Research and Sponsored Programs - 2018

  • Family Approaches to Race and Inequality Event Flier

Provost's Colloquium

Research and Sponsored Programs, with support from the Jerome Richfield Memorial Fund, organizes each year an event that celebrates a CSUN faculty member engaged in high quality, high-impact research, where they are named as the Richfield Memorial Fellow. The Fellow presents a lecture at the Provost’s Colloquium Series, which is designed to highlight and celebrate the scholarly achievements of our faculty, and to provide an opportunity for socialization among faculty, administrators, students, and staff.

We are happy to announce that this year’s 2021 Jerome Richfield Memorial Fellow is Dr. Virginia Huynh from the department of Child and Adolescent Development.

A reception to honor Dr. Huynh is scheduled for Monday, April 5th at 3 p.m. Please RSVP here


Presentation abstract:

Family Approaches to Race and Inequality

White people benefit from the racial status quo, but for decades, parents of White children have been silent about race. Now in 2020, racism is at the top of America’s agenda and White parents are hungry for guidance on how to address racial equity. Understanding how White parents convey the norms, values, and customs regarding ethnicity and race to their children—a practice called ethnic-racial socialization (ERS)—is an important step towards racial justice.

My presentation will focus on the ERS goals and practices of a select group of White parents who are interested in racial equity. In 2018, my colleague and I interviewed 50 Minnesotan parents and children about their thoughts about race and parents’ ERS practices. In the wake of this post-George Floyd racial reckoning, we are currently interviewing these families again to determine if there are changes in ERS.

First, my presentation will focus on the finding that some White parents have goals that move beyond kindness and diversity to delve into issues of equity and justice in order to support children in their own anti-racist journey. Next, I will discuss actual practices of White parents. Regardless of goals, parents teach children through specific actions such as modelling, discussions, and explicit statements. Given that many White parents believe that their children are racially naïve or are not sure how to discuss race in a “developmentally appropriate” way, parents’ practices may not always align with their goals. I will present examples of parental ERS practices that map onto children’s racial attitudes and awareness of White privilege. Finally, I will discuss to what extent parent’s ERS goals have changed over the course of 2 years and how these findings can inform the efforts of educators and policy makers committed to racial justice and equity.