Dr. Beasley is a community psychologist who conducts publicly-engaged applied research to strengthen communities while also participating in grassroots organizing to support such settings and helping students develop knowledge and skills for this type of work.
As the Principal Investigator for the Post-Prison Education Research Lab (PERL), he uses a variety of psychological sub-disciplines to better understand social and psychological factors that facilitate and hinder transitions from prison to college. His current focus of inquiry is the psychological process through which formerly incarcerated people develop a broader understanding of their future potential and undergo processes of identity change. He is also working to strengthen UW Tacoma's support for people making these transitions to our university.
As community organizer, Dr. Beasley co-founded the Formerly Incarcerated College Graduates Network – a national organization of people with college degrees who have been to prison whose core mission is to promote the education and empowerment of formerly incarcerated people through a collective community. He also supports the development of similar networks of formerly incarcerated leaders and advocates for prison and post-prison higher education. He was selected as a Just Leadership USA Leading with Conviction Fellowship in recognition for this work.
Lastly, Dr. Beasley is a Board Director for From Prison Cells to PhD, an organization that provides mentoring and educational counseling to individuals returning from incarceration and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds so that they may position themselves to start building their career as opposed to obtaining temporary employment.