Sonya Faber profile

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Science

With her keen understanding of racial issues and background in business administration, Dr. Faber has become a sought after voice for equity, diversity, and inclusion in organizational, scientific, and academic venues.

At the 2019 World Congress of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (WCBCT) in her current hometown of Berlin, Germany, Dr. Faber gave a well-received presentation entitled “Implicit racial bias across ethnic groups and cross nationally: Mental health implications” and co-led a workshop entitled, “A Culturally-Informed Clinical Research: Assessment, Recruitment, Interventions & Ethics.”

In the past two years, she has started an international collaboration with researchers at the University of Ottawa in Canada on several projects in the area of mental health disparities and social justice.

Crisis in the Ukraine

On Sunday, the 6th of March, I went to the Berlin main train station after hearing about the difficulty that students from non-European countries had getting out of the Ukraine. The station was crowded with people, and there was a line of tired looking people. I saw two students sitting on a bench in the middle of the crowd and asked them if they needed help. They had nowhere to go and not slept in three days!

Sonya Faber and Ukranian refugees of color

They and two friends ended up staying at my apartment for the week. Soukhail, from Morocco, who fled from Kharkiv, is studying Cybersecurity, and Azubuike, from Nigeria, is coming from Kiev studying public policy. They came through Slovakia and had to use a taxi (600 EUR!) to get to the border. They managed to escape and make it Germany, but they had no where to sleep. They brought two other lost students, so I hosted all four of them. All four managed to reach their parents to tell them they were okay. After a week, they all left to go to Leipzig to get registered to stay in Germany and continue their studies because Berlin was too crowded. I am still in touch with all of them and helping them from Berlin to get registered and enrolled in University in English-speaking programs. They all learned Ukrainian to study, and now they don't have to be concerned about learning German.

Being Prepared for Adversity

by Dr. Sonya Faber

Special Lecture for Black History Month

Sponsored by the Canadian Psychological Association

Black Psychology and Community Psychology Sections

This timely and riveting presentation addresses hidden and covert forms of racism, including aversive racism and microaggressions. There is a link between these two types of racism that require innovative research and new solutions to overcome.

Anti-Racism International

Becoming anti-racist in the 21st century can be complicated and confusing. This online group is intended to provide a space for deep conversations about race, racism, White supremacy, White privilege, Black Lives Matter, police violence, religion, psychology, mental health, people of color, racial trauma, history, and human connection.

Join Now!

Featured Article

Racial justice allyship requires civil courage: Behavioral prescription for moral growth and change

After defining allyship and providing contemporary and historical examples of civil courage, Dr. Faber and colleagues explain the difficulties and impediments inherent in implementing racial justice. To enable growth and change, we introduce practical exercises based on cognitive-behavioral approaches to help individuals increase their awareness and ability to demonstrate racial justice allyship in alignment with valued behaviors.

Citation: American Psychologist, doi: 10.1037/amp0000940

social justice

Biological Racism

Race is a socio-political category made up to divide people and has no genetic meaning. Although Americans are used to thinking about "races" of humans as they would breeds of dogs, as something tangible, familiar and scientific, in reality race is unscientific and supremist. It is a social myth that race describes any meaningful genetic or biological differences between groups of people. These fallacies are often presented as facts, even legitimized in medical journals, which bolster society’s beliefs about biological White supremacy. Part of the confusion around genes and race stems from the conflation of the understanding that genes define heritable traits such as height, blood type, and skin color, and then mixing this together with assumptions about how related individuals may be based on skin hue. This is as sensible as assuming, for example, that individuals must be biologically related because they are the same height or that skunks and pandas may be highly related because both have black and white fur. Many people want to believe in genetic differences between races because they would like to believe that visible inequality is a natural product of human biological variation, but this is untrue.

Citations: Donovan et al. Science Education (2019) 103:529 doi:10.1002/sce.21506; Norton et al. Evo Edu Outreach (2019) 12:17 doi: 10.1186/s12052-019-0109-y

Recommended Readings on Race

Dr. Faber in the Media

Dr. Sonya Faber is at the forefront of the critical issues facing society and the world.