Crowd with Masks


Committed to the Cause

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Developer and Director

Dr. Riana Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Health Behavior and Health Education Department at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Her scholarship addresses culturally specific parenting practices to reduce race-related stress in families. She strives to improve psychological outcomes for Black youth through culturally and contextually relevant parenting programs focused on racism and discrimination, effective coping strategies, and community building, participating, and collaboration. one of her primary goals is to create interventions and youth centers which support the mental and physical health of Black youth in urban communities. Dr. Anderson aims to facilitate healing in Black families with practical applications of her research and clinical services as well as through teaching/mentorship and policy recommendations.




Dr. Howard Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of 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 is an expert on psychology, race literacy, and racial trauma. Dr. Stevenson has served for thirty years as a clinical and consulting psychologist working in impoverished rural and urban neighborhoods across the country. He is an 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. Stevenson directs the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC) within the Graduate School of Education.


In order to address the need for programming around racial socialization among black families, EMBRace (Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race) was developed by Drs. Riana Anderson and Howard Stevenson at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania in the 2015-2016 academic year. EMBRace is based out of Dr. Howard Stevenson's Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC). The program offers racial socialization skills training to parents for processing individual and parent-child dynamics. This training includes skills development of racial socialization knowledge, stress management, and coping. EMBRace is the first reported racial socialization intervention for adolescents and their parents. Additionally, EMBRace uses RECAST as a culturally-relevant theoretical model to explain how racial socialization practices are both stressful for families to initiate and used to cope with the racial stress youth experience.



Medical Professional
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I am a 3rd-year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. My research uses community-based participatory approaches to understand how Black youth conceptualize institutional racism and how it impacts their health, wellbeing, and development. Clinically, I am interested in working with Black youth and families to address the stressors that racism puts on their health and wellbeing. Ultimately, I would like to work in a field that has practical applications of research that advance policy and implement community-driven programs. EMBRace will help me to further both my skills as a researcher and practitioner who wants to find the best means of supporting Black youth and families.