2020 NCFR Conference Program Highlights
Watch this page for more information about featured conference sessions.
2020 Plenary Presenters
- Wednesday, Nov. 11 — Kira H. Banks and Amber Johnson
- Thursday, Nov. 12 — Ndidiamaka N. Amutah-Onukagha, Anis Ben Brik, and Rosario Esteinou
- Friday, Nov. 13 — Kevin Nadal
Thank you to our 2020 Conference Host — Human Development and Family Science at University of Missouri — for its generous support of the conference!
Opening Plenary: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 1-2:15 p.m. CT
Kira H. Banks
Equity in Action: Helping Families Navigate Systems of Oppression
Kira H. Banks. Ph.D. (pronouns: she/her/hers), has been working to support individuals and groups to understand themselves, others and systems of oppression for over 20 years. Her teaching, research and community involvement is rooted in the values of Black Psychology, which uplifts the interconnectedness and resilience of people and rejects an individual and deficit approach.
Dr. Banks is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Saint Louis University, an APA-accredited Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Her research examines the experience of discrimination, its impact on mental health and intergroup relations. Her courses have ranged from abnormal psychology to the psychology of racism. Dr. Banks has published over 20 articles in peer-reviewed outlets including American Psychologist, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. She has also contributed to The Harvard Business Review and popular media outlets such as Huffington Post and The Atlantic.
Dr. Banks’ expertise was sought after and she served as a racial equity consultant for the Ferguson Commission and continued as the Racial Equity Catalyst for Forward Through Ferguson. Her thinking and writing has helped frame racial equity in the St. Louis region.
Dr. Banks has developed a podcast and YouTube channel, Raising Equity, which explores how to intentionality raise children with the knowledge and understanding of systemic inequities and to equip them to create an equitable society rather than accept the status quo. She believes strongly that research should be useful and can inform our every day lives. Dr. Banks is also co-principal of The Mouse and the Elephant, which develops customized curriculum to meet companies' long-term needs. She received her master of arts and doctorate from the University of Michigan.
Amber Johnson, Ph.D. (pronouns: they/them/theirs), is an award-winning associate professor of communication and social justice at Saint Louis University.
As a scholar, artist, and activist, Johnson’s research and activism focus on narratives of identity, protest, and social justice in digital media, popular media, and everyday lived experiences. As a polymath, their mixed-media artistry involves working with metals, recycled and reclaimed goods, photography, poetry, percussion, and paint to interrogate systems of oppression. They are the creator of The Justice Fleet™, a mobile justice museum that fosters healing through art, dialogue, and play.
Dr. Johnson has published articles in several journals including Qualitative Inquiry, Critical Studies in Media and Communication, Text & Performance Quarterly, Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, and Communication Quarterly. Dr. Johnson is the co-author and co-editor of two books: African American Communication: Examining the Complexities of Lived Experiences and Gender Futurity, Intersectional Autoethnpgraphy: Embodied Theorizing from the Margins. Their current book project, A Great Inheritance, is a young adult fiction novel that follows five children chosen to dismantle the gender binary.
Dr. Johnson earned their doctorate from Pennsylvania State University in communication and creative writing, and their master of arts from Saint Louis University.
Thursday Plenary: Nov. 12, 1-2:15 p.m. CT
Ndidiamaka N. Amutah-Onukagha
Anis Ben Brik
Global Health Disparities Among Families in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Ndidiamaka N. Amutah-Onukagha, Ph.D., has a longstanding commitment to public health that spans over 15 years of experience. Her current research interests include maternal mortality and morbidity, health disparities, reproductive health, infant mortality and HIV/AIDS in women of color.
Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is an associate professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. She received her doctorate in public health with a focus on maternal and child health at the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health.
Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is a member of the American Public Health Association and is currently the co-chair of the Perinatal and Womens Health Committee in the Maternal and Child Health Section. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is a former president of the Society of African American Public Health Issues and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Womens Health Network.
Since 2018, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha has planned and led a national conference on Black Maternal Health Inequities.
Anis Ben Brik, Ph.D., MPA, is an associate professor at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) College of Public Policy in Qatar. Prior to joining HBKU, he served as director of the Family Policy Department at the Doha International Family Institute. He has previously held senior advisory positions focused on family and social policy at several government agencies in the Gulf region.
Dr. Ben Brik is interested in the empirical analysis of issues related to child welfare, family policy, social security, and evaluation research in the Middle East and North Africa region. He has published empirical research in a wide range of international peer-reviewed journals, including Children and Youth Services Review, Early Child Development and Care, Child Indicators Research, and Decision Sciences. His most recent publications include Families and Social Change in the Gulf Region (Routledge). The book also provides a context in which to understand how family relationships and social policies can promote children’s physical health, behavioral adjustment, psychological well-being, social relationships, safety, cognitive development, and economic security in the Gulf countries.
Dr. Ben Brik's current project on “COVID-19 Family Life Study” is an international research study that explores the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on family life across cultures. The study is conducted in forty countries across Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.
Rosario Esteinou, Ph.D., received her doctorate in sociology at the University of Turin, Italy. She is a family sociologist and has been a researcher for over 30 years at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS - Center of Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology) in Mexico City.
She is a member of the National System of Research of the National Council of Science and Technology, the Mexican Academy of Sciences, the National Council of Family Relations, and the International Sociological Association.
Dr. Esteinou has published articles, chapters and books about the family in Mexico, especially in the fields of sociology, anthropology, demography, history and social psychology. Currently, her research interests focus on family and couple relationships, parenting, adolescents and youth, and family policy.
She has been a visiting professor at the Centre of Family Research at the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom, the University of Newcastle in Australia, and the University of Nebraska in the United States. Dr. Esteinou has also participated in different Expert Group Meetings organized by the United Nations and other institutions.
Closing Plenary: Friday, Nov. 13, 1-2:15 p.m. CT
The Manifestation of Microaggressions within Families: Intersectional Identities, Power, and More
Kevin Nadal, Ph.D. (pronouns: he/him/his), is an award-winning professor, psychologist-activist, and author, who received his doctorate from Columbia University in New York City. Currently, he is a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a senior college of the City University of New York. He is one of the leading researchers in understanding the impacts of microaggressions, or subtle forms of discrimination, on the mental and physical health of people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people; and other marginalized groups.
Dr. Nadal is the author of ten books including Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice (2011, John Wiley and Sons), That's So Gay: Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community (2013, APA Books), and Sage Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender (2017, Sage).
He is a National Trustee of the Filipino American National Historical Society and a co-founder of the LGBTQ Scholars of Color Network. In 2017, he received the APA Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest. He has published over 100 works and has spoken at hundreds of colleges, universities, corporations, nonprofit organizations, professional networks, and hospitals.