Mission Statement

UCR Psychology is committed to devoting research and educational resources to understand the causes and consequences of inequality and the sources that promote resilience and well-being among diverse groups. To do so successfully, we strive for a representative faculty and graduate student body to serve as role models with cultural expertise to support an excellent and diverse student body.

A deep understanding of human psychology requires rigorous analysis of the lived experience among diverse groups of people, including diversity across race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, gender-identification and socioeconomic status. Diverse groups continue to face disparities created by a long history of structural and institutional discrimination. Impediments range from unequal access to health care and education, to policy and law that perpetuate inequality. With almost 90% of UCR’s undergraduate student body coming from Latinx, Asian, Black, and Native backgrounds, and with 60% first-generation college students, there is a clear urgency to (1) deeply understand the effects of systematic inequality and injustice on diverse populations, (2) eliminate barriers towards inclusion and equality, (3) promote sources of resilience, well-being, and thriving among diverse groups, and (4) recognize and celebrate diversity and the creativity and richness it brings to our communities.

With California as a “majority minority” state, UCR’s Psychology Department recognizes the need to bring creativity and innovation through the lens of diverse groups of people in our student body and in our faculty and staff. The Riverside campus has been recognized locally and nationally as a model for excellence of racial/ethnic diversity in education. The increasing diversity of students at UCR, in California, and across the United States, reveals the importance of focusing recruitment efforts and devoting research and educational resources that align with the goal of having a representative faculty and graduate students to serve as role models and have the cultural expertise to attract and support an excellent diverse student body. We believe that doing so will enrich the quality of education offered to our students and will foster research that can represent and benefit the changing face of society.

Issues of diversity, inequality and discrimination are some of the most vexing and complex in all of psychology and social science. The challenge of how best to understand and address these critical issues, including understanding what is similar and what is different across individuals and groups—in cognition, in development, and in social influence—is a priority of the Department. A discerning and well-rounded education includes a science-based understanding of diversity and the causes and consequences of discrimination, social inequality and social injustice. Our mission is to educate students to be leaders, with a nuanced understanding of diversity, inequality, and justice, and the research skills to study these matters and address inequities. Devoted to a rigorous analysis of race, ethnicity, and diversity broadly-defined, the Department’s initiatives seek to promote and deepen students’ understanding of the multiple meanings of diversity both in the United States and abroad. To these ends, we are promoting diversity science and inclusivity by:

1. Encouraging and supporting research endeavors and collaborations in diversity science

2. Overseeing the Diversity and Inequality Minor at the graduate level

3. Developing a broad curriculum in diversity science at the undergraduate and graduate levels

4. Recruiting faculty whose research and scholarship focus on human diversity, the causes and consequences of social inequality and discrimination, and how to promote resilience and well-being among disadvantaged groups

Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter


Recent Hires

Dr. Aerika Loyd

Research: Dr. Loyd investigates how social stressors and protective factors affect mental health and development in African American and Latinx youth and families. Dr. Loyd provides recommendations for culturally informed youth practice, prevention, and policy and has conducted research in the United States and in South Africa.  Dr. Loyd’s publications have spanned across journals such as Developmental Psychology, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
Education :
2010 – PhD, Tufts University, Child Study and Human Development

2007 – MA, California State University, Fullerton, Psychology

2004 – BA, California State University, Fullerton, Psychology; Child and Adolescent Studies (minor)

Dr. Diamond Bravo

Research : Dr. Bravo’s line of research involves examining cultural mechanisms underlying ethnic-racial minority adolescents’ achievement motivation, positive development, and psychosocial adjustment. Dr. Bravo’s research is guided by principles from Expectancy-Value Theory and the Integrative Model for the Study of Developmental Competencies in ethnic-racial minority children.
Education :
2016 – PhD, Arizona State University, Family and Human Development
2011 – MA, California State University Northridge, General Experimental Psychology
2009 – BA, University of California, Riverside, Psychology

Upcoming Events

Chicano Student Programs & Native American Student Programs Cafecito Hour: Self Compassion, Mindfulness, & Motivation for Graduate Students of Color with Susan Lopez, Thursday, January 14th, 2021 between 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Meeting ID: 927 9254 5435

The Cultural Awareness Project: A workshop series for all UCR students to learn more about identity, intersectionality, privilege and oppression. It doesn’t matter if you are already doing social justice work or just trying to figure out your role – this is a great opportunity to raise your level of cultural competency. The series is made up of three workshops and the coordinator of the series ask that all students who sign up attend all three: January 19th, January 26th, and February 2nd. Visit bit.ly/capwinter21 to sign up. #CulturalAwarenessProject


Construction of the ‘Other’: Development, Consequences, and Applied Implications of Prejudice and Discrimination , May 2-May 4, 2022. For more information please visit  https://www.srcd.org/event/construction-other-development-consequences-and-applied-implications-prejudice-and