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CSUF Sociologist Leads Research Empowering Black Foster Youth

Assistant Professor of Sociology Brianna Harvey will gather insight from Black foster youth to identify equitable educational practices
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Brianna Harvey, assistant professor of sociology at Cal State Fullerton, is leading research that documents the challenges Black foster youth face within the K-12 school system to help create a more supportive learning environment.

The study, “Challenging Anti-Blackness in Education: Amplifying the Voices of Black Foster Youth Students Through Counter-Storytelling,” explores how school policies and practices contribute to the marginalization of Black foster youth students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It also seeks to determine which supportive factors have helped the educational experiences of Black foster youth and which strategies can create more inclusive and equitable educational policies and practices.

A $34,341 grant from Transition-Age Youth Research and Evaluation Hub — a research collaborative housed within the California Child Welfare Indicators Project at UC Berkeley — supports the study. Harvey’s work began in August 2023. She will begin collecting data in April and conclude her study later this year.

The research will rely on tools and practices like focus groups, semi-structured interviews and art-based methods to center the experiences of Black foster youth currently enrolled in a four-year public university.