banaji is a cofounder of Project Implicit (Harvard’s online Implicit Association Test), which is used to detect hidden and subtle biases that you might not even know you have.

This free online test has been taken by millions people to help them identify a broad range of biases with regard to race, gender, weight, age, disability, religion, etc. Discover how this test changed Dr. Banaji’s life, and how it has the potential to change yours too! It is never too late to work on improving yourself!

2. Apply for
Diversity Article Awards


To encourage more article submissions about diversity, Psi Chi provides two $600 awards each year. One award is given to an article published in Eye on Psi Chi magazine, and one award is given to an article published in Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research.

What are you waiting for? All articles published in our magazine and journal will be automatically considered for this award at the end of each year—no award application is necessary. It pays to promote diversity in our publications. View our submission guidelines today and meet last year’s recipients.

3. Challenge Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

Do you know who you are? Psi Chi President Dr. Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez shares how your knowledge of diversity starts with understanding who you are and what unique contributions you bring to diverse groups.

Seek activities along dimensions of identity outside of your comfort zone such as race/ethnicity, gender identity, and political ideology. This new article provides specific activities to consider, as well as a chart to help you determine who you are.

4. Discover How to Create Nurturing Environments

Establishing nurturing environments in your local neighborhoods and college campuses has the potential to change the world. So, instead of getting “bogged down” trying to change the large-scale problems of the world such as gun violence and climate change, consider starting with small meaningful acts that will support your local community.

Esteemed psychologist, Dr. Anthony Biglan, provides these eight steps to create homes and schools filled with positive reinforcement, respectful communication, and evidence-based resources. Just imagine all the ways that your communities could benefit from your acts to maintain safe and nurturing environments!

5. Post Our Pledge on Your Social Media

Last of all, we would like to invite you to participate in our Diversity Pledge. It only takes a second, and yet the possibilities to spread the message of “Diversity Matters” to others are limitless! To participate, simply share the following quote on one (or more) of your social media accounts:

I pledge to stand with #PsiChi to promote cultural diversity and awareness. Take this pledge with me by sharing it on your social media. Learn more at www.psichi.org/RES_DiversityMatters

Do you agree with this sentence from Psi Chi’s Diversity and Sustainability Statement: “The scope of our organizational relevance is only as broad as the diversity of our membership and their scholarly pursuits?” Take a moment to consider how you could use the five survival strategies above to improve yourself and others in your community.

Related Articles

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych 

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