( ENSPIRE She Did That ) RISER Network Advocates for Relief for Black Families and Communities
ENSPIRE Contributor: LaShonda Thompson
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Boston University shined a rare spotlight on the compounded factors that contributed to the widespread devastation and racial trauma experienced by Black families during the pandemic in honor of the first official Juneteenth national holiday. The Researchers Investigating Sociocultural Equity and Race Network (RISER), which is dedicated to child development and racial justice issues, recently released the report “BLACK PARENT VOICES: Resilience in the Face of the Two Pandemics—COVID-19 and Racism.”
The groundbreaking study examines the historical and contemporary inequities. Black families and communities have experienced this in their daily lives. It also provides a comprehensive analysis of how the pandemic affects Black families’ experiences with racism and discrimination, financial security, mental health, wellbeing, early care, and education options.
The RISER Network advocates for a comprehensive approach to policy development and relief for Black families and communities that have been disproportionately affected by police violence, the global coronavirus pandemic, and the economic downturn. In addition, racism is an environmental construct that drives health and education inequities among children ages zero to eight.
“Through this research, we hope to shift mindsets about Black families’ survival and resilience amid the pandemic, despite the systems of inequities that are working against them,” said RISER Network Co-founder Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph.D. “It’s important to understand that whatever happens with Black families is also happening with all families, thus creating the impetus for a unified push for inclusive, anti-racist policies that will improve lives.”
“Black family’s voices and lives matter, and the stories that were brought to light in this report clearly illustrate the collective trauma and suffering they’re enduring during the current health and economic crisis,” RISER Network Co-Founder Stephanie M. Curenton, Ph.D. said. “This study will be part of a larger continuum of high-quality, scientific data around Black families that addresses the structural issues they’ve faced before and during the pandemic.”
The RISER Network’s full report explores the quality of life, racial trauma, and socio-economic issues in greater detail. It includes action items and first-hand accounts from Black families. The report surveyed Black parents weekly from May to December 2020 and included data from the RAPID-EC project at the University of Oregon.
The report can be downloaded in its entirety using the link as follows from the RISER Network’s website.
About the RISER Network
The Researchers Investigating Sociocultural Equity and Race Network (RISER) is a collaboration between senior, mid-level, and junior scholars working together to conduct applied child development research focused on the positive development of Black children, committed to publishing research for policymakers to help dismantle education and health disparities. In addition, the network is dedicated to promoting the academic success of children to ensure that they thrive in educational and home environments. For more information about the RISER Network, please visit the company’s website at https://www.bu-ceed.org/riser-network, and follow the RISER Network on Twitter (@CeedBU).