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. He is the Executive Director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative at Penn, designed to promote racial literacy in education, health, community and justice institutions.
He 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. Two mental health research projects he leads are funded by 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 with Drs. Lorretta and John Jemmott, the SHAPE-UP: Barbers Building Better Brothers Project which trains Black barbers as health educators to teach Black 18-24 year old males to reduce their risk of -- HIV/STDS and retaliation violence -- while they are cutting hair.
Backed by a 12 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at REC, Howard also co-directs Forward Promise, a national philanthropic office that promotes a culture of health for boys and young men of color, to help them heal from the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination and colonization.
Dr. Stevenson is the recipient of the 2020 Gittler Prize, by Brandeis University, for outstanding and lasting scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic, and/or religious relations. Also, recently, he was listed in the RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings of the top university-based scholars in the U.S. who did the most last year to shape educational practice and policy.
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. Howard’s research and clinical work have been funded by W.T. Grant Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, and the National Institutes of Mental Health and Child Health and Human Development. He is the father of two sons, Bryan and Julian.