Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Noted Scholar on Implicit Bias, to Discuss the Language of Justice

October 20 2016

Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, the first Franklin A. Thomas Professor in Policing Equity at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, will give his inaugural lecture on “Justice as a Second Language” as part of the Macy’s Social Justice Lecture Series today at 5:30 PM in the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at 524 West 59 Street.

“The aim of this lecture is to conceptualize justice not only as an end state or value, but as a language that helps us to interpret our world,” said Dr. Goff. “And, while acquiring it can be frustrating and even painful, learning the language of justice can empower us to name those moments of injustice that might otherwise leave us speechless.”

President Travis noted, “It is exciting to see this first of many deep conversations unfold for the broader community, which is poised for new thinking about the role of the police and the rest of the criminal justice system, particularly a new relationship between police and communities of color.”

Dr. Goff is a social psychologist and one of the nation’s leading scholars on the topics of policing and race, the challenges facing policing organizations, and the phenomenon of implicit bias. He is also co-founder of the influential Center for Policing Equity (CPE) – a research and action think tank that works collaboratively with law enforcement, communities, and political stakeholders to identify ways to strengthen relationships with the communities they serve. Using evidence-based approaches to social justice, CPE uses data to create levers for social, cultural, and policy change nationwide. The Center for Policing Equity has also relocated to John Jay College.

In March, John Jay College announced the establishment of the Franklin A. Thomas Professorship in Policing Equity, created with $2.5 million in grants from the Ford Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies, and Dr. Goff as the first to occupy the position. The professorship was named for Franklin A. Thomas, one of the country’s most prominent and inspiring philanthropists and civic leaders. Thomas was president of the Ford Foundation for 17 years from 1979 to 1996, where he advanced a global agenda promoting human rights, democracy and economic development. He served in New York City Police Department as the Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters and General Counsel from 1965-67 and was also founding president of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.

The grant from the Ford Foundation and Atlantic Philanthropies will also support the recruitment and mentoring of a cohort of Fellows, including a post-doctoral scholar and five undergraduate students each year, who will work at the Center for Policing Equity and contribute to its research projects.

This lecture is made possible by Macy’s, Inc. support of a new Lecture Series. This is the first lecture of the Macy’s Social Justice Lecture Series.

To view the live stream of the lecture, visit http://www.ustream.tv/channel/WT8fGc9DGph.

Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff

Phillip Atiba Goff is the inaugural Franklin A. Thomas Professor in Policing Equity at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is the cofounder and president of the Center for Policing Equity, and an expert in contemporary forms of racial bias and discrimination, as well as the intersections of race and gender. Dr. Goff serves as one of four Principal Investigators for the CPE’s National Justice Database, the first national database on racial disparities in police stops and use of force. More recently, Dr. Goff led the CPE in becoming one of three Principal Investigators for the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, which will contribute information to the National Justice Database. Dr. Goff conducts work exploring the ways in which racial prejudice is not a necessary precondition for racial discrimination. That is, despite the normative view of racial discrimination—that it stems from prejudiced explicit or implicit attitudes—his research demonstrates that situational factors facilitate racially unequal outcomes. Dr. Goff’s model of evidence-based approaches to justice has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Department of Justice, Russell Sage Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, OpenSociety Foundations, Open Society Institute-Baltimore, Atlantic Philanthropies, William T. Grant Foundation, the COPS Office, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the NAACP LDF, NIMH, SPSSI, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation among others. Dr. Goff was a witness for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and has presented before Members of Congress and Congressional Panels, Senate Press Briefings, and White House Advisory Councils.

The Franklin A. Thomas Professorship

This new professorship is named for Franklin A. Thomas, one of the country’s most prominent and inspiring philanthropists and civic leaders. The Franklin A. Professorship is supported by Ford Foundation and Atlantic Philanthropies.


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John Jay College of Criminal Justice

An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu