Courtney D. Cogburn

Assistant professor of social work at Columbia University and pioneer in the use of VR to show racism’s impact


Dr. Cogburn heads a research group that uses innovative means, including virtual reality (VR), to characterize and measure racism and evaluate its effects on mental and physical health. She worked with Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab to create “1000 Cut Journey,” a VR experience immersing viewers in racism encountered throughout the life of a fictitious black American man. “1000 Cut Journey” premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and was featured at PCMA Convening Leaders 2019.

With VR “we wanted people to have a visceral sense of what [racism] feels like. It’s more likely to trigger empathy, and to help you understand the scope and nature of racism and racial inequality in our society.”

Courtney D. Cogburn
LOCATION: New York City
TOPICS: Racism, racial inequality, virtual reality

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