PACT Lab Commitment to Anti-Racism




The PACT Lab is committed to being anti-racist in our work by:

  • Seeking to recruit, support, and retain members from groups that have historically been marginalized in psychological science.
  • Increasing opportunities for collaborating with, learning from, and listening to members of our community from traditionally marginalized groups.
  • Integrating sociocultural considerations into our research on anxiety, cognition, and treatment.

Further, the lab strives to adhere to the commitments outlined in the University of Virginia Department of Psychology Statement On Anti-Black Racism And The Need For Anti-Racist Action.


Seeking to recruit, support, and retain members from groups that have historically been marginalized in psychological science.

This will include reaching out to societies and institutions that have strong representation and support of scholars from underrepresented backgrounds when we are recruiting new students or hiring staff, using holistic review practices for graduate admissions, and reviewing evaluation criteria and rubrics with an equity lens.

It will also mean intentionally creating spaces (e.g., lab meetings) to receive feedback about ways we can better support diverse members of our community and making explicit the goal of creating a culture where people are open to feedback about ways their biases or privilege may be intentionally or unintentionally harming others or reducing others’ opportunities. It will be especially important for Bethany (as director of the lab) and other senior staff and students to demonstrate openness to this feedback given power differentials.

We will also incorporate discussion of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts into students, staff, and faculty’s annual evaluations.


Increasing opportunities for collaborating with, learning from, and listening to members of our community from traditionally marginalized groups (i.e., through collaboration on symposia, bringing in speakers to the lab, lab readings, etc.).

This will mean reviewing manuscript citations to consider whether we are seeking opportunities to cite scholars whose personal background is typically underrepresented or oppressed in academia, and reviewing symposium and speaker invitations to consider whether we are systematically excluding diverse voices. Within our team, it will also mean intentionally creating spaces for all members of the team to contribute and raise ideas (e.g., making a statement in lab meetings about wanting to hear from members who do not speak as much and offering different avenues for ideas to be raised, such as smaller groups or undergraduate-led discussions). This will also mean that Bethany and members who speak a lot will need to intentionally speak less to create more space for other voices.


Integrating sociocultural considerations into our research on anxiety, cognition, and treatment.

This will mean thinking about ways to increase access to our programs (e.g., reach of our digital health interventions) and considering how to tailor our work to meet the needs of different communities (e.g., considering what outcomes matter to community members, attending to the reliability and validity of measures across diverse groups). In addition, this will mean intentionally reaching out to community members and persons with lived experience to learn from and partner with them throughout the design process.


We consider this to be an ongoing effort that adds immense value to our lab environment, our community, and to psychological science. Please visit our department website for resources specific to diversity, equity, and inclusion.