ABOUT E. J. R. DAVID



E. J. R. DAVID'S JOURNEY
 

Dr. E.J.R. David was born in the Philippines by Kapampangan parents, and grew up in Pasay, Las Pinas, Makati, and Barrow, Alaska. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage (2002), and Master of Arts (2004) and Doctoral (2007) Degrees in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. David is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, with his primary duties being with the PhD Program in Clinical-Community Psychology that has a Rural, Cultural, and Indigenous Emphasis.

 

E.J. - as he is known to many - first lived in Pasay City, where he stayed in a one-bedroom shack with his mother, father, and older sister. When he was about 5-years-old, his father left the Philippines to work in the United States and, a year later, his family was able to save enough money to build a house in the Las Pinas suburb of B.F. Homes.

From the age of 6 to 14 years, E.J. attended Don Bosco Technical Institute, an All-Boys Catholic school in Makati, where he played competitive varsity basketball for 3 years. In 1994, he and his younger brother moved to Barrow, Alaska to live with their father.

Barrow, Alaska is a small Inupiat village of about 5,000 people and is the northernmost point in the United States. This was E.J.'s first exposure to a drastically different way of living, a different culture. As an adolescent immigrant, he struggled with with his identity and with cultural clashes, both between the Filipino, Inupiat, and mainstream American culture, and between his developing culture and that of his father's. He faced discrimination from all sorts of direction - from the "Americans," the Inupiats, and other Filipinos. At that time, E.J. negotiated such difficulties by focusing on basketball, where he was a four-year starter for the Barrow High School Whalers as a point guard. He was given All-State Basketball honors during his junior and senior years (1998 and 1999).

Although he experienced discrimination from people coming from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, E.J. also received plenty of love and support from all sorts of directions - the Inupiats, the Filipinos, and the "Americans." Thus, further sparking his curiosity about the cultural and individual differences among people. 

After high school, E.J. enlisted in the U.S. Army because he had no other option. Although he wanted to give college a try, he could not do so because of financial reasons. However, a few months before he was supposed to begin Army Basic Training in South Carolina, he was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). 

At UAA, E.J. began as a Fine Arts major. During his first semester, he took an introductory psychology class from Dr. John Petraitis and this changed the course of his career. E.J. became fascinated with psychology and, by the end of his first semester, was a declared psychology major. Despite working full-time as an Individual Support Specialist for a local mental health agency, and spending a summer working in the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay, E.J. obtained his Bachelors Degree in three years. He graduated in 2002 with departmental and university honors (magna cum laude).

Afterward, E.J. lived in Illinois while attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to obtain his Doctoral Degree in Clinical/Community Psychology. He obtained his Masters Degree in Psychology in 2004, graduated with his Ph.D. in 2007.


E.J. has traveled to various cities and states as an invited workshop facilitator, speaker, and presenter on Ethnic Minority, Asian American, and Filipino American psychological issues since 2002. He has published theoretical and empirical works on Internalized Oppression or Colonial Mentality, including the critically-acclaimed and community-welcomed book Filipino -/ American Postcolonial Psychology: Oppression, Colonial Mentality, and Decolonization (2011, AuthorHouse). Due to its community success, this first book was re-released in 2013 as Brown Skin, White Minds: Filipino -/ American Postcolonial Psychology (with commentaries) (Information Age Publishing). E.J.'s most recent book is  Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups (Springer Publishing), which is the first book to highlight the universality of internalized oppression, but at the same time acknowledges its unique manifestations and implications for various groups such as African Americans, Latinas/os, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, Alaska Natives, women, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community, and people with disabilities.

E.J. was the 2007 recipient of the American Psychological Association (APA) Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues (Division 45) Distinguished Student Research Award "for his significant contribution in psychological research related to ethnic minority populations." In 2012, due to the impact of his work in only five years since obtaining his Ph.D., E.J. was honored by the American Psychological Association (APA) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) with the Early Career Award in Research for Distinguished Contributions to the Field of Racial and Ethnic Minority Psychology, citing his "outstanding scientific contributions and the application of this knowledge toward the improved mental and physical well-being of people of color." In 2013, he was also chosen to receive the Asian American Psychological Association Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research.

 

E.J. lives in Anchorage, Alaska with his mother, brother, wife, three children - Malakas (strong), Kalayaan (freedom), and Kaluguran (love) - and countless relatives and friends.