Dr. Howard C. Stevenson is professor of Education and Africana Studies and former chair of the Applied Psychology and Human Development Division in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Stevenson has served for 28 years as a clinical and consulting psychologist working in poor rural and urban neighborhoods in Pasadena, California, rural Delaware, and New York City with families in crisis.
His research and clinical work involves developing culturally relevant in-the-moment (ITM) therapeutic play interventions for families and youth to improve their emotional and academic achievement psychological adjustment and racial literacy in stressful school and neighborhood situations. This work has been funded by the W. T. Grant Foundation, National Institutes of Mental Health and Child Health and Human Development. The PLAAY (Preventing Long-Term Anger and Aggression in Youth) Project uses basketball and racial socialization to help Black youth and parents cope with face-to-face violence, social rejection, and stress from peers, family, schools, and society. With Penn professors Loretta and John Jemmott, Dr. Stevenson co-leads the SHAPE-UP: Barbers Building Better Brothers Project, which trains Black barbers as health educators to provide risk reduction and negotiation skills to prevent retaliation violence and HIV/STDs for Black heterosexual 18- to 24-year-old males during haircut appointments.
He has written numerous articles and three books, including Playing with Anger: Teaching Coping Skills to African American Boys Through Athletics and Culture; Stickin’ To, Watchin’ Over, and Gettin’ With: An African American Parent’s Guide to Discipline; and Black Educational Choice in a Climate of School Reform: Assessing the Private and Public Alternatives to Traditional K–12 Public Schools.