Dr. Kira Banks
Dr. Kira Banks has been working to support individuals and groups to understand themselves, others and systems of oppression for over 20 years. She co-founded the Institute of Healing Justice and Equity at Saint Louis University, where she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. Banks’ research examines the experience of discrimination, its impact on mental health and intergroup relations. Her courses have ranged from Abnormal Psychology to the Psychology of Racism. Banks has published over 20 articles in peer-reviewed outlets including American Psychological Association journals such as American Psychologist, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. She has also contributed to The Harvard Business Review and popular media outlets such as Huffington Post and The Atlantic.
Banks enjoys facilitating difficult dialogues and has been described as making complex and controversial topics accessible and intergroup interactions more understandable. She has done so in schools, communities, institutions of higher education and corporations.
Banks’ expertise was sought after and she served as a racial equity consultant for the Ferguson Commission and continued as the Racial Equity Catalyst for Forward Through Ferguson. Her thinking and writing has helped frame racial equity in the St. Louis region.
Banks has a podcast, Raising Equity, where she supports adults in talking to kids about systems of oppression and translates psychological concepts for lay people. She believes strongly that research should be useful and can inform our every day lives.
Banks is also co-principal of The Mouse and the Elephant, which develops customized curriculum to meet organizations' long-term needs. She received her BA from Mount Holyoke College, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and her MA and PhD from the University of Michigan.