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About Kumea Shorter-Gooden

Kumea Shorter-Gooden in action

I grew up in Washington, D.C. and earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in clinical/community psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. I have taught, trained, consulted, and published on issues of equity, diversity and inclusion for more than 25 years. The following experiences have shaped my consulting practice:

  • In the 1960s, I was recruited and given a full scholarship to integrate a girls’ independent school in Northern Virginia.

  • As a professor, I mentored and educated clinical psychology graduate students, with a focus on their development as culturally responsive practitioners and researchers.

  • I have conducted research on how African American women navigate racial and gender bias, and I co-authored the award-winning book Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America.

  • As a licensed psychologist, I practiced psychotherapy with a diverse population of individuals and couples – in community mental health centers, a college counseling center, and independent practice.

  • I have served as a senior administrator and Chief Diversity Officer at two institutions – Alliant International University and the University of Maryland, College Park.

As a result of these experiences, I have developed:

  • Deep knowledge of equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice, particularly as it relates to organizational change and development

  • Well-honed skills in team-building; group facilitation; teaching and curricular development; program development and evaluation; strategic planning; and quantitative and qualitative research design, data collection and analysis

  • A profound desire to work with others to create an equitable, inclusive and just world

My Approach

Whether I’m consulting, conducting a workshop, or doing a presentation, there are several key facets of my approach:

  • Client-centered – I listen deeply in order to assess, understand and respond to the specific needs and desires of each client.

  • Recognition of the journey – I meet people (and organizations) where they are, recognizing that individuals have different backgrounds and perspectives and different desires and pathways for learning and change.

  • Experiential – Where appropriate, I engage trainees and clients in experiential learning in order to personalize and deepen their understanding.

  • Broad and intersectional understanding – I address the interrelatedness and intersectionality of racial, gender, sexual orientation and other identities and the biases that arise from them.

  • Systemic focus – I work with trainees and organizations to consider and address not only individual strategies to advance equity and inclusion, but also systemic and structural changes to promote equity and inclusion.

  • Evidence-based – As a social scientist and educator, I draw on current, relevant research and scholarship to inform my work.

  • Building capacity – I cultivate others’ learning and their capacity to apply what they’ve learned to new situations that arise. And I strive to inspire their passion to do so!

My Approach
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