Pedro De Abreu

🇺🇸  Cambridge

Pedro De Abreu is a Research Fellow and Service to Society Fellow at Harvard University. Pedro’s research revolves around identity, motivation, and group difference, particularly in the context of race, stigma, inter and intra-group relations. He is interested in how those areas interact with each other and the research questions that come from such interactions. For example, what is the relationship between mindset inclinations and instances of successful rehabilitation in the juvenile detention system? What parts of our identity do we unknowingly conceal and express as a function of our social standing? To what extent does the internalization of growth mindset practices help decelerate collective as well as individual transgressive behavior?

In a Lewinian fashion, Pedro is equally interested in theory-based interventions that can help alleviate pressing societal issues. The populations most dear to his heart are children and adolescents in the school system and adolescents in the juvenile detention system—especially subpopulations who are stigmatized in terms of deviation of personal traits and in terms of deviation of tribalized traits such as race and ethnicity. He is interested in building theory and devising interventions for the population that Harvard cultural sociologist Orlando Patterson calls “the disconnected,”—youth who are out of school and unemployed—who are often excluded from procedural, evaluative, and declarative social networks of mobility. Pedro seeks to better understand the role that identity, race, and stigma play in motivation in diverse institutional contexts like schools, prisons, and organizations. 

Pedro also co-teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, serves as a Philanthropy Advisory Fellow at Harvard’s Effective Altruism, and facilitates senior thesis workshops for Mind, Brain, Behavior Harvard College seniors. Pedro has been appointed South Carolina’s New Century Scholar by USA Today and the Coca-Cola Foundation, is a winner of the Harvard Leadership in Education Award; he is also a TEDMED delegate, a Magellan Scholar, Walker Institute Scholar, City of Columbia Fellow, Darla Moore Emerging Leader, and the youngest ever-appointed member of the Board of Directors of the Central Midlands Council of Governments. Pedro lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.