As long as the world has been spinning, people have been trying to change it. Less certain is how effective those do-good efforts have been. Progress has been made, but inequalities still run rampant through American life, from healthcare to education to criminal justice to the economy. What are changemakers missing?
The SPARQ team may be a little bit biased (Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions), but we would answer with this: social psychology.
Too often, those working for good forget that before you change the world, you need to understand how people change. That means getting a handle on the psychological and social forces that shape who we are and how we function as individuals and groups.
SPARQTools.org does just that. It distills rigorous social psychological research into step-by-step activities that go after those tenacious psychological, behavioral, and societal patterns that perpetuate inequalities and injustices across generations.
In SPARQ's toolkits, you can find ways to increase diversity in higher education, take on gender imbalances in the sciences, break up institutional biases, improve people's health, make environments more welcoming for all, and much more.
But SPARQ isn't the only organization using psychology to help make a fairer and more inclusive world. If SPARQTools.org doesn't speak to the problems you're facing, here are some other high-quality options from our colleagues in the good fight:
- The Mindset Kit: "A free set of online lessons and practices designed to help you teach and foster adaptive beliefs about learning." From the Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS).
- Greater Good in Action: "The practices in Greater Good in Action are for anyone who wants to improve his or her social and emotional well-being, or the well-being of others, but doesn't necessarily have the time or money to invest in a formal program." From University of California Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center and HopeLab.
- OpenMind: "A free interactive platform designed to depolarize communities and foster mutual understanding across differences." From Heterodox Academy.
- Common Cents Lab: "Solutions that aim to increase the ﬁnancial well-being for low-to moderate-income people living in the United States." From the Center for Advanced Hindsight.
- Nudging for Success: "Using behavioral science to improve the postsecondary student journey." From ideas42.
- Bias Interrupters: "An evidence-based model that provides solutions" to workplace bias. From the The Center for WorkLife Law.
- Playbooks: "Teacher resources for cultivating character" in students. From Character Lab.
- National Mentoring Resource Center's Measurement Guidance Toolkit: "Recommended instruments for measuring key youth outcomes in mentoring programs as well as several risk and protective factors that may be relevant to program outcomes." From the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
- Calling On Students in Equitable Ways: Help professors create inclusive discussions for their students. From Harvard University's Instructional Moves.
- frankology: "Science, best practices and case studies for changemakers and movement builders on the frontlines of change." From frank at the University of Florida.
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