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Helen A Neville



Helen A. Neville is a professor of Educational Psychology and African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before coming to Illinois in 2001, she was on the faculty in Psychology, Educational and Counseling Psychology, and Black Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she co-founded and co-directed the Center for Multicultural Research, Training, and Consultation. Dr. Neville has held leadership positions on campus and nationally.  She was a Provost Fellow and participated in the CIC/Big 10 Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Academy. Currently she is the president-elect of the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race, which is a division of the American Psychological Association (APA). She has co-edited 8 books and (co)-authored nearly 90 journal articles and book chapters in the areas of race, racism, and racial identity, and diversity issues related to well-being. Dr. Neville has been recognized for her research and mentoring efforts including receiving the Association of Black Psychologists’ Distinguished Psychologist of the Year award, the APA Minority Fellowship Award, Dalmas Taylor Award for Outstanding Research Contribution, APA Graduate Students Kenneth and Mamie Clark Award, the APA Division 45 Charles and Shirley Thomas Award for mentoring/contributions to African American students/community, and the Winter Roundtable Janet E. Helms Mentoring Award. 

Historically her research primarily focused on two interrelated areas in the study of racial beliefs: (a) color-blind racial ideology (CBRI) or the systematic set of beliefs that serve to deny or minimize institutional racism and (b) racial identity attitudes, particularly the influence of positive, internalized racial attitudes on wellbeing. Using multiple research designs (e.g., survey, longitudinal, qualitative, vignette, experimental) and methods (e.g., self-report, interview, census data, archival/documents), in this work she investigates the ways in which people interpret racial information and the consequences of this interpretation on attitudes and behaviors as well as educational practices that may promote increased racial awareness. For example, she explores questions such as: What individual and contextual factors are associated with expressions of color-blind racial beliefs? What factors are related to decreases in color-blind racial beliefs over time? And, in what ways do Black individuals develop a sense of racial pride within color-blind racial contexts? A secondary area of research centers on examining the influence of race-related stress on the psychological health of People of Color, with a focus on African Americans.

Her research has moved in the direction of healing, particularly healing from racial and other intersecting forms of trauma. She is interested in centering the lives, experiences and epistemologies of people from the Global Majority. This work has included theorizing about radical healing and radical hope. 


Research Interests

Race and racism, racial identity, African American Psychology, radical healing, radical hope

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Educational Psychology
Professor, African American Studies
Professor, Psychology
Professor, Gender and Women's Studies
Professor, Center for African Studies

Recent Publications

Valgoi, M. J., Neville, H. A., Schlosser, M., & Cha-Jua, S. K. (Accepted/In press). A Critical Evaluation of a Racial Literacy Education Program for Police Recruits. Race and Justice.

French, B. H., Neville, H. A., Lewis, J. A., Mosley, D. V., Adames, H. Y., & Chavez-Dueñas, N. Y. (2023). “We Can Create a Better World for Ourselves”: Radical Hope in Communities of Color. Journal of Counseling Psychology.

Grant, N., Neville, H., Ogunfemi, N., Smith, A., Groth, S., & Rodriguez, N. (2023). An emerging youth-centered model of community resilience in communities impacted by gun violence: Power through Black Community and Unity. American journal of community psychology, 71(3-4), 355-370.

Hoang, T. M. H., Neville, H. A., Cromley, J. G., & Dai, T. (Accepted/In press). Construction and Validation of the Racially Biased Reasoning Scale: A Measure of Beliefs About Police Interactions With People of Color. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Lee, B. A., Neville, H. A., Schlosser, M., Valgoi, M. J., & Cha-Jua, S. K. (2023). Ethnocultural Empathy and Racial Colorblindness Among White Police Recruits: Do Cross-Racial Friendships Matter? Race and Justice, 13(4), 411-432.

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