Research Organizations Announce Joint Commitment to Advancing Scholarly Study of Racism

For Immediate Release
September 18, 2020

Tony Pals,
(202) 238-3235

Jen Brydges,
(608) 310-1353

Jill Braunstein,
(202) 800-0667 

Research Organizations Announce Joint Commitment to Advancing Scholarly Study of Racism

Washington, September 18, 2020—The American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Society of Research on Adolescence (SRA), and the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) have announced that they are jointly committing to advancing scholarly inquiry related to racism and its impact on education- and youth development-related settings, processes, and outcomes, and promoting the use and dissemination of this research and its practical application to serve the public good. 

To this end, peer-reviewed journals of AERA (AERA Open and Education Researcher), SRA (the Journal of Research on Adolescence), and SRCD (Child Development) plan to publish special sections and issues in 2021 focused on innovative and high impact developmental scholarship that pertains to racial diversity, equity, and inclusion.

AERA Open, an open access journal, will publish a special section focused on the sources, conceptualizations, and mechanisms of racism and oppression as they impact education-related outcomes and wellbeing. Capitalizing on AERA’s commitment to open science practices, this special section will promote access to data, research instruments, and protocols that facilitate and, indeed, stimulate the replication and extension of research findings in new research. 

Educational Researcher will publish a special issue addressing anti-Black racism in education. The issue will explicitly confront anti-Blackness in education research, policy, and practice; explore the potential of education for Black liberation; and examine the influences of anti-Black racism and/or efforts to counter anti-Black structures, practices, and beliefs, from a wide range of conceptual approaches and methodologies. Educational Researcher is available open access through the AERA website, and this special issue also will be widely accessible to all.

The Journal of Research on Adolescence will publish a series of special issues/sections that emphasize the role of racism and systems of oppression that impact Black youth and other youth of color; examine how Whiteness is learned and confronted; and investigate adolescents’ resistance of racism and other forms of oppression. 

Child Development's special section will highlight innovative and high impact research that investigates the roles of socialization, contexts, and policies in the development of anti-racism in youth, including scholarship that examines the development of anti-racist attitudes, ideological perspectives and behaviors within and across contexts with attention to developmental stage. 

“We are excited to be engaged with our peer associations and our teams of editors to advance rigorous study of the impact of systemic racism on education, development, and learning processes and outcomes,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “Our collective efforts will generate evidence and data crucial to better understanding and countering the epidemic of systemic racism. The time could not be more ripe.”

“A problem as enormous and deeply entrenched as racism requires bold, multidimensional, and sustained collaboration,” said AERA President Shaun Harper. “This coalition poises us to do more with what we know as our organizations individually and collectively aim to dismantle racism in all its forms.”

“Collaborating with our peer associations is further confirmation of SRA’s commitment to promoting anti-racism,” said SRA Executive Director Jen Brydges. “We view this as an opportunity to seize the moment to explicitly examine adolescent development and adjustment through the lens of social justice and equity.”

SRA President Velma Murray added, “Using research as a vehicle to ride through untraveled paths—posing new questions about adolescent development, including questions about the process of socialization Whiteness and its implication for adolescent development—will allow us to refine and update theoretical frameworks to inform and guide research to document the implications of adolescents’ resistance of oppression and anti-racist civic engagement on developmental processes.” 

“SRCD is grateful to Glenn Roisman, editor of Child Development, and the other journal editors who are spearheading these critical special issues,” said SRCD Interim Executive Director Martha Zaslow, “Together the special issues will build the evidence base for the crucial endeavors of raising and educating children not only devoid of racism but able to stand up against it.” 

“SRCD is delighted to collaborate with AERA and SRA in these special issues. We must do more to bring our science to bear on solving the problem of racism," said SRCD President Ken Dodge. "Hopefully, this joint endeavor is a start that will not only communicate the important research that has been going on but will also inspire much more work over the coming years.”

In the coming weeks, each journal will formally announce its Call for Papers. The three associations also anticipate coordination on the communication and dissemination of this new work. 


About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.

About SRA
As a community of researchers, the goals of the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) are to advance understanding of adolescence and enhance the wellbeing of youth in a globalized world. We promote high-quality research that considers the biological, psychological, and sociocultural aspects of development in context. We aim to lead and shape scientific and public discourse on youth and adolescence, and to guide parenting, schooling, programs, and policies. In order to achieve these goals, we foster the professional development and growth of all members, and are relevant, visible, diverse, and global in perspective.

About SRCD
The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) advances developmental science and promotes its use to improve human lives.