Dr. Yara Mekawi has worked with the Grady Trauma Project since November 2018. She completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Illinois Chicago and her doctorate in clinical and community psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after completing her internship at the Emory School of Medicine (trauma track). Her research focuses on examining racial discrimination and racial prejudice at the intersection of affect and cognition. Using interdisciplinary and multi-method approaches, she pursues three main lines of inquiry: (a) What are the cognitive and affective mechanisms through which racial trauma is associated with psychopathology in racial and ethnic minorities? (b) What are the cognitive and affective factors that maintain racially-prejudiced behavior and attitudes of majority group members? and (c) What are the most effective strategies to reduce racial prejudice and ameliorate its effects on the mental health of racial and ethnic minorities?
Dr. Mekawi’s approach to clinical work is consistent with an empirically-driven, functional-contextualist orientation that emphasizes culturally-informed assessment, contextually-driven hypothesis generation, collaborative goal setting, and implementation of evidence-based, culturally-informed intervention (e.g., DBT, STAIR, ACT). Administratively, Dr. Mekawi is interested in the assessment and integration of diversity practices within organizations and the implementation of interventions designed to increase access for underrepresented minorities. In her spare time, she dabbles in portrait and macro photography, graphic design, and painting.