Environmental Psychology Faculty Member Susan Opotow, PhD, was awarded a Presidential Citation for her commitment to the identification and elimination of all forms of social injustice.
Susan Opotow’s research focuses on injustice and investigates the socio-political/ psychological contexts in which the scope of justice — the extent of our justice concerns for others — widens or narrows. Dr. Opotow’s theoretical work on injustice is based on my empirical studies utilizing quantitative, qualitative, and historical methods to examine how, when, and why injustice directed at marginalized groups is rendered ‘normal.’ Dr. Opotow also studies the complementary, inclusionary process, when justice concerns, rights, and resources are extended more broadly within a society to widen the scope of justice. Dr. Opotow has situated this scholarship within several productive contexts that include environmental conflict, public schooling, post-war (i.e., USA Civil War, World War II) change, and museum exhibitions on historical injustice.
Opotow’s service to APA includes membership on the Committee on International Relations in Psychology, membership on and chair of the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest, and membership on the Board for Educational Affairs. She served as president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and is a long-standing member of the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence. She was an editor of Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology. Furthermore, she served on the editorial boards of Social Justice Research, Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Quantitative Psychology, and Human Ecology Review.
As the award makes clear, Opotow has made “Outstanding contributions as a scholar, teacher, and mentor. Her research has inspired conflict resolution scholars and practitioners around the world.”