- Sexual and Gender Minority Spirituality and Wellbeing
- Religion and Spirituality; Religious Settings
- Diversity Education and Social Justice Engagement
- Ecological Methods and Analysis
In our Ecologies of Liberation Lab, we draw from ecological models to focus on the places, spaces, settings, and structures that maintain oppression and/or facilitate liberation. This ecological emphasis pushes beyond a sole focus on individuals to instead understand individuals in relation to their larger ecological contexts, and the dynamic interplay between individuals and their ecologies.
We are interested in how ecologies shape processes of oppression and liberation. We draw from community psychology and other liberation psychologies to consider liberation as a process of resisting oppression grounded in an analysis and transformation of social conditions. Taken together, we want to better understand how to create spaces and settings that catalyze liberation and resist oppression in the service of promoting wellbeing and social change. Our work also is intersectional in how we understand individuals, their multiple social group memberships, and their larger social ecologies.
We have two new lines of research:
- We are launching work to examine sexual and gender minority (SGM) spirituality and wellbeing. In particular, we are interested in the multiple ways SGM people construct their spiritualities inside and outside of religious institutions, and furthermore how religious institutions and settings can better support SGM spirituality and wellbeing. Integral to this work is an intersectional focus that incorporates a focus on gender, class, race and ethnicity, religious and spiritual diversity, and other facets of privilege and oppression.
- In other research, we focus on college campuses as a particular type of social setting, doing research to better understand campus efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. We work with campus partners to understand the impact of campus-diversity programming on diversity-related attitudes and behaviors.
In other ongoing work, we examine:
- The ways in which religious settings such as congregations promote social justice engagement.
- How White students understand and respond to racism and White privilege.
- Attitudes related to racial microaggressions and colorblind ideology.
- Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- M.A., Theology, from Fuller Theological Seminary
- M.A., Psychology, from Fuller Theological Seminary
- B.A., from the University of Oklahoma
2012 Louisville Institute Project Grants for Researchers. Understanding Social Networks and Social Capital in Religious Congregations. N. Todd, Principal Investigator. $25,000 funded.
Awards and Honors
Early Career Award, Society for Community Research and Action (APA Division 27), 2018
Fellow, Society for Community Research and Action (APA Division 27), 2021
Cadenas, G. A., Cisneros, J., Spanierman, L. B., Yi, J., & Todd, N. R. (Accepted/In press). Detrimental Effects of Color-Blind Racial Attitudes in Preparing a Culturally Responsive Teaching Workforce for Immigrants. Journal of Career Development. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894845320903380
Mekawi, Y., Todd, N. R., Yi, J., & Blevins, E. J. (2020). Distinguishing "I don't see color" from "Racism is a thing of the past": Psychological correlates of avoiding race and denying racism. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 67(3), 288-302. https://doi.org/10.1037/cou0000427
Todd, N. R., Blevins, E. J., & Yi, J. (2020). A Social Network Analysis of Friendship and Spiritual Support in a Religious Congregation. American journal of community psychology, 65(1-2), 107-124. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12359
Todd, N. R., Yi, J., Blevins, E. J., McConnell, E. A., Mekawi, Y., & Boeh Bergmann, B. A. (2020). Christian and Political Conservatism Predict Opposition to Sexual and Gender Minority Rights through Support for Christian Hegemony. American journal of community psychology, 66(1-2), 24-38. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12420
Yi, J., Todd, N. R., & Mekawi, Y. (2020). Racial Colorblindness and Confidence in and Likelihood of Action to Address Prejudice. American journal of community psychology, 65(3-4), 407-422. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12409