Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College

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Exploring identity

Noted theorist on racial identity to speak at Wheaton

The multitude of ways that individuals express their racial and ethnic identity in everyday life will the subject of a lecture by one of the leading scholars in the field.

Dr. William Cross Jr., an influential researcher in the field of racial and ethnic identity formation, will be giving a campus wide talk at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, in Hindle Auditorium. His talk is titled "Racial-Ethnic Identity in Everyday Life".

Cross will fuse anthropology and psychology in an analysis of the multiple ways that racial and ethnic identity is displayed and performed in everyday life. Racial and cultural identity is presented as a repertoire of enactments that are context sensitive and result in a person feeling safe, competent, and connected in situations where racism and stigma scaffold everyday reality.

Dr. Cross is a product of the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s and his Stage-Model explicating black identity change became foundational in the analysis of the gay-lesbian coming out process, the development of models describing the evolution of a feminist perspective, and understanding the epiphany-cultural transformation experiences of Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latino/a Americans, and other marginalized groups. His book, “Shade of Black”, is considered a classic in the field of racial identity.

A professor emeritus in psychology [Graduate Center – CUNY], he remains active and currently is clinical professor, within the College of Education, University of Denver, where he holds a joint appointment in the counseling psychology and higher education programs.