Psychologists available to discuss Charlottesville violence


Monday, Aug. 14, 2017
Contact: Jim Sliwa
(202) 336-5707 (office)
(301) 873-3128 (cell)

Experts can offer insight into white supremacy, policing, dealing with trauma

As you are reporting on various aspects of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, psychologists are available to discuss how white supremacy, racism and prejudice can lead to extremism, how police should handle potentially violent demonstrations and how to help children and adults deal with trauma and grief.

White Supremacy, Prejudice and Racism

Karen Franklin, Ph.D.
El Cerrito, California
Work: (510) 232-1920

Expertise: A forensic psychologist, Franklin was one of the first researchers to study hate crime offenders to determine their motivations and has written about factors motivating home-grown terrorists and extremists.

James Jones, Ph.D.
Newark, Delaware
Cell: (302) 598-2379

Expertise: Jones is a professor of psychological and brain sciences and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity at the University of Delaware. He is a former executive director for Public Interest and director of the Minority Fellowship Program at the American Psychological Association. Jones’ first book, “Prejudice and Racism,” was published in 1972, and the second edition in 1997. It still stands as a classic analysis of race, class and culture in psychology. He serves on the American Bar Association Task Force on the impact of Stand Your Ground laws on black and Latino communities.

Ervin Staub, Ph.D.
Holyoke, Massachusetts
Home: (413) 534-6375

Expertise: Staub is a professor of psychology emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and founding director of its PhD concentration in the psychology of peace and violence. He studies the social conditions, culture and psychology of individuals and groups and the social processes that lead to mass violence, especially genocide and mass killing. He also studies violent conflict, terrorism and torture and an expert on the role of passive bystanders in allowing the unfolding of violence, how violence between groups can be prevented and how hostile groups can reconcile, especially in post-conflict settings. He has studied the roots of caring and helping, and promoting “active bystandership” — for example, by police so that officers prevent or stop unnecessary force by fellow officers, and by students in response to harmful behavior toward fellow students.

Psychology of Policing Crowds

Laurence Miller, Ph.D.
Boca Raton, Florida
Work: (561) 392-8881

Expertise: Miller is the police psychologist for the West Palm Beach Police Department and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, mental health consultant for Troop L of the Florida Highway Patrol, a forensic psychological examiner for the Palm Beach County Court and a consulting psychologist with several regional and national law enforcement agencies. His latest books are “Practical Police Psychology: Stress Management and Crisis Intervention for Law Enforcement” and “Criminal Psychology: Nature, Nurture, Culture.”

Dealing with Trauma and Grief (Adults and Children)

Robin Gurwitch, Ph.D.
Durham, North Carolina
Cell: (405) 659-9513

Expertise: Robin Gurwitch has interpreted the impact of terrorism and disasters on children since the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City, providing direct service and training, and conducting research. She is a member of the APA Disaster Resource Network, American Red Cross and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. She was recently appointed to the Health and Human Services National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters.

Suzan Stafford, Ed.D. 
Washington, D.C.
Cell: (202) 236-6849

Expertise: A retired private practitioner, Stafford is a long-time responder to disasters, including the 9/11 Pentagon attack and the 2013 Washington Navy Yard shooting.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes nearly 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.