The New Should Not Be Normalized’ Discussing Racial Literacy With Dr. Howard Stevenson

By Jen Cort

Jen Cort is an education consultant in the areas of equity, inclusion, diversity and justice. In this podcast, Jen opens up a "third space"— a place outside our familiar home and work environments — in order that we might begin to engage in some of the provocative questions that need to be addressed. Listen in as Jen speaks with some of the leading thinkers and doers in the field.

In this episode of Third Space Howard Stevenson and I discuss racial literacy, empowering parents, and teachers to talk about race, the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, the health implications of racism, the recent death of Ahmaud Arberry, and more. Listen to this episode and follow his work at and

Dr. Howard Stevenson, Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies 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. Backed by a 12 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at REC.

Howard also co-directs Forward Promise. Dr. Stevenson is the recipient of the 2020 Gittler Prize and RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings of the top university-based scholars in the U.S.
Author of 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.