Dr. Banks received her BA from Mount Holyoke College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Her decades of experience have allowed her to make complex and controversial topics more accessible in schools, communities, institutions of higher education, and corporations. She co-founded the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity at Saint Louis University, where she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. She also served as a racial equity consultant for the Ferguson Commission and continued as the Racial Equity Catalyst for Forward Through Ferguson. Her research and discussions around discrimination, mental health, and intergroup relations have helped frame racial equity in the St. Louis region.

In addition, Dr. Banks has published over 20 articles in peer-reviewed outlets, including American Psychological Association journals such as American Psychologist, Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, and Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. She has also contributed to The Harvard Business Review and popular media outlets like Huffington Post and The Atlantic.

Today, Dr. Banks has a podcast—Raising Equity—to support adults in talking to kids about systems of oppression. She is also co-principal of The Mouse and the Elephant, which develops customized curriculum to meet organizations’ long-term needs.

For over 20 years, Dr. Kira Banks has been helping individuals and institutions understand social and systematic oppressions—as well as teaching them the skillset and competencies they need to create racial equity.