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Equity Research Action Coalition

Despite the national attention focused on addressing the pressing needs of Black children and families, there is currently no cohesive infrastructure that has the essential leadership and expertise to intensively investigate ways to improve the outcomes of young Black children using a strength-based lens centered on their specific sociocultural histories and experiences. Thus, there is a need for a unique interdisciplinary, multi-organizational research-to-policy coalition to identify culturally sustaining and asset-focused factors that ensure that Black children, and their families and communities, thrive.

The Equity Research Action Coalition will build from RISER (Researchers Investigating Sociocultural Equity), an existing network of Black researchers seeded by a grant from the Foundation for Child Development. This new coalition will co-construct with practitioners and policymakers actionable research to support the optimal development of Black children prenatally through childhood across the African diaspora using a cultural wealth framework. The coalition will focus on developing a science-based action framework to eradicate the impact of racism and poverty and all its consequences on the lives of Black children, families, and communities, and to ensure optimal health, well-being, school readiness and success, and overall excellence.

The goals of this initiative include to:

  • Establish and sustain an interdisciplinary, multi-organization action-oriented research-action coalition to address the root causes of and solutions to ensuring optimal development and excellence for Black children;
  • Create a national clearinghouse for effective research, programs, and policies found to strengthen the health and well-being of Black children and their families and communities;
  • Systematically examine the wholistic experiences of children and their families from the African diaspora from prenatally through childhood using a cultural wealth framework;
  • Make visible the voices of Black leaders, practitioners, and community organizers;
  • Develop an actionable roadmap for implementing policies and practices to eradicate the impact of racism and poverty and all its consequences on the lives of Black children and their families and communities; and
  • Support the development of diverse junior scholars, practitioners, and policymakers interested in Black children's early experiences, well-being, and excellence.


Iheoma U. Iruka, Founding Director
Adis Liy, Research Coordinator

Related Projects

Funding Agency:  

WK Kellogg Foundation

Funding Period:  

12/01/2020 to 11/30/2022

Funding Agency:  

Pritzker Family Foundation

Funding Period:  

12/01/2020 to 11/30/2021

Publications and Other Resources

Published: February 2021 Type: Reports and Policy Briefs
Published: 2020 Type: Books and Book Chapters