In a TEDMED talk, Stevenson says 'We need a racial literacy to decode the politics of racial threat in America'

February 22, 2018
Howard Stevenson on stage at the TEDMED event

Racial stress is more than a feeling. It's a threat to physical health.

At the latest TEDMED conference, Penn GSE's Howard Stevenson explained how "centuries of racial discrimination, dehumanization, and illness" come to threaten the lives of people of color. Stevenson, a clinical psychologist and director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative, offered a path forward built on racial literacy.

Dr. Howard Stevenson at TEDMED

TEDMED is the independent health and medicine edition of the world-famous TED conference, which brings together leading researchers and practitioners to share “ideas worth spreading.” Videos of TEDMED talks have been viewed millions of times.

In the blog post that accompanied the release of his talk, Stevenson expands on strategies that children and parents can work on together.

"Racial literacy involves teaching youth of color to appreciate their cultural genius and discern racial support and rejection (read), reduce the stress of that rejection (recast) so they can make healthy decisions that benefit their well-being (resolve)," Stevenson writes.

Stevenson, a member of Penn GSE's Human Development and Quantitative Methods Division, is a sought after expert on African-American psychology, family and parental engagement, effects of at-risk neighborhoods on youth, violence prevention, racial rejection, racial/ethnic socialization, bullying and community leadership development.