To kick off our series of conversations on PYD & Social Justice, we were graced with a virtual visit from Dr. Oscar Barbarin, from the University of Maryland. Joined by Eliot-Pearson students, past and present, as well as several of our research assistant professors, Dr. Barbarin’s conversation was thought provoking, engaging, and so very interesting many of us could have continued listening to him speak well beyond the hour we had with him. For a recording of this conversation, please email Lori Campbell.
Professor Barbarin spoke with hope and understanding about the lives of boys of color in our nation and the ways in which we can think and act collectively, with increased understanding and intention, to support their healthy development. His talk was as much about good science as it was a vision into what can and should be.
Elizabeth Dowling, Ph.D.
It was interesting and encouraging to hear how Dr. Barbarin’s thinking about the positive development of boys of color has shifted throughout his many years in the field. His commentary instilled hope that change is possible, but it also served as a reminder of how much work there is still to do.
It was a pleasure to hear Dr. Barbarin share his experience with and insights on PYD & Social Justice. I particularly enjoyed his concrete examples on how communities may be able to promote PYD. For instance, Dr. Barbarin shared that by providing youth from low-income families with opportunities to work and earn, they can build a sense of purpose, learn valuable skills, and, hopefully, break the cycle of poverty. From the conversation, it is apparent that pairing PYD and social justice does not need to be complicated, but does require us to be creative and committed to the effort.