Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Families Help Everyone Achieve their Fullest Potential
September 2021
The Time of Return and Re-Imagining

How did we wake up to find it is September?! The very busy spring rolled into a summer of reconnection then jumped into August and the reve up to a new semester. The JIF team was able to hold a masked, socially distanced but in person planning retreat and the year ahead is going to be great! We have lots to share so keep an eye out for our October newsletter. In the meantime, we wanted to catch you up, welcome our new students, and get some September dates on your calendar. In addition to the dates below, we will be co-hosting a webinar in September focusing on Reproductive Justice and are honored to be a co-sponsor of the September 20th webinar on Healing Racial Wounds: Dismantling Anti-Blackness in Social Work Education and Clinical Practice. Click here to keep up with all of the SSW and JIF events! We do want to hear from you! If there is programming or work you'd like us to do, please email Sarah!
The Jordan Institute for Families receives the University of NC at Chapel Hill's Diversity and Inclusion Award for Intergroup Collaboration. eadi
There is truly no other award we could have been more honored to receive. Watch our acceptance video here. The work doesn't end with this award - our work has only just begun. We are committed to being academic activists. We will speak up for racial equity and social justice and generate evidence about how to eliminate disparities most effectively. We will speak truth to those who seek to maintain unjust systems. We will use endowment funds to build a more diverse team to inform and lead our work. We will prioritize projects that center racial equity and approaches that fully engage the people of focus. We will look to critical race theory and cultural humility to guide our work. We are committed to the ongoing and hard work of becoming an anti-racist Institute.
Yvette Thompson joins the team!
Yvette Thompson joined our team this past February and we already know we can't function without her! Yvette has over 20 years of experience in administration and financial accounting. Yvette has been in permanent and temporary roles with the University over the years. Her skills include Connect Carolina, Office Technology and Management, Information/Records Administration, Communication Skills, Problem Solving, Program Knowledge, Customer Service, and Teamwork. Yvette has been married for 33 years to another Tarheel. She has one adult son and two grand boys. Her downtime activities are traveling (when she could do that type of thing). 
Todd and Maggie Jensen Welcome Baby Charlie!
Welcome baby Charlie! Todd and Maggie made it through the 4th Trimester and are rocking parenthood. In addition to his new role as Charlie's dad, Todd Jensen was invited to serve as a moderator for the keynote symposium of the 2021 Theory Construction and Research Methodology Workshop, hosted by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). The symposium will focus on the integration of diversity into family theory and research and will take place virtually in November 2021.

Todd also continues to serve as co-Chair of the Diverse Family Structures focus group, which now consists of 100 researchers and practitioners from across the country and world who are interested in understanding, supporting, and empowering families that experience transitions in structure or are otherwise understudied.
Check out our latest blog post by Clare Wongwai titled Raising Anti-racist Children: Picture Books that Help.

Clare Wongwai was a 2021 Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (MURAP) scholar at UNC and is a senior at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. Clare's interests in child development and parenting styles are informed by her experiences as an Asian American woman and perspectives gained by engaging in the topics of racial and ethnic disparities and intersectionality. For MURAP, this summer, under the guidance of Dr. Allison De Marco, Wongwai investigated how bestselling children’s picture books initiate topics of racial inclusion, approach racial and ethnic socialization, and affirm identity. Their project seeks to compare book content and messages to highlight the ways children are, or are not, introduced to topics of race early on.
New Research Starting this Fall!

Researchers with JIF, led by Paul Lanier and doctoral student Quinton Smith, are partnering with Wake County Smart Start to pilot a study on exclusionary discipline in preschools. The study is specifically focused on the experience of Black families, as Black children are more likely to be suspended or expelled from preschool classrooms. The study will start this fall and will collect survey data and parent interviews in five NC counties.
September 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge Launched!

Please join us for our third 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. For 21 days, we invite you to do one action daily to deepen your understanding of power, privilege, oppression, and racial equity. Being committed to anti-racism work is about deep self-reflection, learning new things, and building new habits. Setting our intentions and adjusting what we spend our time doing is essential. The plan for the 21-Day Challenge is to provide our community with a daily, curated set of readings/podcasts/videos via email to deepen our understanding of racism and white supremacy and build our community together. Participation is open to anyone.
There is no cost to participate. Feel free to share with your friends and colleagues.

Register here until September 6th. Missed the September challenge? Join us on October 1st for our next round. Email Kennedy at to be put on the next session list!
Coming Later this Fall!

We will be launching our first ever Community of Practice for Social Work Leaders in Family Serving Agencies. Stay tuned for details! We also have an exciting series on families that we will kick off in November!
New Books on the Shelves!

Paul Lanier and Sarah Verbiest were both excited to be co-editors on books that were published this summer! Paul co-edited Social Policy for Children & Families, A Risk and Resilience Perspective along with Will Hall, Jeffrey Jenson and Mark Fraser. Sarah co-edited the Maternal and Child Health Textbook along with Dr. Russ Kirby. Editing books is a major team endeavor with many chapter authors. We are happy to have helped bring this work into the world!
Welcome Students & Interns!

We are thrilled to introduce you to some of the wonderful people who will be working with our team this coming academic year. Kennedy Bridges (pictured above) is a first year MSW/MPH student who is new to the team. She is a trained full spectrum doula and a reproductive justice advocate. Her extensive community work includes lactation support, violence prevention, harm reduction, peer education, and counseling. Currently, she works with the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC) as a Birth Equity Program Associate on the Technical Assistance and Business Development team. Nkechi Charles (pictured below) is returning to the team to support the 4th Trimester Project. She is a fourth year doctoral student in the MCH Department at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. We are happy to welcome Sierra White, Katie Visconti, and Sofia Doerfer who join us as research assistants. We will share more about them as well as doctoral student Quinton Smith in our next issue.
Mark Your Calendars: September Events!
Co-sponsored by the Jordan Institute for Families!
The R3 Series is BACK! Join us for the first R3 event of the fall semester as UNC scholars present their research on the many forms of environmental racism – from higher rates of pollution and stormwater issues in BIPOC communities to racist planning policies that lead to gentrification and displacement, and white supremacist investments in automotive-centric transportation systems. September 9, 1:30 pm. For more details and to register, visit:
Webinar – Equitable Implementation In Action

This event on September 30th from 11am to 1pm EST will shine a light on equitable implementation. Participants will be able to engage more deeply with the authors and articles highlighted in the Stanford Social Innovation Review supplementBringing Equity to Implementation, that was released in May 2021. Free registration is available HERE! Click here to learn more about the event, the speakers and breakout sessions.
If you haven't listened to the Reede scholars Live podcast series on equity, please give it a try! Sarah Verbiest had the chance to talk with Dr. Mary Fleming about Health Equity, Maternal Health and Public Health on July 22nd. Click here to access links to the podcast on many different free platforms!
Building on the Jordan legacy, we leverage evidence, policy, collaboration, innovation, and the wisdom of communities to work together to create the conditions where ALL families can thrive.