NEW! Summer Institutes

REC Team

Executive Director

Howard Stevenson

Howard Stevenson, Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, 1985.
  • B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, Eastern College, 1980.

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Doctoral Students

Janay M. Watts, M.A.Ed

  • PH.D student in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, Exepected 2020
  • M.A.Ed. in Social and Cultural Analysis of Education, California State University, Long Beach, 2016
  • B.A. in Sociology and Certificate in African American Studies, Princeton University, 2010
  • Twitter, Instagram


Jason Javier-Watson, Ed.D.

  • Ed.D. in Reading, Writing & Literacy, University of Pennsylvania, 2016
  • M.S.Ed., University of Pennsylvania
  • B.A., University of Kansas

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Jason is a recent graduate of the Doctoral Program in the Reading, Writing, and Literacy Division within the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. from the University of Kansas in both Sociology and Spanish before becoming a teacher through the Teach For America (TFA) program in Philadelphia. While in TFA, he received his M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania in secondary education. In 2006, Jason and three other TFA teachers presented their work utilizing practitioner inquiry at the 27th Ethnography Forum at the University of Pennsylvania. He taught Spanish, English, and coached football in the Philadelphia public schools for seven years. Throughout his career as an educator, Jason has sought to facilitate humanizing and culturally relevant pedagogies, co-construct curricula with students, and fight against racialized school discipline policies. Jason is currently completing his dissertation for his Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.). His dissertation is a practitioner inquiry project analyzing school mission and teacher development at a charter school where he formerly served as the dean of students and principal fellow. His chair is Dr. Diane Waff. His professional interests pertain to the ways that teacher and administrator racial bias affect perceptions of students, the ways that whiteness and systemic racism pervade the schooling experience, and how professional development can work to ameliorate both. Related interests are the development of culturally relevant/culturally sustaining pedagogies, teacher/administrator autonomy, local communities of practice, and community control of schools. Jason’s work in schools and his research are influenced by practitioner inquiry, sociocultural models of teaching and learning, and anti-deficit/anti-racist models of schooling—all in the service of producing more equitable educational outcomes for students. As a Dean’s Fellow, his early graduate work focused on coaching and developing first year TFA teachers using a core reflection model for teacher development. Through that work, Jason developed a holistic approach to teacher development that emphasizes core values, identity development, and self-care. He joined Dr. Stevenson’s research team assisting with Project PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth), an intervention designed to help African-American boys cope with racial stress. Jason’s work with the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC) involves the development and dissemination of interventions designed to teach healthy identity development and coping strategies.

Kelsey Jones

Kelsey Jones, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor in Human Development, California State University, San Marcos
  • Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development, University of Pennsylvania, 2015
  • M.S.Ed. in Childhood Special Education, Long Island University
  • B.A. in Psychology and English, Williams College

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Dr. Kelsey M. Jones is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, working within the department of Applied Psychology and Human Development. Her interests include the school-to-prison pipeline, dis/ability and giftedness in the narratives of and about Black and Brown youth, and the education of Black and Brown children in special education spaces. Prior to beginning her fellowship, she completed her doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development as a Dean’s Fellow. Dr. Jones earned her M.S.Ed. in Childhood Special Education from Long Island University as a Fellow in the New York City Teaching Fellows program. She taught self-contained special education for second, third, and fourth graders in Brooklyn, New York; as a teacher, she was responsible for differentiating instruction, creating a safe learning space for students, and advocating for attention to students’ unacknowledged strengths in school environments while addressing their diverse academic, social, and emotional needs. Dr. Jones was also recognized for her excellence in teaching by the Education Equality Project in 2009. Her practitioner research and master’s thesis as a Teaching Fellow focused on the unique experiences of Black and Brown special education students and the need for knowledge, empathy, inquiry, and social justice in practice and research. During her doctoral studies, Dr. Jones had the opportunity to work on a variety of research projects within the university and the Philadelphia community. She was a research consultant and program evaluator with Sankofa, a COSEBOC-sponsored mentorship program aimed at supporting the academic and social needs of Black and Brown male students in Philadelphia high schools. She was also a research assistant with Shape Up! Barbers Building Better Brothers Project, assisting in the development of scripts designed to address Black men’s responses to conflict, specifically with romantic partners. In 2012, Dr. Jones was a Fellow with Education Pioneers where she developed a plan to promote parental engagement in schools with Houston A+ Challenge, a non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas. As a doctoral student, she was most involved with Dr. Howard Stevenson’s Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth (PLAAY) project, managing the project for all four years of her doctoral program. PLAAY uses psycho-educational sessions and physical activity to help Black and Brown youth identify and address the racial stress they experience in their schools and communities. As the project manager for PLAAY, she facilitated psycho-educational group sessions and started a girls’ group for the traditionally male-focused program, helping to create new curricula for both boys and girls participating in PLAAY. Dr. Jones also had the opportunity to work in schools directly during her doctoral studies. She facilitated a series of forums with the Penn Project for Civic Engagement, developing strategies for sustainable dialogue between schools and communities, highlighting the needs of diverse student populations and multi-lingual families. She was also a facilitator for “What Makes Schools Safe?” a regional forum hosted by WHYY and Newsworks through her work with the Penn Project for Civic Engagement. There, she led small group discussions on school issues and helped school leaders and educators explore issues of school violence and mental health concerns. Dr. Jones’ dissertation, Never Been: An Exploration of the Influence of Dis/ability, Giftedness, and Incarceration on Adolescents in Adult Correctional Facilities, focused on the relationships between dis/ability, giftedness, adolescent development, and the experiences of incarcerated youth in adult correctional facilities. This qualitative study provides new perspectives on the lives of incarcerated youth as well as deeper understandings of dis/ability and the socially-constructed identities with which it interacts, placing the school-to-prison pipeline in conversation with systemic racism, the power of ecological systems, and theories of critical praxis. Specifically, the work reveals the lack of consideration for adolescent development. Never Been also offers a space for thinking about the development of critical theories and best practices for researchers who understand the importance of creating frames that best speak to the narratives and needs of participants who are willing to share their stories. Currently, Dr. Jones is a postdoctoral fellow with the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC) housed within the Graduate School of Education at Penn GSE. Her work at REC focuses on the development of accessible literary magazines designed to promote racial literacy for children, adolescents, caregivers, and educators. She is also continuing her work on the school-to-prison pipeline, using qualitative methods to understand the emotional and social effects of the pipeline on children, families, and educators from Pre-Kindergarten through high school.

Selected Publications

  • Stevenson, H.C. & Jones, K.M. (2015). What if my Trayvon came home? Teaching a wretched truth about breathing while Black. In K. Fasching-Varner & Nicholas Hartlep (Eds.), The Assault on Communities of Color. Rowman &Littlefield, New York, NY.
    Shawn C.T. Jones

    Shawn C.T. Jones

    • Ph.D. in Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2016
    • M.A. in Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013
    • M.H.S. in Mental Health, Johns Hopkins University: Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2010
    • B.S. in Psychology, Duke University, 2008

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    Shawn Jones is a National Science Foundation SBE Postdoctoral Fellow in the Human Development and Quantitative Methods division at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Currently, Shawn works with Dr. Howard Stevenson in the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC), which centers on applied research to promote racial literacy and empower families as a means of reducing the deleterious impact of race-related stress. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a Child and Family emphasis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a Child Clinical Psychology Pre-doctoral intern at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. During his time at UNC, Shawn was both a Ford Foundation Predoctoral and Dissertation Fellow. Shawn also holds a Master of Health Science in Mental from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (2010) and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University (2008).

    Dr. Jones endeavors to impact the psychosocial wellbeing of Black youth and their families by: a) exploring mechanisms undergirding culturally-relevant protective and promotive factors; b) translating basic research into interventions that harness the unique strengths of the Black experience; and c) disseminating this research to be consumed, critiqued and enhanced by the communities the work intends to serve. Clinically, Dr. Jones is committed to the provision of culturally-informed child, couple and family therapy and assessment. Finally, Dr. Jones is passionate about eliminating racial health disparities, particularly those related to mental health services, which he sees as obtainable through stigma-reduction and mental health literacy interventions.

    Dr. Jones’ research interests have increasingly focused on culturally-relevant protective and promotive factors for Black youth and their families. Currently, Dr. Jones is investigating the dynamics that underlie how Black families navigate the racial socialization of their children through the Raising Our Offspring Every Day (ROOTED) project. ROOTED is a series of three related but distinct studies, each of which uses a mixed method approach (collection of both quantitative and qualitative data). The primary aim of the first study is to use survey and interview methods to elucidate the ways in which Black families representing a diverse structural spectrum (e.g., non-residential co-parents, extended kin, blended families, LGBT couples) undertake the racial socialization of their children together. The primary aim of the second study is to capture the synergistic and bidirectional nature of racial socialization “in the moment”, by using media-based scenarios to create and code ecologically-valid, family-level conversations. The primary approach of the third study is to prospectively assess how Black co-parents at various developmental stages anticipate (and modify) teaching their children about race “in-the-future”.

    Dr. Jones’ master’s thesis examined the protective role of racial identity in the context of emotional responses to vicarious racism. His comprehensive exam was a systematic review of racial-ethnic mechanisms of change in psychosocial prevention and intervention programs. The resulting peer-reviewed article (Jones & Neblett, 2016), is among the first in the field to offer recommendations for reducing the lack-of “cross-talk” between basic and applied science surrounding racial and ethnic protective factors for Black youth. Dr. Jones’ dissertation project used both quantitative (behavioral coding) and qualitative (interview) methods to understand the ways in which two-parent, heterosexual Black couples navigate the racial socialization process. This work revealed ways in which Black families work together to safeguard the psychological well-being of their children, and was supported through a grant by the Fahs-Beck Fund.

    Selected Publications

    • Jones, S. C.T. & Neblett, E. W. (2016). Racial-ethnic protective factors and mechanisms in psychosocial prevention and intervention programs for black youth. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review [Online first, June], 134-161. doi: 10.1007/s10567-016-0201-6
    • Hoggard, L. S., Jones, S. C.T., & Sellers, R. M. (2016). Race cues and racial identity: Implications for how African Americans experience and respond to racial discrimination. Journal of Black Psychology [Online first, May], 1-24. doi: 10.1177/0095798416651033. 
    • Jones, S. C.T. & Neblett, E. W. (2016). Future directions in research on racism-related stress and racial-ethnic protective factors for Black youth. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology [Online first, May], 1-13. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2016.1146991.
    • Bardone-Cone, A. N., Calhoun, C. D., Fischer, M. S., Gaskin-Wasson, A. L., Jones, S. C.T., Schwartz, S. L. Wise, E. H., and Prinstein, M. J. (2016). Development and implementation of a diversity training sequence in a clinical psychology doctoral program. The Behavior Therapist, 39(3), 65, 67-8, 70, 72-5.
    • Jones, S. C.T., Neblett, E. W., Lee, D. B., & Gaskin, A. L. (2014). Assessing the African American child & adolescent: Special considerations and assessment of behavioral disorders. In L. T. Benuto & B. D. Leany (Eds.), Guide to psychological assessment with African Americans (pp. 105-120). New York, NY: Springer. 
    • Jones, S. C.T., Lee, D. B., Gaskin, A. L., & Neblett, E. W. (2014). Emotional response profiles to racial discrimination: Does racial identity predict affective patterns? Journal of Black Psychology, 40(4), 344-358. doi:10.1177/0095798413488628
    • Gaskin, A. L., Jones, S. C.T., Lee, D. B., & Neblett, E. W. (2013). Socialization. In P.L. Mason (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (2nd ed.) (Vol. 4, pp. 80-83). Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference USA.

    Keisha Bentley-Edwards, Ph.D.

    • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Duke University
    • Associate Director of Research, Duke's Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity
    • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
    • M.A., Teachers College at Columbia University
    • B.S., Howard University
    • Personal Website, Twitter

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    Dr. Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards is an Assistant Professor of Medicaine at  Duke University. She is a developmental psychologist who uses and creates culturally relevant measurement to understand the experiences of youth. Dr. Bentley-Edwards studies how cultural strengths, including racial socialization and racial cohesion, can be used to buffer the negative effects of discrimination, bullying and community violence on health and education. Dr. Bentley-Edwards is currently funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-New Connections grant to study the bullying experiences and assessment of African American children. Although most of her work focuses on African American children and families, she also studies the racial conversations that occur in White families and with White practitioners.

    Selected Publications

    • Bentley-Edwards, K. L., Agonafer, E., Edmondson, R., & Flannigan, A. (2016, In Press). If I Can Do For My People, I Can Do For Myself: Examining Racial Factors for Their Influence on Goal Efficacy For Black College Students. Journal of College Student Development.
    • Michael, A., Coleman-King, C., Lee, S., Ramirez, C., & Bentley-Edwards, K. L. (2016, In Press). Seeing White Culture. In S. D. Hancock & C. A. Warren (Eds.), White Woman’s Work: Examining the Intersectionality of Cultural Norms, Teaching, and Identity Formation in Urban Schools. Information Age Publishing.
    • Bartoli, E., Bentley-Edwards, K. L., Garcia, A. M., Michael, A., & Ervin, A. (2015). What do White Counselors and Psychotherapists Need to Know About Race? White Racial Socialization in Counseling and Psychotherapy Training Programs Women & Therapy. doi: 10.1080/02703149.2015.1059206
    • Bentley-Edwards, K. L., & Stevenson, H. C. (2015). The Multidimensionality of Racial/Ethnic Socialization: Scale Construction for the Cultural And Racial Experiences of Socialization (CARES). Journal of Child & Family Studies. doi: 10.1007/s10826-015-0214-7
    • Bentley-Edwards, K. L., & Chapman-Hilliard, C. (2015). Doing race in different places: Black racial cohesion on Black and White college campuses. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 8(1). doi: 10.1037/a0038293
    • Bentley-Edwards, K. L. (2014). Hope, Agency or Disconnect: Scale Construction for Measures of Black Racial Cohesion and Dissonance. Journal of Black Psychology. doi: 10.1177/0095798414557670
    • Adams-Bass, V. N., Bentley-Edwards, K. L., & Stevenson, H. C. (2014). That’s not me I see on TV: African American youth interpret media images Of Black females. Women, Gender and Families of Color, 2(1). doi: 10.1353/wgf.2014.0000
    • Bentley-Edwards, K. L. & Robbins, Paul A. (2014). What Black Parents Need to Know About School Readiness Contradictions. Psych Discourse, 48(1).
    • Bentley-Edwards, K. L., & Adams-Bass, V. N. (2013). The Whole Picture: Examining Black Women Through the Life Span. In H. O. Jackson Lowman (Ed.), Afrikan American Women: Living at the Crossroads of Race, Gender, Class, and Culture: Cognella Press/University Readers.
    • Bentley-Edwards, K. L., Thomas, D. E., & Stevenson, H. (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 Springer.
    • Thomas, D. E., Coard, S. I., Stevenson, H. C., Bentley, K. L., & Zamel, P. C. (2009). Racial and Emotional Factors Predicting Teachers' Perceptions of Classroom Behavioral Maladjustment for Urban African American Male Youth. Psychology in the Schools, 46(2), 184-196.
    • Bentley, K. L., Adams, V. N., & Stevenson, H. C. (2009). Racial Socialization: Roots, Processes & Outcomes. In H. Neville, B. Tynes & S. Utsey (Eds.), Handbook of African American Psychology (pp. 258-267). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    Valerie Adams-bass, PH.D.

    • Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies In Human Development,University of Pennsylvania
    • M.Ed. in Urban Education, Temple University
    • B.S. in Marketing, Philadelphia University

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    Dr. Valerie Adams-Bass is an Assistant Professor of Youth and Social Innovations at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. Dr. Adams-Bass’ research examines the relationships of racial socialization and racial identity with the developmental processes, social and academic outcomes of Black children and youth. She is particularly interested in how Black adolescents interpret negative media stereotypes and whether the messages presented are internalized or buffered as a result of racial socialization experiences.

    She has served as an International Foundation for Education and Self Help (IFESH) Volunteer Teacher for Africa in Katima Mulilo and as a Rotary International Ambassador Scholar, in Durban South Africa. As a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School Coordinator for the University of Pennsylvania, she is featured in the Freedom School documentary that debuted on PBS stations and won a coveted Telly award in 2011.

    Dr. Adams-Bass believes in connecting research to practice. She has been a lead consultant with the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey’s Center for Youth Development, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh

    An applied researcher, she has spent her career conducting research and working with and on behalf of urban African American and Latino adolescents. Dr. Adams-Bass has been an invited guest for the School Times radio show on WURD 900AM and the public television show Three Guys Don’t Lie on WYBE in Philadelphia. holds a master’s degree in Urban Education from Temple University and earned her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.

    Jackson Collins, Ed.D.

    • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, University of Pennsylvania
    • Associate Executive Director, Prep for Prep
    • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, Klingenstein Center at Teachers College Columbia University

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    Jackson A. Collins is the Associate Executive Director of Prep for Prep, a leadership development and educational access organization in New York, NY. He is also a proud Prep for Prep alum. Prior to his professional role at Prep, Jackson served the Associate Head of Upper School and History Department Chair at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Prior to Shipley, he worked at The Episcopal Academy where he served as Upper School Form Dean, history teacher, and basketball coach. Jackson began his professional independent school career at his alma mater, Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, where he was the Coordinator of Interscholastic Athletics (Director of Athletics).

    Jackson graduated from Amherst College and earned a Master’s in Education Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College Columbia University and an Ed.D. in Education Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Jackson serves on the Board of Managers for the Oakwood Friends School. He also founded and operates Nine Nickels, a nonprofit organization inspired by his grandmother to promote socioeconomic progress through education and opportunity.

    Riana Elyse Anderson, PH.D.

    • Assistant Professor, Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan, School of Public Health
    • Ph.D. in Clinical and Community Psychology, University of Virginia
    • B.A. in Psychology and Political Science, University of Michigan, 2006
    • Faculty Website  Personal Website, Twitter

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    Riana Elyse Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. She received her PhD in Clinical and Community Psychology at the University of Virginia and completed a Clinical and Community Psychology Doctoral Internship at Yale University’s School of Medicine. She also completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Applied Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania supported by the Ford and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations. Before joining the University of Michigan, she was an Assistant Professor in Preventive Medicine and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families in the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California.

    She uses mixed methods in clinical interventions to study racial discrimination and socialization in Black families to reduce racial stress and trauma and improve psychological well-being and family functioning. She investigates how protective familial mechanisms such as parenting and racial socialization operate in the face of risks linked to poverty, discrimination, and residential environment. Dr. Anderson is particularly interested in how these factors predict familial functioning and subsequent child psychosocial outcomes, especially when enrolled in family-based interventions. She has recently developed a five-session intervention entitled EMBRace (Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race) to alleviate racial stress and trauma in parents and adolescents in order to facilitate healthy parent-child relationships, parent and adolescent psychological well-being, and healthy coping strategies.

    Selected Publications

    • Anderson, R. E. (online). And Still WE Rise: Parent-child relationships and child school readiness in urban Black families. Journal of Family Psychology.
    • Anderson, R. E., McKenny, M., Mitchell, A., Koku, L., & Stevenson, H. (online). EMBRacing racial stress and trauma: Preliminary feasibility and coping outcomes of a racial socialization intervention. Journal of Black Psychology.
    • Anderson, R. E. (in press). Focusing on family: Parent-child relationships and school readiness among impoverished Black children. Journal of Negro Education.
    • Mattis, J. S., Grayman-Simpson, N., Powell-Hammond, W., Anderson, R. E., Mattis, J. H., & Kimbro, L. (in press). African American positive psychology. E. Chang & N. Lin (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychology in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups: Theory, Research, Assessment, and Practice. APA Press: Washington, D.C.
    • Smith-Bynum, M.A., Anderson, R.E., Davis, B.L., Franco, M.G., & English, D. (2016). Racial coping and dyadic warmth in African American mothers and adolescents: An observational study of family processes. Child  Development, 87, 1926-1939
    • Anderson, R. E., Hussain, S., Wilson, M., Shaw, D., Dishion, T., & Williams, J. (2015). Pathways to pain: Racialdiscrimination and relations between parental functioning and child psychosocial well-being. Journal of Black Psychology, 41, 491-512.
    • Williams, J. L., Anderson, R. E., Francois, A. G., Hussain, S., & Tolan, P. H. (2014). Ethnic identity and positive youth development in adolescent males: A culturally integrated approach. Applied Developmental Science, 110–122.
    • Williams, J. L., Tolan, P. H., Durkee, M. I., Francois, A. G., & Anderson, R. E. (2012). Integrating racial and ethnic identity research into developmental understanding of adolescents. [Special issue]. Child Development Perspectives,1–8.
    • Hill, J. L., Mance, G. A., Anderson, R. E., & Smith, E. P. (2012). The role of ethnic identity in interventions to promote positive adolescent development. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 1–12.


    Lloyd M. Talley, Ph.D.


    • Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies In Human Development, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, 2018
    • M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture & Society, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, 2014
    • B.A. in Communication & Culture, Howard University, 2010

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    Selected Publications

    • O'Leary, A., Talley, L.M., Frew, P. (2016) Preface. In O'Leary & Frew, P., (Eds.). Poverty in The United States: Voices of Women; Atlanta, GA: Springer
    • Warren C.A. & Talley, L.M. (2016) Nice White Ladies: Race, Whiteness and the Preparation of a More Culturally Responsive Teaching Force. In S.D. Hancock & C.A. Warren (Eds.). White Women's Work: Examining the Intersectionality of Teaching, Identity, and Race. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing