Tabbye Chavous, University of Michigan, Dept. of Psychology & School of Education, Program Director, National Center for Institutional Diversity.

Racial identity and academic identity among racially minoritized students: considering person-context congruence and individual and institutional resilience processes
Tabbye Chavous


Fall 2021
Lecture Time: 
Friday, September 17, 2021 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Lecture Location: 

R0220, Ross Building


In this presentation, I will focus on racial identity-context congruence, that is, the extent that racially minoritized students' constructions around the importance and meaning of their race can be aligned or misaligned with their experienced academic environments. I will share studies linking students' identity-based experiences (interpersonal and climate experiences in academic and social contexts) that are stigmatizing or affirming to outcomes related to their academic identities, achievement, and persistence. This work also highlights how many racially minoritized and underrepresented students draw on their racial and cultural identities in ways that promote their motivation and persistence, especially in settings where they are underrepresented and experience marginalization based on their multiple social identities (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, among other identities). I will discuss implications for scholarly approaches to studying positive development among racially minoritized students; as well as the need to shift away from institutional approaches focused only on supporting minoritized students in navigating non-congruous environments (individual student resilience) toward approaches focused on creating/recreating settings that affirm and align with minoritized students' identities and that leverage students' identity strengths to support them as whole persons (institutional resilience).

Recording & Additional Notes

Tabbye Chavous is director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and professor of education and psychology at the University of Michigan. She is also a co-founder and principal investigator of the university’s Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context. Dr. Chavous' research focuses on social identity development among Black adolescents and emerging adults; achievement motivation processes — including relationships among students' racial/ethnic, gender, and academic and disciplinary identities; and the impacts of school/campus climates on racially minoritized students' academic, social, and psychological adjustment. Dr. Chavous’ recent research projects include National Science Foundation funded studies of racial socialization among Black adolescents, and contextual risk and resilience factors among underrepresented and racially minoritized undergraduate and graduate students pursuing STEM degrees. In her NCID role, Dr. Chavous works with her team to (a) catalyze diversity scholarship and support diversity scholars in addressing pressing societal issues and (b) to create, apply, and disseminate research-based models of programming and practice focused on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.