Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff on the Passing of Dr. James (Jim) Sidanius

July 05 2021

Today, Center for Policing Equity Co-founder and CEO Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff released the following statement on the passing of Dr. James (Jim) H. Sidanius, the John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in memory of William James and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University:

Without Jim Sidanius, the Center for Policing Equity would not exist. Jim, a giant as a scholar and a towering figure in political psychology, his theory of social dominance articulated a unifying theory of oppression that made it possible to speak about sexism, classism, racism, colonialism, and a host of other exploitative traditions without trying to collapse one onto another. His passion for this work sparked excitement in academics, policymakers, philosophers, and all who seek to uncover why and how group-based social hierarchies exist.

Jim was one of my mentors and closest colleagues. He was a brilliant mind, and a caring man who shaped my education and career in immeasurable ways. When I earned my PhD, there were only four Black tenured social psychologists at top research universities - He was one of them. I valued his support and guidance, and he was a friend of the Center for Policing Equity and our research since our earliest days. 

Among Jim’s many titles were great friend, cancer survivor, mentor, father, husband, and beloved one. Jim loved great food, great cars, and upsetting great powers. He indulged each of those loves, and we were all better for it. He will be missed dearly.


About Center for Policing Equity: As a research and action organization, Center for Policing Equity (CPE) produces analyses identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in public safety. Using data-driven approaches to social justice, we use science to create levers for social, cultural, and policy change. Center for Policing Equity also holds a 501(c)3 status.