Howard C. Stevenson named 2020 Gittler Prize recipient

Howard Stevenson

Howard C. Stevenson

Howard C. Stevenson, a nationally recognized clinical psychologist and researcher of racial stress and trauma, has been named the winner of the 2020 Gittler Prize by Brandeis University.

“Not only has Howard Stevenson brought a better understanding of the detrimental effects caused by racial stress and trauma through his scholarship, he actively leads the way in improving the lives of people affected by these issues,” Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz said. “I look forward to welcoming him to campus to engage with our community, and presenting him with the Gittler Prize.”

Stevenson will visit Brandeis for a residency from Nov. 17 to 19, 2021. His residency will include an award ceremony and public lecture on Nov. 18. Stevenson was originally scheduled to visit Brandeis in November of 2020, but the residency was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize was created in 2007 by the late Professor Joseph B. Gittler to recognize outstanding and lasting scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic and/or religious relations. The annual award includes a $25,000 prize and a medal.

Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, where he serves as executive director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative and directs Forward Promise, a national philanthropic office that promotes a culture of health for boys and young men of color, to help them heal from the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination and colonization.

Stevenson has led two mental health research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health to examine the benefits of racial literacy. The PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth) Project uses basketball and racial socialization to help youth and parents cope with stress from violence and social rejection. The SHAPE-UP: Barbers Building Better Brothers Project trains Black barbers to teach young Black men ways to reduce risk of HIV/STDs and retaliation violence. He is the author of the bestselling book “Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences That Make a Difference,” which offers solutions to reduce racial threat reactions in face-to-face encounters.

Past winners of the Gittler Prize include John Paul Lederach, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Martha Minow, Gustavo Gutiérrez and Patricia Hill Collins '69, PhD '84. The prize is administered by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life on behalf of the Office of the President of Brandeis University.

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