PYD & Social Justice: A conversation with Dr. Velma Murry

On Thursday, March 11, we were graciously joined by the extraordinary Dr. Velma McBride Murry. Professor Lerner said afterward: “[Her] presentation was magnificent! People in my lab and the students were blown away by [her] science, [her] vision, and [her] humanity – and the optimism [she has] for our nation, equity, and social justice.”

Dr. Velma McBride Murry exceeded my expectations as a researcher and human being. Informative, intelligent, and with a true gift for breaking down difficult concepts into digestible take-aways, her presentation was a much needed breath of fresh socially-justice enhanced air. It’s almost unfair that she’s also such a warm, welcoming human being that instantly creates the feeling of a safe space for questions and discussion. Thank you Dr. Murry for sharing your talents with us!
Susan Mangan, Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University

Using both her personal story and her research project, Dr. Murry showed me the true strength and resilience in the African American community. It was truly an enlightening experience for me as a researcher. After hearing her talk, I cannot help but re-evaluate the potentially deficit-focused approach I took to understand African American youth development. In the future, I want to truly embrace and highlight the diversity in strengths and pathways to positive youth development among racial-ethnic minority youth in my research. 
Dian Yu, Ph.D., research assistant professor, CSHD

Dr. Velma McBride Murray was an awesome guest on this week’s “episode” of PYD and Social Justice Series.  It was an amazing opportunity to hear from such a prevalent leader in the field, whose current work is making an active difference in our country every day.  I truly enjoyed and appreciated her “dirty river analogy”.  She used this to explain that racism is like fish swimming in a polluted river.  We should not just give the fish rubber suits to protect them, we need to clean up the water.  But in the meantime, the rubber suit is important to protect the fish.  This analogy beautifully supported Dr. McBride-Murray’s explanation of adaptive calibration.  Hopefully, one day soon, the river will be clean. It was a privilege to hear her talk and I cannot wait for next week’s “episode”!
KC Hambleton, CSHD master’s student