Who We Are

Our Foundation

The UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) was founded in 1966 by a small group of scientists who had a vision—to conduct research that would make a difference in children’s lives, support families, and inform public policy. Since its inception FPG has recognized that every child deserves a safe, healthy, and stimulating childhood; and our work has been dedicated to making this experience a reality for all children. For more than five decades, our research, evaluation, implementation, and technical assistance have shaped how the nation cares for and educates children.

FPG’s values are central to the work we do. And it is not by accident that our Institute is named in honor of one of the University’s most memorable presidents. Dr. Frank Porter Graham was one of the most renowned progressive Southerners of his time—a champion for public education, civil rights, and expanded freedoms for laborers and the poor. Just as he fought for social justice, we are committed to promoting equity and addressing systemic ills that disproportionately harm children of color.

Throughout our history, we have been committed to conducting high-quality, rigorous research and cultivating authentic, respectful relationships with our partners and the people and communities we study and serve. We welcome and appreciate diverse perspectives, promote inclusive policies and practices, and strive to build equitable service systems that meet the needs of all children and families, especially those who are most vulnerable and historically underserved.

Building a Coalition

Despite the national attention focused on addressing racial injustices—which are especially pressing for Black children and families—little improvement in Black children’s and other minoritized children’s health, well-being, and educational outcomes has been made in recent decades. As such, there is an urgent need for a consortium of experts who will use strengths-based data to shed light on the impact of historical and contemporary racism and inequities, and the differential impacts of programs, practices, and policies. Iheoma Iruka, PhD, aims to address this need through the Equity Research Action Coalition at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

Coalition Team

Iheoma Iruka

Founding Director

Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen, PhD

Project Director

Danay Camero

Administrative Support Specialist

Allison DeMarco

Advanced Research Scientist

Rachgel Kaplan

Rachel Kaplan, PhD

Research Specialist

Adis Liy

Research Coordinator

jenille morgan headshot photograph

Research Associate

Nakenge Robertson

Nakenge Robertson, MBA

Implementation Associate

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Milton Suggs

Data Scientist

Dharini Bathia

Dharini Bathia

Graduate Research Assistant

Claire Breen

Claire Breen

Graduate Research Assistant

Alexandra Forte

Alexandria Forte, MSW

Graduate Research Assistant

Alexandria Huber-Disla

Alexandria G. Huber-Disla

Graduate Research Assistant


Nathan Jorgensen

Graduate Research Assistant

Menna Mburi

Menna Mburi

Graduate Research Assistant

Khamiah Alderman

Khamiah Alderman

Student Assistant

Equity Research Coalition