Professor Brannon (third from left) with students in the Culture and Contact Lab at UCLA

By Jeannie Barber-Choi  |  August 30, 2021
UCLA social psychology professor Tiffany N. Brannon, and co-author Andy Lin, are the 2021 recipients of the prestigious Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Relations Award, for their recent paper: Pride and Prejudice” Pathways to Belonging: Implications for Inclusive Diversity Practices Within Mainstream Institutions”. The annual award is presented by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, for the year’s best research paper in the field of intercultural and international relations. Brannon and Lin’s paper was praised by the award selection committee for its “original, timely and highly innovative contribution to the study of intercultural relations, and for its potential to have wide-ranging influence in this field.”
Brannon provides insight and context for the award-winning research, in an article published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. In the article, she describes how a person’s social identity can be associated with negative attributes–like prejudice, stigma, stereotypes, discrimination; and also with positive ones–like pride, resilience, and sense of connection to others in their group. With this lens, Brannon and her co-author examined the experiences of Latinx and African American college students, across 27 college campuses. They found that “pride” experiences (e.g. taking a class in Latinx or African American Studies) were associated with feelings of institutional belonging, improved well-being, and improved measures of academic success (i.e. less depression, better health, fewer missed school days, higher graduation rates and grade point average). “Prejudice” experiences (e.g. hearing a derogatory racial/ethnic remark) were negatively associated with institutional belonging, well-being and academic success. 
By implementing policies and practices that promote pride and reduce prejudices, Brannon says leaders in academia could promote a sense of belonging, and, in turn, improve academic and health outcomes for students on their campuses.
Brannon has dedicated her research career to identifying ways of improving well-being and academic outcomes for racial/ethnic minorities. You can learn more about Brannon’s Culture and Contact Lab at UCLA, here.