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Chicago | Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Geraldine L. Palmer, Ph.D.



My teaching philosophy is grounded in my personal belief in equitable spaces, where diversity in all its facets is celebrated, not tolerated. In my classroom, students’ “exit tickets” after a class or semester are not only passing summative assessment measures to determine learning outcomes. What’s equally important is if I know they are beginning to see and navigate life through different or expanded lenses, centering on social and racial justice. This paradigm shift does not necessarily change what they see, but rather my hope is that the students create spaces for change by seeing more of a person’s humanity. My hope is also that their worldviews are influenced by understanding the social construction of differences, what those differences mean, and how people experience those differences. This means that students are learning, developing critical consciousness, and holding space for difference.

As a community psychologist, of which Alfred Adler is noted as the first community psychologist, I encourage students to apply psychology from an ecological approach, as individuals are members of a community and therefore shape and are shaped and influenced by others. Thus, from the micro to the macro level, environment and settings matter to an individual’s overall health and well-being.

My research interests and community praxis are centered on better understanding historical or intergenerational trauma, particularly among African Americans, ways of healing and restoring communities, decoloniality and liberation movements, housing and homelessness correlations, and all things relative to the biopsychosocial and cultural well-being of BIPOC.



  • Ph.D., Community Psychology, National Louis University
  • M.S., Human Services Administration, Spertus College
  • B.A., Business Studies/Marketing, Kendall College
Areas of Expertise and Academic Research Interests

Areas of Expertise and Academic Research Interests

  • Community psychology
  • Historical/intergenerational trauma among African American individuals, families and communities
  • Housing and homelessness correlations
  • Human services and community-based organizations
  • Black feminists’ and post-colonial theorists’ thought
Professional Memberships

Professional Memberships

  • American Psychological Association (APA), Division 27, Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA)
  • Council on Cultural, Ethnic, & Racial Affairs (CERA) of SCRA, Interim Co-Chair/Past Chair
  • African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)
  • SCRA Publications Committee
  • Textbook and Academic Authors Association (TAA)
  • Midwestern Psychological Association
Select Publications

Select Publications

  • Palmer, G. (2021). Disrupting the Cinderella premise: Transforming our classrooms, communities, and global spaces. The Community Psychologist.
  • Palmer, G., Rogers, T., Viola, J., & Engel, M. (Eds) Case studies in community psychology practice: A global lens, Montreal, Canada: Rebus/Press Books [ Expected publication 2021]
  • Palmer, G., Ferńandez, J. S., Thomas, D., Lee, G., Masud, H. Bernai, I. (2019). Oppression and power. In L.A. Jason, O. Glantsman, J. F. O’Brien, & K. N. Ramian (Eds.), Introduction to community psychology: Becoming an agent of change. Montreal, Canada: Rebus Press. Retrieved from
  • Palmer, G. (2018). People who are homeless are “people” first: Opportunity for community psychologists to lead through language reframing. Global Journal of Community Psychology in Practice. Retrieved from
  • Palmer, G. (2016). Examining the effects of scattered site supportive housing on the social and economic integration of men who were formerly homeless and primarily Black/African American. Journal of Black Studies, DOI: 10.1177/0021934716653351.
Select Presentations

Select Presentations

  • Language is never neutral: The power of words, Guest Lecture for Third Nature Therapy, February 28, 2021.
  • Jason, L., Mullins, J., Mingo, E., Palmer, G., Rivera, R., & Thomas, D. Race matters: Even during Covid-19. Panel and Community Discussion at the Midwestern Psychological Association Society for Community Research and Action Virtual Conference, June 2020
  • Palmer, G., Rogers, T., Wilkins, N. Exploring historical trauma among African Americans: Implications for communal trauma and healing in our communities. Roundtable presented at SCRA Biennial Conference, June 2019
  • Palmer, G. Historical trauma, mental health and our communities. Workshop presented at the Black Mental Wellness Weekend conference at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, November 2018.


  • Alumni Spotlight: National Louis University Alumni Association Newsletter, 2021
  • Outstanding Nonprofit Partner Award, Governors State University Pi Alpha Chapter, 2016
  • Community Treasure Award, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County & The African American Employees Committee, Chicago, IL, 2015
  • A Phenomenal Woman Award in Human Services & Social Justice, The Reaching Back Foundation, 2014

Chicago Campus

Located in the heart of the city, the Chicago Campus was designed to provide and inspire the learning and living experience. To that end, we have created an environment that caters to your mental, emotional, and intellectual growth. Our classrooms are bright and spacious with windows to the outside world and the latest technology. In our Library, you will find every resource you need to research, form, and shape your journey. At Adler University, we have more than enough room to share your thoughts and flex your intellect.

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