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[Time] What Happens When Kids Learn That Racism Can’t Be Overcome

Evan Apfelbaum

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July 30, 2022

Time recently published an article co-authored by Evan Apfelbaum, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, on the challenges that arise as children navigate the reality of racism.

“Our cultural fixation on labeling people as racist or not only reinforces the idea that people are either good or bad and that prejudice is unshakeable. We cannot treat the solution to racial divisions in society as an exercise in rooting out the bad apples.”

Evan Apfelbaum
Associate Professor, Management & Organizations

The article explores the possibility that children decrease cross-race encounters around the age of 10 as they begin to believe a person’s prejudice is permanent. Based on Evan’s research, children with this belief were less likely to interact with other races and had higher levels of anxiety with cross-race interactions compared to the children that believed prejudice isn’t permanent.

Evan Apfelbaum is an Associate Professor and Research Director of the HR Policy Institute at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. Evan’s research has been featured in leading academic journals including Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Management Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has been recognized by the Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize and is the recipient of the James H. Ferry Jr. Grant for Innovation in Research, an Early Researcher Award from the American Psychological Association, among other research and teaching awards. He was named one of the Top 40 Business Professors Under 40 by Poets & Quants.