Summer 2023 REDF Section Update

Shardé McNeil Smith, Ph.D., Section Chair
/ NCFR Report, Summer 2023

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Reflecting on REDF Section in Orlando, Florida 

It is not lost on me that we are holding the 2023 NCFR Annual Conference in Florida – a state with a legislative agenda aimed at ignoring, erasing, and blocking racial history and truth. In particular, the Stop W.O.K.E Act mischaracterizes and challenges critical race theory and silences race and gender issues in classrooms and businesses, including book bans, divesting in diversity programs, and the rejection of AP African American Studies curriculum. Florida HB 1557, which has become known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, bans instruction of gender and sexual orientation thereby undermining the experiences of LGBTQ families and communities of color. The Anti-Rioting legislation (Florida HB 1) was introduced in response to demonstrations after the murder of George Floyd, attempts to censor the right to protest injustices such as the unarmed police killings of Black people.  

As a reminder, the Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Families (REDF) Section unites those members of NCFR who are concerned with issues pertaining to racial and ethnic diversity in families, to help increase their participation in the organization and annual programs of NCFR, and to help create a better understanding of the variations in families from diverse ethnic groups. Although the future is uncertain, the reality is clear - our section’s values are in direct opposition to the racial ideology found in Florida’s policies. The content we research and teach, the families we serve, and our very identities, are threatened by these current practices.  

As chair of REDF, I want to hear from you about how we can best navigate this reality. As a part of the 2023 NCFR Annual Conference Program Planning Committee, I am committed to bringing ideas and suggestions to the committee to help ensure that we are safe to show up as our whole selves and that our commitment to research, theory, policies, and praxis for racial and ethnic families are not compromised. I look forward to working with you to brainstorm ways that the 2023 NCFR Annual Conference, The Way We Are Now: Families and Communities at the Center of the Syndemic, can be a positive, transformative experience for you and the communities you serve. Please e-mail me at [email protected] with any thoughts, questions, or concerns. 

Special Session on Radical Healing for BIPOC Families and Communities 

To give you a preview of what is in store, I am excited to announce that REDF will be hosting a special session with Dr. Hector A. Adames in collaboration with the Feminism and Family Science and Religion, Spirituality, and Family Sections. Dr. Adames will introduce and describe the psychology of the radical healing framework and invite participants to explore how radical healing can shift our collective thinking in research, theory, and praxis with families and communities of color. We hope that you can attend!