315: PLENARY SESSION - Bringing Racism out of the Shadows in Family Science

Deadric T. Williams; Deb Berke; Michelle Pasco; Bethany Willis Hepp; Katie M. Hrapczynski; Cheryl Fortner-Wood; M. Elise Radina; Kevin Roy; Sothy Eng; Mamta Saxena, Associate Professor; Kassie Graves; Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth; Isaac J. Washburn; Dana Weiser; April Few-Demo; Anisa Zvonkovic
10:15 AM
11:30 AM
Salon D
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About the Session

Conference Attendance Hours: 1
NBCC CE Hours: 1


Session Sponsored by: Texas Tech University Human Development and Family Science AND Department of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Georgia _

Pre-Address Agenda:
Welcome from Debra L. Berke, Ph.D., Wilmington University, 2022 NCFR Program Chair

Welcome from the 2022 Conference Host, Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota: Michelle Pasco, Ph.D.

Presentation of the NCFR David H. Olson Grant Award to: Bethany Willis Hepp, Ph.D., Towson University; Katie Hrapczynski, Ph.D., Towson University; and Cheryl Fortner-Wood, Ph.D., Towson University; Presenter: M. Elise Radina, Award Selection Committee Chair

Presentation of the Cognella Innovation in Teaching Family Science Award to Kevin Roy, Ph.D., University of Maryland; Sothy Eng, Ph.D., University of Hawaii; and Mamta Saxena, Ph.D., State University of New York at Oswego; Presenter: Kassie Graves, Award Selection Committee Chair

Presentation of the Burgess Award to Shelley M. MacDermid Wadsworth, Ph.D., Purdue University; Presenter: Isaac Washburn, Ph.D., Award Selection Committee Chair

Welcome from the Plenary Sponsors: Texas Tech University Human Development and Family Science and Department of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Georgia: Dana Weiser, Ph.D., Texas Tech University; April Few-Demo, Ph.D., University of Georgia; and Anisa M. Zvonkovic, Ph.D., University of Georgia

Critical and comprehensive theoretical frameworks connecting racism, race, and racial inequality are absent in family research. For instance, conventional research on racial variations in family formations and family processes is often reduced to simple average differences without contextualizing racialized groups as political, social, and historical categories. Even more, the term "family" in family scholarship appears to be shorthand for "White families" whereas the use of "race" is shorthanded for "minority families." The purpose of this presentation is twofold: (1) to critique the conventional use of race in family scholarship and (2) to present a path forward by centering how, and in what ways, racism maintains racial inequality in family life.


  • Participants will be able to differentiate between racial essentialism and the social construction of race.
  • Participants will be able to understand the importance of historical context and adaptive strategies in response to omnipresent systems of oppression, exclusion, and domination.
  • Participants will be able to feel motivated and inspired to execute novel research on persistent racial inequality among families.
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