Public Scholarship

Institutional Courage for Black Professor

2021-22 CASBS Fellows, including myself, created and signed an institutionally courageous open letter of support for CASBS Fellow & Stanford University Faculty, Dr. Hakeem Jefferson, following public racist attacks against him.

“We are aware that Stanford University faculty member and 2021-22 Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University, Dr. Hakeem Jefferson, was the recent target of racial harassment and attacks, including paid advertisements against him and his work…We commend Dr. Jefferson for consistently, courageously, and bravely conducting his work and sharing it with the world. We have deep appreciation for Dr. Jefferson’s scholarship and deep respect for Dr. Jefferson, the scholar…We, the undersigned 2021-22 CASBS Fellows at Stanford University, publicly declare our full support for Dr. Hakeem Jefferson, while simultaneously committing to re-focus our energies to build anti-racist, equitable institutions where scholars, particularly those who are marginalized, can thrive: freely, fully, happily, and safely.”–[alphabetical order] Eduardo Araral, Robert Aronowitz, Jenna Bednar, Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús, Michael Bernstein, Sufen Chen, Scott L. Cummings, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Paolo de Renzio, Gary W. Evans, Megan Finn, Jennifer M. Gómez-Center for Institutional Courage, Lise Guilhamon, Stefan O. Houpt, Amalia Kessler, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Pang Laikwan, John Stephen Lansing, Thomas Levenson-professor of science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Margaret Levi, Julie Livingston, Teresa L. McCarty– Distinguished Professor and GF Kneller Chair in Education and Anthropology, UCLA, Helen Milner, Kris Mitchener, Jules Naudet, Arcade Ndoricimpa, Manuel Pastor, Alejandro Pérez Carballo, Laurence Ralph– Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University, Leigh S. Raymond, Jennifer A. Richeson-Philip R. Allen Professor of Psychology, Yale University, Vibeke Sorensen-Complexity Science Hub Vienna, Piyush Tantia, Daniel Treisman, Mpho Tshivhase, Katia Vavova, Edward Walker

November 2021

Institutional Courage Is Needed to Reform Title IX Mandatory Reporting Requirements

Institutional Courage Is Needed to Reform Title IX Mandatory Reporting Requirements, a collaborative piece, was self-published.

“The Department of Education is reviewing current Title IX regulations. As such, the Department of Education can rectify the institutional betrayal and harm built into mandatory reporting policies by courageously amending the regulations. Dr. Jennifer Freyd, the creator of institutional courage, has outlined 10 general principles to guide institutions toward courage. Four of these principles can be used to begin a courageous review of mandatory reporting policy…’Go beyond mere compliance with criminal laws and civil rights codesCherish the whistleblowerRespond sensitively to victim disclosuresBear witness, be accountable and apologize‘…In closing, it is by acts of institutional courage that the harms of institutional betrayal can begin to be rectified. The Department of Education can act courageously now. And so can state governments and universities. With the collective courage of multiple institutions, the cowardice that has allowed these institutional betrayals to occur can be stymied.”–Rebecca L. Howard,  Allison E. Cipriano, & Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

September 2021

Title IX & Universal Mandated Reporting for Marginalized & LGBT+ Sexual Violence Survivors 

As Biden Administration Reviews Title IX Regulations, We are Reminded that Universal Mandated Reporting Creates Increased Risk for Marginalized & LGBT+ Sexual Violence Survivors, a collaborative piece, was self-published.

“In our world, universities—marked by structural inequality from their inception—are unsafe spaces for those of us who are both marginalized and most at risk for sexual violence victimization: cisgender White women, community members with disabilities, international students, people of Color across genders, LGBTQ+ individuals, and others. In the midst of overt and covert discrimination, we are all too aware of the risks and potential harm that universities can do to us and our stories…Like what happens in sexual assault, survivors’ agency and autonomy are again taken away when the university removes their ability to disclose to trusted professors, staff members, and graduate students by mandating that they report our private, vulnerable stories….Though it can be easy to get discouraged by the status quo, sexual violence and harassment–and the institutional response to it–is a fixable problem for all universities.”–M. Colleen McDaniel & Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

June 2021

U.S. Dept. of Education Title IX Live Hearings

Reforming Title IX: Evidence of the Harm of Universal Mandated Reporting for Marginalized Survivors of Campus Sexual Violence was self-published following giving the speech at the Title IX Live Hearings for the Department of Education on 7 June 2021.

“Mandated support is that all victims—including undergrads, graduate students, law students, medical students, staff, administrators, and professors—all victims should know about and have access to university resources. Instead of universal mandated reporting, Title IX could require that when a victim discloses to me, a professor, I don’t behave like a rapist and take their reporting choice away from them by sharing what happened to the Title IX Director w/o their consent. Instead, Title IX could require me to engage in mandated support: providing them information for all the campus resources, including but not limited to the Title IX Office, so the victims can seek out the campus professionals whenever they are ready. Therefore, changes to Title IX can mean institutional courage that leads not only to improved victims’ mental health but also safer, more equitable university campuses for everybody. In closing, universities should have nothing in common with rapists. Limiting who is a responsible employee can turn that truth into a reality.”–Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

June 2021

The Hill

Encouraging Bravery & Fortitude in Dismantling the Insidious Stronghold of Racism was published in The Hill

“The process of institutional courage needs to be intentional, deliberate, and iterative. We must acknowledge, address, and correct this oppression. We must systematically and critically take an inventory of discriminatory practices in policing, voting, education, housing, health care, and employment. And then we must act to change these practices individually, systemically, and culturally…And of course, while radical healing in communities of color can and should happen amidst oppression, we can’t underestimate the value of actual change and actual equality in promoting healing for individuals, communities, and society. Thus, such institutional courage can mean that this societal moment, instead of being fleeting, is a turning point that leads us to the right side of justice and healing.”–Dr. Joan Cook & Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

July 2020

Blavity

Russell Simmons, Rape, & The Myth of ‘Toxic Femininity’: What Black Men Can Do To Be Part of the Solution was published in Blavity

“This notion of Toxic Femininity makes Black women and girls responsible for Black men’s sexually abusive behavior. The truth, however, is more straightforward: Black men are responsible for their own behavior, with rape not being an inevitable by-product of Blackness or maleness. At the same time, Black women and girls are never responsible for Black men’s behavior — no matter what they say or don’t say, do or don’t do, wear or don’t wear. Black women and girls have been and continue to be sexually abused at alarmingly high rates because of people and cultural norms that perpetrate and condone such abuse — not because of anything they’re doing wrong….Many Black men do not sexually abuse anyone in any way and do not condone such behavior. What about all those Black men? What can they do?…Know that your capability of not sexually abusing anyone is the same capability that all Black men have — including those who rape. Do not provide excuses for Black men who rape.”–Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez & Dr. Robyn L. Gobin

June 2020

Inside Higher Ed, Conditionally Accepted Blog

My piece, Stop Vilifying White Women! Scholars Should Hold Themselves Accountable For Discrimination in Academe, was published in Inside Higher Ed, Conditionally Accepted Blog.

“The first National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education Summit, held November 2019…My impression of our plenary panel, Attending to How Sexual Harassment Manifests for Individuals With Marginalized Identities, is that we spoke truth to power by centralizing marginalized voices and perspectives while calling out systemic oppression. Other panel participants included moderator Anna Branch and panelists Isabel DeesWendy Lu and Larry Martínez….For the remainder of the summit, I was unable to sit or move without one of the approximately 350 attendees sharing with me how much they appreciated our panel…So what happened? During the open Q&A of our panel, someone in the audience asked us, ‘How do we get White women to acknowledge their privilege and lack of inclusion in this work? Similar to issues in the feminist movement.’ After some uncomfortable shifting among the panelists, I was the first to answer: ‘For white women, if you ever find yourself in a space where you sound like an ignorant White man or you do things that are like ignorant White men, then rethink it. There’s a call now that if you’re coming to serve on an all-White-men panel, don’t go. So stop it with the all-White-women panels and summits around sexual violence and sexual assault.’…We should demand more from the people with the most power in a given arena — e.g., White women in sexual violence research — while also exposing and iteratively correcting our shared, flawed humanity…By calling in others…By responding thoughtfully when called in by others….By calling in ourselves…By expecting that we will make mistakes….And finally, by remembering that perfection is not required, but continuing correction and improvement are possible, expected and necessary.”–Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

February 2020

The Conversation

Weinstein trial begs a question: Why is the pain of women and minorities often ignored? was published in The Conversation, which is a news outlet for researchers to translate their work for a non-academic audience of over 10 million users

“Cultural betrayal trauma theory explains how marginalized women pay an additional price when they experience violence at the hands of marginalized men. This is within-group violence — for instance, when a black man sexually assaults a black woman or girl. Implicit with that kind of violence is a cultural betrayal. The supposed solidarity between survivor and perpetrator against forces of discrimination is shattered.To keep that perception intact, black women are expected to cover for black men who abuse them. So they suffer in silence – otherwise, the black community, already harmed by racism, is impugned.”–Dr. Anne DePrince & Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

As of 4 January 2022, the article has over 8,520 readers.

February 2020

The Conversation

The Unique Harm of Sexual Abuse in the Black Community was published in The Conversation, which is a news outlet for researchers to translate their work for a non-academic audience of over 10 million users

“The body of research to date suggests that cultural betrayal may be a unique harm within violence in minority populations, including the black community. As such, the alleged sexual traumas perpetrated by R. Kelly and Clarence Thomas have a cultural betrayal that isn’t found in Woody Allen’s alleged abuse. Moreover, black men’s death threats against Tarana Burke are (intra)cultural pressure that is laced with misogynoir, or sexism in the black community.”–Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

The research study featured in this article is Isn’t It All About Victimization? (Intra)cultural Pressure and Cultural Betrayal Trauma in Ethnic Minority College Women (Gómez, 2018). 

Also published on the International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA) Blog and Blavity, featured on Today@Wayne, and re-published by over 15 other news outlets. 

As of 4 January 2021, the article has over 636,000 readers.

May 2019

Gender Discrimination: Professors Are/Not Professors

In an attempt to uphold gender discrimination, University of Oregon (UO) is insisting that professors do not hold the same job re the Freyd vs. UO lawsuit. 

My response in The Register-Guard Oregon newspaper, with lots of links from the case:

“UO is actively promoting gender discrimination through its legal team’s argument that professors do not hold the same job. If upheld, this ruling has the potential to undermine equality for women and minority faculty at UO and across the nation for decades to come.

Though I can’t prevent UO from its behavior in this case, there are people at UO right now who can. From President Michael Schill to General Counsel Kevin Reed to the board of trustees. It’s not too late. UO could still choose to live up to its mission of equity and inclusion. If for no other reason, UO could remember that its reputation as a top public university is on the line. Gender equality matters at universities like UO.

The world is watching.”–Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

Change.org Petition of Support for Dr. Freyd

7 November 2019

Inside Higher Ed, Conditionally Accepted Blog

My piece, Navigating the Dialectic of Privilege and Oppression, was published in Inside Higher Ed, Conditionally Accepted Blog.

“As the new school year begins, many of us are starting new roles as tenure-track assistant professors. There are multiple ways to be oppressed and disempowered as a junior scholar of color. But at the same time, life in a coveted tenure-track faculty position is also a position of relative privilege and power, perhaps especially over students’ grades and even career trajectories. It is this dialectic of oppression/privilege that I am preparing to navigate as a new junior faculty of color this year….My instinct is to abdicate all responsibility that my newfound power and privilege affords me, while lying in the cut of the oppression…It is incumbent upon me to live and learn within my dialectic of oppression and privilege…Doing so is perhaps made more possible — and more uncomfortable — by what my privilege affords me the ability to do….And I myself can co-create spaces for accountability, forgiveness and healing that will encourage others to persevere through the challenges of navigating an academic system that alternates between accepting and disrespecting marginalized scholars.”–Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

September 2019

Who’s Betraying Who? R. Kelly, Sexual Violence, & The Dismissal of Black Women & Girls

New piece

“The second truth is where it seems we consistently get into trouble: The rape of Black women and girls does matter. . . As a Black female clinical psychologist, I have coined the term cultural betrayal to describe instances where violence happens within the Black community. . . Nevertheless, in these discussions of sexual violence, often what is termed “betrayal” is something quite different. . . We must ask ourselves why.”–Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

As of 24 May 2019, this article has received over 700 views. 

25 August 2019

Cultural Betrayal Trauma Video

In this short video, Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez discusses Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory and the article, Isn’t It All About Victimization? (Intra)Cultural Pressure and Cultural Betrayal Trauma in Ethnic Minority College Women, which was published in Violence Against Women.

As of 14 June 2020, this video has been viewed 700 times

January 2019

Open Essay on Gender Discrimination, Freyd’s Lawsuit, & Recommendations for Universities

Open Essay: Gender Discrimination, Dr. Jennifer Freyd’s Lawsuit, & Recommendations for Universities

“There are few emotions as potent as those caused by the pain of watching someone you respect, admire, and care for be discriminated against. Understanding how this discrimination, which feels so isolated and personal, actually is endemic of academia’s dirty little secret of systemic gender discrimination—contributing to the leaky pipeline for women—is more painful still.”–Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

As of 25 August 2019, the open essay has been viewed over 700 times. 

December 2018

Black Women & #MeToo

Op-ed comparing Ford/Kavanaugh with Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas: “Black Women & #MeToo: The Violence of Silencing” translates research on cultural betrayal trauma theory to the general public.

“Following a quarter of a century – from the testimonies of Anita Hill, J.D., to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford – the U.S. is still struggling: with both how not to violate women, as well as how not to silence them. More difficult still is attuning to the crosshairs that Black women additional face related to race, class, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, nation of origin, and the intersection of these and other identities. Through centralizing various forms of oppression in addressing sexual violence against Black women, I can only hope that in 2045 – 27 years from now, we are not still haunted with these same ghosts of violence, silencing, and denial of Black women’s experiences.”–Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

December 2018

Job Market Discrimination

Published in Inside Higher Ed, Conditionally Accepted Blog, I wrote A Time For Arrogance: A Minority Scholar Describes the Challenges She Experienced on the Academic Job Market, to reflect on the good, the bad, and the learned.

“…a senior White female faculty member described cultural betrayal trauma theory to me as my “ideas” with air quotes and expressed her concern that my work was not scientific enough for that top-ranked department…Instead of waiting for them to please just notice my value, I know who I am and what I have to offer….I make the decision to not feel ashamed for being good at what I do, while continuing to possess the rebellious perseverance that I hope will carry me for a career to come. Will you join me?”–Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

February 2018

University Free Speech

Written as a graduate student and published in The Register-Guard, UO’s {University of Oregon’s} Proposed ‘Free Speech’ Policy Results in Restrictions.

UO’s “….new proposed policy ( http://rgne.ws/2goQlof ): ‘Time, Place, and Manner of Free Speech.’…What I cannot seem to understand is how freedom of expression and respect translate into dictation of excessive limitations to free speech. Limitations that would bar protests inside or in front of Johnson Hall: the site of the highest level administrators on campus; and unsurprisingly, the site of many protests as well. To limit free speech spaces to places where people in power cannot hear them seems to diminish their effectiveness. This reads to me like a convenient way to sustain the status quo. Change — important, painful, much-needed change — often is inconvenient. The road to change at the UO, as well as in U.S. society, has been strewn with letters, emails, petitions, committees and meetings. Protests are often the last resort when ‘appropriate’ times, places, and manners have been dismissed, degraded, or are inaccessible to people who are being harmed.”–(pre-Dr.) Jennifer M. Gómez

November 2016

Sexual Violence at an HBCU

Written as a graduate student and published in The Black Commentator regarding @RapedAtSpelman’s description of rape and the HBCU’s response, Black, Raped, Shamed, & Supported: Our Responses to Rape Can Build or Destroy Our Community.

“State-sanctioned terrorism, such as racialized police brutality, and mass incarceration of Black men and women influences how we as a community react to rape…The way forward isn’t about adjusting our perceptions of rape, Black women, and Black men’s sexuality. It must be about dismantling what we think we know about these constructs entirely and replacing distortions with genuine equality. Protection of each other as Black people need not be synonymous with accepting injustice, violence, or degradation in any form. Never should we demand silence from the dissenters, the whistle blowers, and the combatants of injustice because solutions never arise from silence. Only with problematizing the current situation can we radically alter our priorities, understanding that all of us need protection, solace, understanding, and acceptance. We all need to live lives free of violence.”–(pre-Dr.) Jennifer M. Gómez

June 2016

Mandated Reporting

Written as a graduate student and published in the University of Oregon’s (UO’s) Daily Emerald, The Hidden Harm of Required Reporting at the University.

“If consent is important in sexual relations, with lack of consent indicating assault, then shouldn’t consent in the reporting process also be primary? Why not have a policy that holds employees accountable by requiring that they follow the wishes of the adult who has disclosed to them?…The issues with requiring reporting are many and varied. Solutions to the complex cultural problems of sexual violence, discrimination and inequality must start with respecting the rights of victims as autonomous adults. If we start there, then our solutions serve to create a better world in which fairness is paramount, differences are respected and discrimination is not re-instantiated.”–(pre-Dr.) Jennifer M. Gómez

May 2016

Diversity Representation in University Websites

Written as a graduate student and published in the University of Oregon’s (UO’s) Daily Emerald, Inclusivity, Honesty in Representation, and Celebrating Diversity: A Case Example with the UO Psychology Department Website.

“Such exclusion puts forth the erroneous message that psychology is a field by white men and for white men, with the possibilities for study and advancement catering to white men. What message might this be sending to prospective scholars, including undergraduates, who expect diversity as a necessary aspect of excellence?….instead of segregating inclusivity to certain events, certain committees, certain labs and certain classes, the department, the university as a whole and all the individuals in it could strive to meaningfully and thoughtfully incorporate inclusivity…with sensitivity, self-reflection and humility.”–(pre-Dr.) Jennifer M. Gómez

April 2016

Inequality & Campus Sexual Violence

Written as a graduate student and published in The Register-Guard, Inequality Plays A Role In Campus Sexual Violence.

“How is the relative absence of inclusivity in mainstream work to end sexual violence on college campuses just a symptom of interpersonal and institutional inequality in American society?…Many are averse to facing the truth is that bigotry is found within social justice movements, including those that address campus sexual violence. With this acknowledgement can come different discussions and solutions: solutions that include institutional changes that have the potential of helping all equally. At the university level, this means having transparent, mandatory and ongoing education about various forms of oppression, including how these forms of oppression influence the prevalence and experience of sexual violence. Because sexual violence affects every aspect of university life, this education must reach not only undergraduates, but also faculty, staff, administrators, graduate students, therapists, clinical supervisors, psychiatrists, nurses and advocates.”–(pre-Dr.) Jennifer M. Gómez

October 2015

Sexualization in Social Justice Efforts

Written as a graduate student and published in Eugene Weekly, The Aesthetics of Social Justice: Appearance Sidetracks Our Internal Processes.

“While many appeared to be moved by my lectures, presentations and writings, invariably there were those who were distracted as well. During one conference presentation, I am told by a male attendee that my skin and hair are so beautiful. Following a classroom lecture, a male student informs me how attractive he thinks I am. In preparation for presenting a talk, a woman advises me that because I am charming and beautiful, people will listen to me….I had begun to accept this treatment as simply a cost of publicly fighting for social justice. Yet, I have come to realize that precisely because this exoticism and benign sexism is antithetical to equality, it truly has no place in social justice advocacy….the fight for social justice cannot be relegated to a hypocritical battle to make things better over there. We must work simultaneously to change the status quo here.”–(pre-Dr. ) Jennifer M. Gómez

October 2015

APA, Torture, & The Hoffman Report

Written as a graduate student and published in Eugene Weekly, Psychological Pressure: Did the APA Commit Institutional Betrayal?

“Through the Hoffman Report (apa.org/independent-review/index.aspx), it has recently come to light that the American Psychological Association (APA) — the governing body of psychology — in collusion with the Department of Defense, used its power to support the use of torture…With these betrayals, the APA demonstrated an apparent limited mindset to the context: a total absence of notice or consideration of the disproportionate harm that persons of lower social status experience as a result of the U.S. Department of Defense’s use of torture (as defined by international law per the Geneva Convention and others). The APA appears not to have incorporated the U.S. dominant culture of discrimination and bias against people who are not American and/or who are Muslim and/or who are mistaken to be Middle Eastern or Afghan…Amidst feelings of shock, betrayal, anger and hurt following the revelations that the APA was complicit in torture, each of us can examine our own roles in the organizations in which we are members. We can take this opportunity to prepare ourselves to choose — when internal and external pressures dominate our thoughts — to have the courage to do the right thing.”–(pre-Dr. ) Jennifer M. Gómez

August 2015

UO & Campus Sexual Violence

Written as a graduate student and published in Eugene Weekly and University of Oregon’s (UO’s) Daily Emerald, Institutional Failure: An Open Letter to UO Interim President Scott Coltrane.

“These institutional failures cannot continue to be publicly denied as research is showing that approximately 20 students are sexually assaulted each and every week on this campus. How, in good conscience, can you as Interim President, continue to publicly forcefully defend the practices at UO? Approximately 20 new incidents of sexual violence a week cannot possibly be indicative of a safe campus, therefore, our shared goals are far from being met. Any statement that infers otherwise is irresponsible and inaccurate….I will…mourn for all the students on this campus who continue to be punished into silence following being sexually assaulted.”–(pre-Dr. ) Jennifer M. Gómez

February 2015

Police Violence & Institutional Betrayal

Written as a collaborative piece when I was a graduate student and published in The Register-Guard, Institutional Betrayal Makes Violence More Toxic.

“Police brutality against black Americans, potentially including the death of Michael Brown, can be understood through the lens of institutional betrayal….Addressing institutional betrayal of this magnitude is necessarily destabilizing, as it shakes off the illusions of equality while calling for introspection on the deepest individual and systemic levels. Justice demands our society acknowledge and then fix systems that put black Americans at risk for violence and inequality. The unsteady terrain reveals how ready our country is to correct these long-standing betrayals. Through institutional courage, this can be the beginning of an era of not feeling betrayed by police brutality: not because people lie under the cloak of betrayal blindness, but because institutional betrayal traumas, such as the deaths of black Americans by police, no longer plague our society.”–(pre-Dr.) Jennifer M. Gómez & Dr. Jennifer J. Freyd

August 2014

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