Equity matters.  Our work makes equity possible.

We believe that every child regardless of their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language, immigration status, and ability, can thrive and be excellent.

Did You Know…

Our Goals

Together, we can conduct research that informs practices and policies aimed at protecting, promoting, and preserving the health, economic security, and cultural excellence of Black and other minoritized children and their families. We do this by:


Conducting research that informs practices and policies focused on protecting Black and other minoritized children and their families by positively affecting income and education levels, supporting safe and stable communities with ready access to food and housing, and much, much more.


Conducting research that informs practices and policies that support access to high-quality early learning experiences for Black and other minoritized infants and toddlers.


Conducting research that recognizes, respects, and preserves the richness of languages spoken, cultural wealth, and traditions that can be capitalized upon or leveraged to ensure strong outcomes for Black and other minoritized children.

What We Do

Early Childhood Research
and Evaluation

We examine the holistic experiences of Black children and other children of color, prenatally through adolescence, and their families.

Equitable Early Childhood Policies

We develop actionable policies and practices to eradicate the impact of racism and poverty and all its consequences on the lives of Black children and other children of color and their families and communities. 

Mentoring and

We support the development of diverse emerging scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and leaders interested in strengthening Black and other minoritized children’s early years. 

News & Events

Professor Iheoma Iruka Wins American Psychological Association’s 2022 Mid-Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth and Families

The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in science, policy, and practice that benefit the psychological functioning or well-being of children, youth, and families. Professor Iruka is thrilled and honored to have been selected.

The truth about children’s resilience

Children’s resilience — their ability to thrive in the midst and aftermath of a crisis — depends on who they are, what their lives were like before, and how the adults around them (including parents, other family members, and caregivers) respond.

Working Towards More Equitable Early Childhood Assessments: A Conversation with Dr. Iheoma Iruka

For more than two years now, hundreds of thousands of young children have lived during a global pandemic, experiencing significant disruptions to their early learning. Children from racially and socioeconomically marginalized groups have been disproportionately affected.

Dual Impact of COVID-19 and Systematic Racism and Inequity on Children’s Developmental Trajectories in the Early Years: Interdisciplinary Conversations and Creation of a Research-Policy Agenda for Children in Migrant Families, Child Welfare, Tribal Communities, and with Incarcerated Parents

This event will include presenters speaking on the topics of migrant families, child welfare, and children with incarcerated parents. This workshop is sponsored by the Carolina Seminar Series.

Community Newsletter: Autism training for Black parents, Google’s built-in gender bias

This week’s newsletter is a tale of two tweets, one marking important progress and the other a lack thereof.

Book Babies Randomized Control Study 2021 Final Report: Executive Summary

In March 2019 Book Harvest engaged HighScope Educational Research Foundation to conduct a longitudinal Randomized Control Trial (RCT) evaluation of Book Babies. The goal of this two­-site longitudinal study was to examine the impact of the five-year Book Babies intervention on parents’ reading practices, children’s literacy and language skills, and kindergarten readiness.

Iheoma U. Iruka

Iheoma U. Iruka is a research professor in the Department of Public Policy within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and founding director of the Equity Research Action Coalition within the FPG Child Development Institute. She studies how to promote the health, wealth, and educational excellence of minoritized children and children from low-income households.

The Danger of White Privilege in Schools

Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph.D., is a research professor of public policy and the founding director of the Equity Research Action Coalition at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iruka leads nationwide studies and initiatives to protect, promote and preserve the health, wealth, culture and education of Black children and their communities.

Childhood development researchers call for “anti-racist scientific method

Two University of Noth Carolina Chapel Hill education professors are advocating for an “anti-racist scientific method”.

Black Babies Awerness Month campain shines a spotlight on the health and wellbeing of Black children

Black Babies Awareness Month, a campaign to promote and center the needs of Black infants and toddlers, is well underway and driving much-needed public awareness as the holiday season fast approaches. The initiative is timed to coincide with the earlier release of the first-ever Black Child National Agenda.

Equity Research Action Coalition welcomes new staff

The UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute’s Equity Research Action Coalition recently added two new members to its team: Managing Director Sharron Hunter-Rainey, Ph.D., and Data Scientist Milton Suggs. The Coalition addresses a need for a collaboration of experts who will use strengths-based data to shed light on the impact of historical and contemporary racism and inequities.

FPG hosts 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge to encourage meaningful change

The UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute recently co-hosted a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge to allow members of its community to not only deepen their understanding of racism and white supremacy but also to join together in mutual efforts to build a more equitable world.

Iheoma Iruka Strives to Make Racial Equity ‘the Air We Breathe’ at FPG

Iheoma Iruka, Ph.D., an applied developmental psychologist and former associate director for research at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, has returned to the Institute in a new role as the Program Director for Racial Equity.

Equity Research Coalition