Tyrone Howard Appointed as Inaugural Pritzker Family Chair in Education to Strengthen Children & Families

Founder of the Black Male Institute at UCLA is co-director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families.

UCLA Professor of Education Tyrone Howard has been appointed the Pritzker Family Chair in Education to Strengthen Families, effective as of July 1. This newly endowed chair was established with a gift from the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation in 2017 with the goal of supporting the work of a noted academic leader in the area of empowering youth and families, with extensive credentials in researching, publishing, and leading projects centered around the needs the community’s most challenged young people.

Howard, who is founding executive director of the Black Male Institute at UCLA, serves as director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families, with co-director Audra Langley, an associate professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and director of the UCLA TIES for Families program, serving as the other co-director.

The work of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families will be focused on young people who are disconnected from traditional pathways to educational and career success, with an emphasis on foster youth. Children often enter foster care as survivors of abuse, neglect or abandonment, physical or mental illness, addiction, incarceration, and/or death of their parents or caregivers. Many children spend years moving from foster home to group home to foster home, and from one school district to another. Their childhood is one of persistent stress and uncertainty, leaving the child at risk for significant emotional and psychological trauma. These children lack the family and community ties that are critical to children learning to make their own way in the world. Special efforts will be made by the UCLA Pritzker Center to strengthen families in order to prevent children from entering the foster system.

“Schools are the place where foster youth spend the majority of their days but these schools can do a better job of working in collaboration with providers, parents and county and community based services,” says Professor Howard.  “Educators and providers must integrate many disparate resources into a coherent path for each child. With so much at stake, few professionals have the ability to evaluate and deliver what children need. The coordination and accessibility of our systems and services must be more synergistic. The UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families aims to create a continuum of trauma-informed, culturally responsive, child welfare-competent, trans-disciplinary professional development for care providers and educators to address the complex needs of children and families.”

Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Wasserman Dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, says that Professor Howard’s leadership will ensure that “… UCLA is poised to bring the most up to date research to bear on the entire range of psycho-social, educational and structural factors shaping the opportunities and well being of our most disadvantaged youth.”

“I welcome Tyrone Howard’s appointment with gusto and with great expectations,” says Suárez-Orozco. “Los Angeles is home to the country’s largest population of foster youth. After the home, school is the most important institution shaping the lives of youth. Tyrone’s glowing scholarly corpus, his extraordinary interpersonal sensibilities and his ability to connect meaningfully and authentically with all youth, make him the ideal candidate for the inaugural Pritzker Family Chair in Education to Strengthen Families. The entire GSE&IS family joins me in congratulating Tyrone for this prestigious appointment.”

To learn more about the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families, visit this website.