The Colonial Mentality Project
Dr. E. J. R. David in the News
What is Colonial Mentality
Mental Health Implications of Colonial Mentality
Personal Stories of Colonial Mentality
The Colonial Mentality Scale
E.J. David's Pilipino Word of the Day Series
The Psychological Study of Colonial Mentality or Internalized Oppression Among Filipino Americans and other Marginalized Groups
E.J.R. David was born and raised in the Philippines. His work is currently focused on the psychological consequences of colonization. He 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 Colonial Mentality among Filipino Americans, including the critically-acclaimed and community-welcomed book Filipino -/ American Postcolonial Psychology: Oppression, Colonial Mentality, and Decolonization. He also has two forthcoming books - Brown Skin, White Minds: The Revised Version of Filipino -/ American Postcolonial Psychology (with commentaries) and the highly-anticipated Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups. 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 Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) in 2012 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."
E.J.'s first home was in Pasay City, where he lived 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. His father still lives in Barrow, Alaska, older sister still lives in the Philippines, and his wife, younger brother, and mother now live with him in Anchorage, Alaska. E.J. goes to the Philippines to visit his family at least once very 2 years.