Howard C. Stevenson

Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education; Professor of Africana Studies

Human Development and Quantitative Methods Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-898-5666

Email: howards@gse.upenn.edu

Professional Biography

Dr. Howard 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. Dr. Stevenson is Executive Director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC), 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. He is also the Director of Forward Promise, a national program office funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to provide philanthropic support for organizations designed to improve the health of boys and young men of color and their families and to help them heal from the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination, and colonization. Since 1985, Dr. Stevenson has served as a clinical and consulting psychologist working in impoverished rural and urban neighborhoods across the country.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Stevenson is a nationally recognized clinical psychologist and researcher on negotiating racial conflicts using racial literacy for independent and public K–­12 schooling, community mental health centers, teachers, police, and parents. His research publications and clinical work involve developing culturally relevant "in-the-moment" strengths-based measures and therapeutic interventions that teach emotional and racial literacy skills to families and youth and have been funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation, and the National Institutes of Mental Health and Child Health and Human Development.

Two mental health research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health examine the benefits of racial literacy. The PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth) project uses basketball and racial socialization to help youth and parents cope with stress from violence and social rejection. Dr. Stevenson also co-leads the SHAPE-UP: Barbers Building Better Brothers project which trains Black barbers as health educators to teach Black males ages 18–24—while they are cutting their hair—to reduce their risk of HIV/STDs and retaliation violence.

In 2014, Dr. Stevenson was one of 10 men in Philadelphia awarded $10,000 by BMe Community Leader Awards, to support his ViRUs project (Villages Raising Us), which trained a neighborhood network, including barbers, coaches, and pastors, to counsel families and youth using cultural strengths. 

From 1994 to 2002, Dr. Stevenson was faculty master of the W. E. B. DuBois College House at Penn. In 1993, he received the W. T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholar Award, a national research award—given to only five researchers per year—which funds five years of research. In 1994, Dr. Stevenson was a Presidential Fellow at the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, where 35 other community activists and researchers from 30 countries presented their community health intervention projects. In 1995, Dr. Stevenson served on a 12-member academic panel to consult on the development of a National Strategic Action Plan for African-American Males, sponsored by the National Drug Control Policy Office in the Office of the President.

His recent best-seller book,Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference, is designed to reduce racial threat reactions in face-to-face encounters. He is the father of two sons, Bryan and Julian.

Selected Publications

Stevenson, H. C. (2014). Promoting racial literacy in schools: Differences that make a difference. New York: Teachers College Press.

Adams-Bass, V. N., Stevenson, H. C., & Slaughter-Kotzin, D. (2014). Measuring the meaning of Black media stereotypes and their relationship to the racial identity, Black history knowledge, and racial socialization of African American youth. Journal of Black Studies, 45(5), 367–395. DOI: 10.1177/0021934714530396.

Adams-Bass, V. N., Bentley-Edwards, K. L., & Stevenson, H. C. (Spring 2014). That’s not me I see on TV: African American youth interpret images of Black females. Women, Gender, & Families of Color, 2(1),79–100.

Bentley, K. L., Thomas, D. E., & Stevenson, H. C. (2013). Raising consciousness: Promoting healthy coping among African American boys at school. In C. Clauss-Ehlers, Z. Serpell, & M. Weist (Eds.), Handbook of culturally responsive school mental health: Advancing research, training, practice, and policy (pp 121133). New York: Springer.

Coleman, S., & Stevenson, H. C. (2013). The racial stress of membership: Development of the faculty inventory of racialized experiences in independent schools. Psychology in the Schools, 50(6), 548–566.

Adams, V. N., & Stevenson, H. (2012). Media socialization, Black media images and Black adolescent identity. In D. T. Slaughter-Defoe (Ed.), Racial stereotyping and child development (pp. 28–46). New York: Karger. DOI: 10.1159/000336272. 

Slaughter-Defoe, D. T., Stevenson, H. C., Arrington, E. G., & Johnson, D. J. (2012). Black educational choice in a climate of school reform: Assessing the private and public alternatives to traditional K–12 public schools, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger imprint, ABC-CLIO Publishers.

Stevenson, H. C., & Arrington, E. G. (2012). “There is a subliminal attitude”: African American parental perspectives on independent schooling. In D. T. Slaughter-Defoe, H. C. Stevenson, E. G. Arrington, & D. J. Johnson, (Eds.), Black educational choice in a climate of school reform: Assessing the private and public alternatives to traditional K–12 public schools, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger imprint, ABC-CLIO Publishers.

Arrington, E. G., & Stevenson, H. C. (2012). “More than what we read in books”: Black student perspectives on independent schools. In D. T. Slaughter-Defoe, H. C. Stevenson, E. G. Arrington, & D. J. Johnson, (Eds.), Black educational choice in a climate of school reform: Assessing the private and public alternatives to traditional K-12 public schools, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger imprint, ABC-CLIO Publishers.

Slaughter-Defoe, D. T., Myers, M. J., Stevenson, H. C., Arrington, E. G., & Johnson, D. J. (2012). Introduction: Toward Black educational choice. In D. T. Slaughter-Defoe, H. C. Stevenson, E. G. Arrington, & D. J. Johnson, (Eds.) Black educational choice in a climate of school reform: Assessing the private and public alternatives to traditional K–12 public schools (pp 1–10). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger imprint, ABC-CLIO Publishers.

Stevenson, H. C., Slaughter-Defoe, D. T., Arrington, E. G,. & Johnson, D. J. (2012). Visible now? Black educational choices for the few, the desperate and the far between. In D. T. Slaughter-Defoe, H. C. Stevenson, E. G. Arrington, & D. J. Johnson, (Eds.) Black educational choice in a climate of school reform: Assessing the private and public alternatives to traditional K–12 public schools, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger imprint, ABC-CLIO Publishers.

Serpell, Z., Hayling, C., Stevenson, H. C., &. Kern, L. (2009). Cultural considerations in the development of school-based interventions for African American adolescents with emotional/behavioral problems. Journal of Negro Education, 78(3), 321332.

Stevenson, H. C., & Arrington, E. G. (2009). Racial-ethnic socialization mediates perceived racism and the racial identity of African American adolescents. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15(2), 125136.

Thomas, D., & Stevenson, H. C. (2009). Gender risks and education: The particular classroom challenges of urban, low-income African American boys. Review of Research in Education, 33, 160180.

Bentley, K. L., Adams, V. N., & Stevenson, H.C. (2009). Racial socialization: Roots, processes and outcomes. In H. Neville, B. Tynes, & S. Utsey. (Eds.), Handbook of African American Psychology (pp. 255–267). Sage Publications. 

Thomas, D. E., Coard, S. I., Stevenson, H. C., Bentley, K., & Zamel, P. (2009). Racial and emotional factors predicting teachers' perceptions of classroom behavioral maladjustment for urban African American male youth. Psychology in the Schools, 46(2), 184196.

Stevenson, H. C. (2008). Fluttering around the racial tension of trust: Proximal approaches to suspended black student-teacher relationships. School Psychology Review, 37, 354358.

Hall, D., Cassidy, E., & Stevenson, H. C. (2008). Acting “tough” in a “tough” world: The validation of a fear of calamity measure among urban African American adolescents. Journal of Black Psychology.

Fantuzzo, J., Stevenson, H., Abdul Kabir, S., & Perry, M. (2007). An investigation of a community-based intervention for socially isolated parents with a history of child maltreatment. Journal of Family Violence.

Hall, D. M., & Stevenson, H. C. (2007). Double jeopardy: Being African American and "doing diversity" in independent schools. Teachers College Record, 109(1).

Davis, G. Y., & Stevenson, H. C. (2006). Racial socialization experiences and symptoms of depression among Black youth. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15(3), 293–307.

Hughes, D. L., Johnson, D., Smith, E., Rodriguez, J., Stevenson, H. C., & Spicer, P. (2006). Parents’ ethnic/racial socialization practices: A review of research and directions for future study. Developmental Psychology, 42(5), 747770.

Cassidy, E. F., & Stevenson, H. C. (2005). They wear the mask: Hypermasculinity and hypervulnerability among African American males in an urban remedial disciplinary school context. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 11(4), 5374. 

Stevenson, Jr., H. C. (Ed.). (2003). Playing with anger: Teaching coping skills to African American boys through athletics and culture. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, Praeger.

Stevenson, H. C., Davis, G. Y., & Abdul-Kabir, S. (2001). Stickin’ to, watchin’ over, and gettin’ with: An African American parent’s guide to discipline. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.