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The National African American Child and Family Research Center (NAACFRC)
2024 Community-Engaged Research (CER) Conference:
CER Pathways to Equitable Programs and Policies

June 6, 2024 | 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM EDT 
Shirley Massey Executive Conference Center
Morehouse College
Atlanta, GA

The purpose of the NAACFRC CER Conference is to present a program that builds research capacity, specifically in community-engaged research, in African American communities. Community-engaged research is defined “not by the methods used, but the principles that guide the research and the relationships between researchers and the community.” This research may range from involving community members in an advisory capacity to community members as leads and/or equal partners in the research.

Within this conference we will showcase community-engaged research including innovative research approaches, stories of successful research collaborations, and lessons learned within the following program tracks:

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Head Start/Early Head Start
Childcare Assistance

Conference Topics

  • The Impacts of Guaranteed Income on Racial and Economic Justice
  • Learning in Isolation: Understanding Racial and Ethnic Segregation in Early Childhood Education
  • Safe First Steps: A Community-Based Approach to Supporting Families Exposed to Trauma and Violence
  • “We as a Country Should Provide”: The Impacts of Guaranteed Income on Racial and Economic Justice
  • Exploring the Experiences of Black, Low-Income Parent’s Access to Quality Early Childhood Education
  • Geography, Resources, and Outcomes: Unraveling Federal Early & Primary Care Disparities in the U.S.
  • Studying an Equity-Focused Universal Preschool Program: Lessons from a Research Partnership
  • (Re)Conceptualizing Current Measurements of Accessibility for Black Family & Children in ECE
  • Incorporating Lived Experience into Federal Research Practices
  • Emerging Scholar Showcase
  • Community Pilot Project Program Showcase
Latrice Rollins


Dr. Latrice Rollins, PhD, MSW
Director, NAACFRC

Keynote Speakers


Dr. William P. Jackson
Chief Dreamer
Village of Wisdom


Charli Cooksey
Founder & CEO
WE Power St. Louis


Amanda Coleman, PhD, MA
Deputy Division Director, Division of Children and Family Development, OPRE


Stephanie Currenton, PhD
Executive Director, Center on the Ecology of Early Development

Guest Speakers

Darrell Armstrong, DDiv-hc, MDiv, EdS, Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church; Founder, Faith-leaders Allied and Aligned to Institute Trust in the Home (FAAITH)

Leslee Barnes, Director, Preschool and Early Learning Division, Multnomah County

Ebonee Bell, Member, Multnomah Idea Lab

Keon N. Berry, PhD, Scholar-Practitioner

Cassandra Bolar, PhD, Co-Investigator, NAACFRC

Briana Bostic, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Baltimore Education Research Consortium

Alex Camardelle, PhD, MPA, Co-Investigator, TANF/Economic Mobility, NAACFRC

Breanna Chachere, MPH, 2022 Emerging Scholar, NAACFRC; Medical Student, Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine, University of Houston

Amanda Coleman, PhD, MA, Deputy Division Director, Division of Children and Family Development, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation/ACF/HHS

Jerry Corley, Member, Community Advisory Board

Stephanie M. Curenton, PhD, Executive Director, Center on the Ecology of Early Development, Boston University

Tiffany Cuthbert, M.Ed, MNM, Founder, Executive Director, Pillars Initiative, NAACFRC Community Pilot Project Program

Jennifer Daniels, PhD, MSW, National Poverty Fellow, Institute for Research on Poverty, OPRE/ACF/HHS

Desha Elliott, MS, Founder, Professional Doctoral Network

Parthenia Fields, Member, Community Advisory Board

Avis Files, Director, Family and Supportive Services, Pathway Toledo

Ife Floyd, MPP, Director of Economic Justice, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

Shedrick Garrett, MA, 2023 Emerging Scholar, NAACFRC

Dr. Lynda Gibson, PhD, Program Director, Safe First Steps Program

Parker Gilkesson, MPP, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Leah Hamilton, MSW, PhD, Principal Investigator of the Family Economic Policy Lab, Appalachian State University

Alycia Hardy, MPA, Senior Policy Analyst, Child Care and Early Education, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Kissie Hunt, Coastal Plain Area EOA, Inc. 

Fatoumata “Fatima” Kane, Program Analyst, Youth Power, Parent Power Initiative, Center for the Study of Social Policy

Rick Kittles, PhD, Senior Vice President of Research, Morehouse School of Medicine

Ericka Lewis, Pillars Initiative, NAACFRC Community Pilot Project Program

Anthony Lizarraga, MS, 2023 Emerging Scholar, NAACFRC

Robert Mayberry, PhD, Co-Lead, Capacity-Building, NAACFRC

Marla McDaniel PhD, Senior Fellow, Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, Urban Institute

Patrick McFarlane, Government Relations Manager, Child Care Resource Center

Brian McGregor, PhD, Co-Investigator, Criminal Justice & Health, NAACFRC

Jordan Murphy, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, Executive Director, Girassol Wellness, NAACFRC Community Pilot Project Program 

Aaron Quick, MSW, PhD Program, Policy, Planning, Administration and Social Science, Clark Atlanta University

Bridget Ratajczak, MA, Child and Family Development Supervisor, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning

Megan Reid, PhD, Social Science Research Analyst, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation/ACF/HHS

Leah Awkward-Rich, PhD Candidate, Project Assistant, Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Amber B. Sansbury-Scott, M.Ed., 2023 Emerging Scholar, NAACFRC

Christian Slacks, Coastal Plain Area EOA, Inc. 

Anthony D. Smith II (Aremu Mbande), MS, 2023 Emerging Scholar, NAACFRC

Nina Smith, PhD, Co-Investigator, NAACFRC

Simone Smith, MSW, LMSW, Founder, Sexual Trauma and Assault Resources Inc. (S.T.A.R. Inc.)

Allison Stephens, PhD, M.Ed., Director, Networks and Policy, HOPE National Resource Center

Tanya Thomas, PhD, Executive/Head Start Director, Coastal Plain Area EOA, Inc.

Rodney Washington, PhD, Co-Investigator, Early Care and Education, NAACFRC

Ashley Watts, MPA, Practitioner-Scholar

All general and breakout sessions will be experienced
in-person and also broadcasted live through zoom.

Benefits of Attending

  • Build your professional network
  • Share timely, relevant research with a diverse audience
  • Share knowledge and experiences
  • Ideation
  • Build Collaborative Partnerships


Are you traveling to Atlanta for NAACFRC’s Annual Community-Engaged Research Conference?
Here is what you need to know:

Conference Location

Shirley Massey Executive Conference Center Morehouse College

830 Westview Dr. SW
Atlanta, GA 30314

Conference Hotel

Embassy Suites Centennial Atlanta

267 Marietta St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30313


Where Should I Park?

Complimentary parking is available across the street in the Morehouse School of Medicine Parking Deck

436 Lee Street SW
Atlanta, GA 30310

kente strip


National African American Child and Family Research Center

720 Westview Drive SW 
Atlanta, Georgia 30310
Contact email:

This project is supported by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award (Grant #: 90PH0031-01-00) totaling $1.8 million with 100 percent funded by ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACF/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit the ACF website, Administrative and National Policy Requirements.

© Copyright National African American Child and Family Research Center 2024. All rights reserved.