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Kira Banks        

Psychologist, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant

Dr. Kira Hudson Banks has been working to support individuals and groups to understand themselves, others, and systems of oppression for over 20 years. Her teaching, research, and community involvement are rooted in the values of Black Psychology, which uplifts the interconnectedness and resilience of people and rejects an individual and deficit approach.

Banks enjoys facilitating difficult dialogues and has been described as making complex and controversial topics accessible and intergroup interactions more understandable. She has done so in schools, communities, institutions of higher education, and corporations. Banks served as a racial equity consultant for the Ferguson Commission and continued as the Racial Equity Catalyst for Forward Through Ferguson. Her thinking and writing have helped frame racial equity in the St. Louis region.

Banks is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Saint Louis University, an APA-accredited Clinical Psychology doctoral program, and she co-founded the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity at the university. Her research examines the experience of discrimination, its impact on mental health, and intergroup relations. Her courses have ranged from Abnormal Psychology to the Psychology of Racism. Banks has published over two dozen articles in peer-reviewed outlets, including the American Psychologist, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Journal of Black Psychology, and Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. She has also contributed to The Harvard Business Review and popular media outlets such as Huffington Post and The Atlantic.

Banks has developed a YouTube Channel to translate psychological concepts for laypeople. She believes strongly that research should be useful and can inform our every day lives. What initially started as a series on the channel and is now a podcast hosted by Banks is "Raising Equity," which explores what it looks like to intentionally raise children with an equity mindset with the knowledge and understanding of systemic inequities and to equip them to create an equitable society rather than accept the status quo.

Banks is also co-principal of The Mouse and the Elephant, which develops customized curricula to meet organizations’ long-term needs. She received her BA from Mount Holyoke College, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

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