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The Crisis of Connection


Niobe Way is an applied psychologist and  the author of Deep Secrets: Boys' Friendships and the Crisis of Connection (Harvard University Press, 2011). Kent Harber is a social psychologist in the Department of Psychology at Rutgers University. His main interest is how people’s self-resources (e.g., feelings of self-worth, self-esteem, social support, opportunities to disclose) affect their physical perception, social judgments, and interpersonal behavior. He applies this interest to interracial feedback, the perception of disturbing events, forgiveness, and the use of emotions as information.


As members of PACH (Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity) at New York University, the work of Way and Harber provides critical insight into why it is that we face local and global crises of all sorts, including the fact that homicide is the leading cause of death among 10-24-year-old African Americans and the second leading cause of death for Latinos, 20% of kids report being bullied on school property, one out of every three women in the world experiences sexual violence, mass violence in the U.S. occurs once every two weeks, and people in the U.S. are more likely to kill themselves than get hit by a car.  

Together, Way and Harber will engage in a significant discussion about the crisis of connection that young people experience today, the ways in which we are increasingly disconnected from our own humanity and the humanity of others, as well as what we need to do to reconnect to ourselves and each other. This discussion will have profound Implications for teaching and learning, especially for teachers and students experiencing the pressure of current educational reforms.