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Belonging Without Fitting In: Racial Literacy for Resolving Stressful & Traumatic Racial Encounters


Howard C. Stevenson, PhD

Dr. Howard Stevenson is a nationally sought expert on how to resolve racial stress and trauma that affect health at every stage of life. His work prepares children and adults to assert themselves during face-to-face microaggressions that undermine academic and work productivity. Key to this racial healing work is integrating cultural strengths to reduce in-the-moment threat reactions, increase access to memory, physical mobility, and voice, and prevent long-term health detriment. Dr. Stevenson has served for 32 years as a clinical psychologist working in under-resourced rural and urban neighborhoods across the country. His book, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences That Make a Difference, summarizes this work. Dr. Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, in the Human Development & Quantitative Methods Division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Executive Director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative, a research, program development, and training center that brings together community leaders, researchers, authority figures, families, and youth to study and promote racial literacy and health in schools and neighborhoods. From 2015 to 2021, he was co-director of Forward Promise, a national philanthropy office that funds community-based organizations that help families of color heal, grow, and thrive above the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization. Dr. Stevenson develops racial socialization-based culturally responsive therapeutic interventions and research to resolve face-to-face racial conflicts and build racial literacy skills for leaders within independent and public K-12 schooling, community mental health centers, teachers, police, parents, and youth. His publications of measures and interventions reflect the daily racially lived experiences of families and youth. His work has been funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Institutes of Mental Health and Child Health and Human Development. Link to join:


Diversity/Inclusion, Featured, Health/Wellness, Lecture/Talk, Research