This conference is FULL and cannot accept additional registrations.
Annual Conference on Positive Youth Development
Re-Envisioning the Brilliance of Boys of Color:
Inspiring Professionals Dedicated to Empowering the
Social-Emotional and Academic Development of Our Youth
Natalie Cort, PhD; Robert Kinscherff, PhD, JD; Gemima St. Louis, PhD; and Bruce Ecker, PhD
Panel members/speakers will include individuals/organizations as follows:
State Representative Evandro C. Carvalho
President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper
NAACP Boston Branch
Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color
Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción
Doc Wayne Youth Services
Boys of color in the United States are disproportionately subjected to entrenched sociocultural stressors shaped by historical marginalization. Academically, they are significantly more likely to fail classes, be referred to special education programs, and suspended and/or expelled from school. Such academic failures have been attributed to cultural divergence, negative racial stereotyping, and racial discrimination. Furthermore, boys and young men of color are disproportionately involved in the criminal/juvenile justice system. Research suggests that a significant portion of these adolescents have undiagnosed and untreated mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and suicidality. These unaddressed psychological and mental health issues in childhood are associated, in adulthood, with higher rates of academic problems, incarceration, substance abuse, relationship problems, and unemployment. The conference, hosted by the Concentration on Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience, School Psychology Department, and the Center for Multicultural and Global Mental Health at William James College, builds on extant knowledge of risk factors for boys of color to create a paradigm shift which focuses attention on their frequently underappreciated protective and resiliency factors. The conference will explore the unrecognized strengths and talents inherent in boys of color. In addition, available assets in the families, schools, faith-based institutions, and communities will be identified. Conference sessions will include (a) panel presentations comprised of community members, educators, juvenile justice, and mental health providers; and (b) keynote and invited addresses by academic and mental health professionals on school, faith, and community-based interventions for boys of color.
Specific learning objectives:
Identify the critical impact of family, faith, school, and community on the development of boys of color.
Increase their knowledge about privilege, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression, and the impact of these factors on boys of color.
Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of their personal and professional contributions to social challenge and success experienced by boys of color.
Identify possible solutions to address/reduce disparities experienced by boys of color, including their personal role and responsibility to promote effective change.
Program Code: RBBC
6 CE Credits
Location: at William James College, Newton
Natalie Cort, PhD, is a licensed psychologist, is an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Psychology Department and Core Faculty in the Concentration on Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience, and Center for Multicultural and Global Mental Health at William James College. She is also the Director of WJC’s Black Mental Health Initiative and Graduate Academy. Dr. Cort, a research grade diagnostician, has been a co-investigator, consultant, and therapist on 10 National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) clinical trials. Dr. Cort has engaged, throughout her career, in socially meaningful research. Two of her NIMH-funded research fellowships focused on examining racial/ethnic disparities in the mental health field. Dr. Cort has authored journal articles on racial/ethnic differences in heart disease, child abuse reporting, depression treatment outcomes, and high-risk sexual behaviors. She is currently a member of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Committee on Children, Youth, and Families workgroup to address racial/ethnic disparities in youth mental health. In addition, Dr. Cort, a certified IPT trainer, provided consultation/training in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) IPT for Depression Training Program, a part of the VA’s national Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Training Initiative.
Judge Leslie E. Harris, JD, is a retired Associate Justice of the Suffolk Juvenile Court, appointed September 10, 1994 by Governor Weld. Judge Harris received his Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University, his Masters of Arts from Boston University, and his Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School. He has taught third and fourth grade, high school courses and at Roxbury Community College. He is a frequent lecturer at local colleges and law schools. He served as a street worker for the Chicago Community Centers, working with street gangs and as a camp counselor. He has been a Director for the METCO program in Melrose Ma., a probation officer for Suffolk Superior Court, a licensed Social Worker, and a Hearing Examiner for the Brookline Rent Control Board and a Public Defender at the Roxbury Defenders Office of the Committee for Public Counsel Services and Chief of the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office for District Attorney Ralph Martin. He has served on many commissions, boards, and advisory groups for the courts and the community. He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Wendell Phillips High School Hall of Fame, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University, the David Nelson Public Interest Award from Boston College Law School, Service Award from the Ten Point Coalition, the Hero Amongst Us Award from the Boston Celtics and Herald News Paper, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Boston College Black Law Student Association, an Embracing the Legacy award from the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Boston College Law School.