Mikhail Lyubansky, Ph.D., is a teaching associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches Psychology of Race and Ethnicity, Theories of Psychotherapy, and a graduate-level courses on restorative justice. An autobiographical essay of Mikhail's interests in race relations and basketball is available here.
Since 2009, Mikhail has been studying and working with conflict, particularly via Restorative Circles (a restorative practice developed in Brazil by Dominic Barter and associates) and other restorative responses to conflict. Together with Elaine Shpungin, he now supports schools, organizations, and workplaces in developing restorative strategies for engaging conflict, building conflict facilitation skills and evaluating the outcomes associated with restorative responses via Conflict 180.
In addition to conflict and restorative practices, Mikhail also has a long-standing interest (going back about 20 years) in race and racial dynamics and regularly explores these themes in his Psychology Today blog Between the Lines., as well as in contributions to a variety of anthologies on popular culture, ranging from Harry Potter to vampires to superheroes. In addition to OpEdNews, Mikhail's commentary has also appeared in a many other online publications, including Buzzflash, Jewcy, Colors, Race-Talk, Truthout, Tikkun, Alternet and The Huffington Post, and he has been a guest on a variety of radio programs, including Illinois Public Media and Wisconsin Public Radio.
Mikhail's academic work includes several book chapters and more than a dozen articles in peer-reviewed journals on topics such as racial identity, undocumented immigration, and restorative justice. Mikhail also recently co-edited an academic textbook: Toward a Socially Responsible Psychology for a Global Age and, in 2006, co-authored a book on the Russian-Jewish diaspora: Building a Diaspora: Russian Jews in Israel, Germany, and the United States.
Born in Kiev, Mikhail immigrated with his family to the United States as a child in 1977. He currently lives in Urbana, Illinois with his wife and two children.
All material on this site published under his byline remains the property of Mikhail Lyubansky, copyright 2008-2016. Permission is granted to repost and distribute, with proper attribution.
Follow Mikhail on Twitter.
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87 Articles, 42 Quick Links, 346 Comments, 3 Diaries, 1 Polls
Articles Listed By Date List By Popularity
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 4, 2018
The Racial Politics of Black Panther In which we delve into the Black Panther's racial symbolism.
SHARE Sunday, October 2, 2016
Is Restorative Justice Exhausting? School teachers and staff are already stretched thin. Is restorative justice the final straw?
SHARE Monday, May 23, 2016
New Study Reveals Six Benefits of School Restorative Justice Zero tolerance and other punitive approaches have not garnered much research support for reducing conflicts or violence. A new study identifies the many benefits of school-based restorative practices
SHARE Sunday, April 10, 2016
Restorative Justice in Urban Schools: A Book Review Restorative Justice in Urban Schools is an essential book for anyone who wants to understand the challenges that face the restorative justice movement in this particular context.
(8 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 28, 2016
When "Fun" Gets Racist, What Should Schools Do? Five ideas for creating the right conditions for safe and appropriate outcomes.
SHARE Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Universities Not Immune to Implicit Bias Implicit bias is evident across academic departments, including in the sciences, where one might be tempted to believe that applications are more likely to be evaluated objectively.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Michael Brown and Eric Garner: Four Cognitive Illusions That Illustrate Why We Don't All See The Same Reality It's not just that we don't all interpret the facts in the same way, we tend to not even agree on what is "true". Here are four cognitive illusions that help us understand why we don't all see the same social reality, in Ferguson and elsewhere.
(19 comments) SHARE Friday, November 21, 2014
Obama Shields 5 Million Undocumented. Should We Worry? Economic and social science data show little need for concern about immigration reform.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 2, 2014
Is It Possible to Parent Without Threats or Coercion? Is it possible to parent nonviolently? Ana Joanes's new documentary follows three families as they try to parent without threat or coercion, yet with the general philosophy that everyone's needs (both their children's and their own) matter.
SHARE Saturday, November 1, 2014
What not to Wear: 5 Most Racist Halloween Costumes This Year Even if only for a day, there is no denying it's fun to be someone else. For some, part of the fun is to be as different as possible. Perhaps that's why some men put on drag, why some demure women get their sexy on, and... why some white folks are drawn to blackface.
SHARE Thursday, October 30, 2014
Racism Insurance Promo for Dear White People: A Critique The Racism Insurance skits are laugh-out-loud funny, and most of us can use more laughter in our lives. But they are not just funny. They also shed some light on real-world racial dynamics. There is content in these clips worth examining more closely.
(39 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Robin Williams and the Mask of Humor Don't let the humor fool you: There is often a lot of pain underneath
(14 comments) SHARE Monday, June 16, 2014
"This Lady Refused to Sit Next to a 'Negro'" - The Rest of the Story The behavior in the "Despicable" PSA is deplorable, but just because we don't stoop to that level doesn't mean we're off the hook for being racist. The problem is much more serious and insidious and requires a great deal more honesty, both with ourselves and each other. Oversimplified depictions of racism stand in the way of self-responsibility and restorative actions.
(24 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 30, 2014
A Racial Analysis of Sterling's Comments, NBA's Response There is much to celebrate about the NBA's stand against Sterling but also much to be concerned about. Classic studies in psychology suggest that any one of us could have been in Sterling's place. Do we have a greater responsibility as a society than just removing the bad apple?
(10 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 5, 2014
Undocumented Migrants Hurt American Economy, Or Do They? In his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of his desire for a day when all Americans could peacefully coexist as equals. 51 years later our society is still in many ways divided, not only by race, the primary focus of King’s efforts, but also by immigration status. Here we summarize key findings from our study of undocumented immigrants
(7 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 13, 2014
Is Nonviolence Effective? The evidence for the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance is mounting. In the past 100 years, nonviolent campaigns were nearly twice as likely to achieve full or partial success as were violent campaigns and the advantage for nonviolent campaigns held even when controlling for the authoritarianism of the regime.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 12, 2014
A Reading of the Letter From Birmingham Jail: A Review Though not as universally known as the "I Have a Dream" speech delivered just a few months later, Letter From a Birmingham Jail, which King started to write on the margins of a newspaper, is the source of many of his most well-known words. A new film gives these words screen time, much to the benefit of anyone who takes the time to watch.
(9 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 27, 2013
What If We Choose To Do It With Love? We tend to think of love as an emotion, which of course it is, but it is also a choice. It is a choice we can make in regard to not only a romantic partner but also a friend, a stranger, and even someone we regard as an enemy. Unlike emotional love, this kind of love is not fleeting. soft or irrational. Rather, it is an orientation toward justice and healing.
(9 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Restorative Justice for Trayvon Martin Two cities. Two people of color fatally shot by those charged with security and law enforcement. Two communities torn apart across racial lines. One city reacts conventionally with criminal charges and court proceedings. The other additionally engages in a Restorative Circle, a restorative process designed to create conditions for mutual understanding and repair of harm.
(12 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 9, 2013
A Story of Slavery From the Deep North Did you know Northerners were involved in the slave trade? This is a review of the documentary film Traces of the Trade, which examines one White Northern family's history with slavery.