Dr. Howard Stevenson

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. Dr. Stevenson 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.

He is a nationally recognized clinical psychologist and researcher on negotiating racial conflicts and developing culturally responsive interventions for use in independent and public K-12 schooling, and community mental health centers. His book, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference summarizes this work. Two National Institutes of Health funded research projects he leads examine the benefits of racial literacy and culturally responsive interventions. The PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth) Project uses basketball and group therapy to help youth and parents cope with stress and trauma from violence and social rejection.

Dr. Stevenson also co-led the SHAPE-UP: Barbers Building Better Brothers Project with Drs. Lorretta and John Jemmott, 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.


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. He was also listed in the 2020 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.

Dr. Stevenson’s most recent research focuses on helping children and adults develop and use assertive coping strategies during face-to-face microaggressions. Key to this racial healing work is the use of culture to reduce in-the-moment threat reactions and increase access to memory, physical mobility, and voice. He is the father of two sons, Bryan and Julian.


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