The Department of Childhood Studies will host the conference “Centering Black Childhoods: Engaging Voices and Collaborative Conversations,” on Wednesday, October 4, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., in the Campus Center’s Multi-Purpose Room. Registration is required for this event. 

This two-part event is organized by the Department of Childhood Studies with support from the Mellon Foundation as part of a broader initiative that seeks to challenge the whiteness of childhood studies and provide institutional support for racial justice work in the field. In launching this initiative, we seek to foster connections among critically engaged scholars, practitioners, activists, and young people in the Camden and Philadelphia region who are centering Black childhoods in their work.  

Event Details

The event will unfold in two parts. Part 1 will feature a panel of researchers, activists, and young people engaged in participatory, community-based storytelling projects centering youth perspectives. Attendees will hear from members of the University Community Collaborative at Temple University, including the social justice media team of POPPYN (Presenting Our Perspectives on Philly Youth News). With this panel, we seek to highlight POPPYN’s work bridging scholarship, community, and activism through youth media, and to reflect upon the goals, challenges and generative possibilities of doing this work. Immediately following this panel, the second part of the event will feature a networking reception, where we will serve a hot meal and offer opportunities for youth, scholars, community organizations, community members, and students to connect, collaborate, and share how they are centering Black children and childhoods in their work. While seeking to foster connections among scholars, practitioners, and young people within the Camden and Philadelphia region, we welcome global and transnational perspectives on these issues.

The Centering Black Childhoods speakers’ series uplifts scholarship, art, and activism with Black children. We value the contributions Black children make to how we know and theorize our everyday worlds. We center Black children’s ways of knowing, playing, dreaming, and loving, in order to create new, more just futures in the present.  This Speakers’ Series involves translating and lifting Black children’s complex realities and ways of knowing to wider consciousness, while simultaneously working with youth and communities to sculpt critical strategies for freedom and liberation. We engage in this Speakers’ Series hand-in-hand with activists, artists, practitioners and young people who work to alleviate contexts that harm Black children while envisioning and creating caring community. We envision each of these gatherings as building community and launching ongoing working groups in racial justice scholarship and praxis.