Shavonne Holman and Macy Cheeks on BIOP!

A few years ago, I talked to Shavonne Holman and Macy Cheeks about an organization they founded: Blacks in I/O Psychology. Since then, the organization has gone from strength to strength, and, on February 22-23, 2024, BIOP will hold its Inaugural Conference & Gala in Atlanta. Register before the end of the year for an early-bird discount.


Psst. This is an AI-generated transcript and may not be 100% accurate. Don’t quote anyone based on this transcript.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: So the last time we talked, which was almost two and a half years ago, we just started learning about the organization that you founded, Blocks and I of Psychology, which was already underway at the time. But just in the last two and a half years, it seems like the organization has just made amazing strides in growth in terms of membership, in terms of online presence. And so I guess maybe it felt natural to say, hey, we need to have a conference, we to have a gala, we need to get these folks together But I’m guessing that wasn’t such an easy decision. What made you decide like, this is something that you needed to do?

Shavonne Holman: Yeah. Great question, Ben, and thanks again for having us today. It’s funny you mentioned that we had a conversation a few years ago and we’re actually going into our fifth year anniversary and it’s just so

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: Crazy.

Shavonne Holman: rewarding to see all of the things our community has done and the impact Blacks Anayo has made on the field of bio psychology. And you know, when we first started, as you know, we really just wanted to create a space for black professionals to

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: Hmm.

Shavonne Holman: engage, to network. And it was really important for us or it is really important for us to ensure that with all of our offerings, we’re doing that. And, you know, with this crazy idea, I brought it to Macy just from keeping a pulse on our membership. Right. And them saying that they wanted a space where they can they can learn, they can engage, they can connect. And so I brought the crazy idea to Macy to have a conference. And in the beginning she was not on board. But eventually, you know, I was able to convince her that this was a good idea. And here we are now.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: So yeah. And the conference, as I understand it, Macy is taking place in February, February

Macy Cheeks: Right.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: 22nd and 23rd in Atlanta, which is at the time we’re recording this. Not too far away. So

Macy Cheeks: Right.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: I don’t know when you’re listening to this, folks, but we’re recording it on the 21st of December 2023, and this conference is coming up on February 22nd and February 23rd of 2024 at the Embassy Suites, Atlanta at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. A really cool location. I actually know where this hotel is. Great choice, a really nice location. So what is it that folks can expect if they sign up to come?

Macy Cheeks: Yeah, absolutely. So we have a two day conference jam packed with sessions. We have two keynote speakers, Dr. Janice Jasim and Dr. Gregory Pennington. We have 48 additional speakers. I believe we’re up to 48

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: Now.

Macy Cheeks: now. So panels, workshops and formal presentations, they’ll run during the day time on both days. And then on the evening, Friday evening, we have a gala, an award ceremony where we’re going to come together, give some awards out for some of our volunteers and some of our partners that we want to recognize. We’ll also have a keynote address during the gala, some dancing, some fun, and just a time to come together and celebrate our first conference.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: Fantastic. Let me ask a question that might be on some folks mind who aren’t familiar with the organization. You know, we talked a few minutes ago about how, you know, you both started this organization because there really wasn’t sort of a place for blacks. And I know psychology to sort of talk to each other and support each other. And so I wonder, when you think about this conference, should this just be if I’m black, or is this for anybody that’s interested in supporting or learning more about blacks and how psychology is?

Shavonne Holman: Ben, that’s a great question and so glad you asked. This conference is open to anyone and everyone who wants to attend, who wants to learn about black scenario, who wants to learn about bio psychology in general, and who has a passion to continue to push forward diversity and inclusion in the iOS psychology field. So we have different tiers for registration. We have our membership, professional membership.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: Mm hmm.

Shavonne Holman: And we also have our student membership registration tiers. We also have a nonmember registration option as well for folks who are not a part of our organization but are interested in participating in the event.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: Ah, that’s a great point. That was going to be my next question is, can you register if you’re not a member? So I did have a chance to take a look at the agenda. And I have to say, folks, if you like the people that you hear on this show, you’re probably going to like this conference a lot because there’s going to be some familiar names among those speakers. And the keynotes certainly sound fascinating as well. I said, you know, we’re kind of running out of time here for people to register. You know, where should they go? What should they do? If I’m you know, if I want to register for this, what should I be doing right now?

Shavonne Holman: Yeah. If you if you’re interested in registering for the conference, feel free to visit our website blackson i o org that backslash scuse me conference. There you will find all information about the conference, how you can register, how you can go about booking a hotel at our host hotel, the Embassy Suites. You will find information on our schedule, the keynote speakers, and also information about the gala and awards ceremony there as well.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: Fantastic. And is there any benefit to signing up earlier?

Shavonne Holman: It’s absolutely right. We all want to save a little bit of money. So we do have an early bird registration, which closes January 1st, 2024. And so we are encouraging folks who want to attend and save a little bit of money to register before then. After that, our prices will increase just a tad.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: Now. So if you’re listening to us right now as this comes out, most likely on the 22nd of December, register now don’t wait because you only have about a week to get that earlybird price. And with everybody’s holiday schedule being as crazy as it is, you don’t want to forget about that. So thank you both for being on the show. I know this is a quick one, but I did want to make sure we get this out before the holidays, and I cannot wait to hear more about the conference in the gala.

Shavonne Holman: Thank you so much, Ben. Thank you for bringing us on and allowing us to talk about our conference. And for those listening, we look forward to seeing you all in Atlanta. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at founders, at Blacks and I o org or we also have a conference email conference at blacks and io org. Or you can reach out to us on any of our social media platforms, our Instagram blacks and or our LinkedIn page. Blacks and IO, of course. Thank you again, Ben, for having us.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.: Jane. Thank you, shivan, and thank you for also for being on the call, macy.

Shavonne Holman: All righty. Have a good one.