African Americans
Biracial, Multiracial Identity
Faculty/Staff Development
Human Rights
Internalized Oppression
Mental Health
Prisons/Prison Industrial Complex/Police
Racism/Racial Justice
U.S. History
Violence Against Women
Violence-Prevention, Conflict Resolution
Youth/Student Activism

Stacey Patton, PhD, is an award-winning author and journalist who writes about race, politics, popular culture, child welfare issues, diversity in media ,and higher education. Through her workshops, keynote addresses, and multi-media presentations, Dr. Patton blends the power of her personal narrative with her expert knowledge of the history of American race relations.

Patton teaches journalism at Howard University in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications and is a research associate at the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University.

As an adoptee, child abuse survivor, and former foster youth, Patton is a nationally-recognized child advocate whose research focuses on the intersections of race and childhood. She is the author of That Mean Old Yesterday - A Memoir (Simon and Schuster), Spare the Kids: Why Whupping Children Won't Save Black America (Beacon Press), and the forthcoming book, Strung Up: The Lynching of Black Children and Teenagers in America, 1880-1968 (Beacon Press).

Patton's writings have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, Al Jazeera, BBC News, DAME Magazine and She has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CBS, Al Jazeera, The Tavis Smiley Show, Here and Now, and Democracy Now.  

She has received reporting awards from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Scripps Howard Foundation, New York Women in Communications, National (and New York) Association of Black Journalists, The Education Writer's Association, and she is the 2015 recipient of the Vernon Jarrett Medal for Excellence in reporting on American race relations.  The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children also bestowed her with the Outstanding Service and Advancement of Cultural Competency in Child Maltreatment Prevention and Intervention Award.


“Dr. Patton's talk was based on historically grounded research yet it was clear and accessible to all audiences. My students left the room thinking it was eye-opening. In the words of some of the attendees, the talk was powerful, amazing, and inspiring. Dr. Patton was also approachable and caring with our students and community members.”
– Dr. Sandra Mendiola Garcia, Assistant Professor of History, University of North Texas

“I highly recommend Stacey Patton as a speaker. She is a very exciting and engaging academic who sheds light on important issues that people are unaware of, including myself. I plan on inviting her to speak at future events I’m planning and I strongly recommend that you do the same.”
— Dr. Bertin M. Louis, Jr., Associate Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies, Vice Chair, Africana Studies Program, University of Tennessee

“Dr. Stacey an unapologetic advocate for the most vulnerable members of African American communities. Principled in her approach, not only does she challenge white supremacy but also the ways in which African Americans have been complicit in our own oppression. She is a truth seeker and a truth teller. Stacey Patton has the voice and vision that we desperately need.”
— Adisa A. Alkebulan, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Africana Studies, San Diego State University

“Dr. Stacey Patton served as the keynote speaker for the National Association of Peace Education 19th Annual Conference at Dillard University on March 8, 2018…She did an outstanding job discussing alternatives to physical punishment of children and to educate parents about the harms to children's physical, intellectual, and psychological development.
— Dr. Raymond Delaney, Professor of Criminal Justice, Dillard University

“Dr. Patton’s workshop…was impactful, engaging and insightful. Many pediatricians commented that it was one of the best educational activities that they had attended. Dr. Patton has also delivered trainings on race and corporal punishment, the school and foster care-to-prison pipelines, and Adverse Childhood Experiences before packed audiences at a number of community events here in New Orleans. She was also well received by my public health and social work students at Tulane University who she trained to combine digital journalism techniques with public health campaigns around Adverse Childhood Experiences.
— Stacie Schrieffer LeBlanc, M.Ed., J.D., Director of New Orleans Children's Advocacy Center & Audrey Hepburn CARE Center, Children's Hospital

“The Learning Community on Poverty and Inequality at the University of Michigan School of Social Work invited Dr. Stacey Patton to examine the ways in which corporal punishment is discussed and regarded in Black families and communities…The event benefitted the social work community at the University by introducing history, culture, and research associated with corporal punishment in Black families and communities, as well as facilitating discussions around the role of professionals, parents, and communities to promote more positive disciplinary and parenting methods.
— Joyce Y. Lee, LSW, LLMSW, Parenting in Context Research Laboratory, Child Development and Family Relationships Laboratory, University of Michigan

“Attendees are still buzzing about how much they enjoyed Dr. Stacey Patton. She was most impressive in stature and compelling in presentation.”
— Jacqueline Ross Brown First Shiloh Baptist Church, Buffalo, New York

“Dr. Patton brings a rare perspective, thought-provoking; yet so powerful. She is dynamic in her presentation and engaging with her audience. Her courage and talent shine through. Words which come to mind to describe Dr. Patton include inspirational, bold and creative.”
— Maria Paradiso Social Worker, State of New Jersey

Safe to Learn: Trauma-Informed Pedagogy for College Faculty
Research has shown that by the time they reach college, 66 to 85 percent of youth report lifetime traumatic event exposure, with many reporting multiple exposures. This workshop is designed to teach faculty how to recognize trauma in college learners, understand how trauma affects learning and development, how to create safe learning spaces and pedagogy that helps students use their bodies as resources for effective learning, and learn strategies for trauma-informed teaching across disciplines.  Attendees will be provided with practical advice on how to reduce the impact of triggers, how to promote attachment-driven behavioral interventions, and how to be a safe mirror for students without turning into a therapist.  Additionally, educators will discuss the importance of self-care, develop an awareness of how your own body’s sensory reactions to students, and how to avoid retraumatization, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue.
The Lynching of Black Children and Teenagers in America, 1880 to the Present
America's unsavory history of violence against Black children emerged from chattel slavery and has informed contemporary patterns of mistreating Black youth in medicine, education, juvenile justice, social work, and parental punishment. Drawing on her child advocacy work and research, Dr. Patton discusses the criminalization, sexualization, denial of innocence, and lynching of Black youth during Jim Crow through present-day mistreatment, including state-sanctioned police killings. She takes the audience through the racialization process of Black children, which begins in the womb, then at the moment of birth, through infancy, adolescence, and then the destruction of black children by puberty. She argues that killing Black children is necessary to maintain white supremacy in the United States. This reality, in turn, informs so much of the fear in Black parenting, which manifests itself in the physical punishment of Black children through “whupping.” Racial disparities, discrimination and state and familial violence are facts of American life that have a historical basis about which we must continue to educate students, professionals, and the broader public and strive to remove by implementing change and providing sustainable and equitable advocacy for children's rights.
Other Speech Topics Include:
  • The Historical Roots of Corporal Punishment in Black Communities
  • Growing Up Adopted
  • Media Bias and Black Communities
  • The Racist Roots of American Pediatrics
  • The Racist Devaluation of Black Children in American Education
  • Who's Afraid of Black Sexuality?
  • How The Crack Baby Grew Up: Race, Childhood and America's War on Drugs
  • Spare the Rod: Race, Religion and Corporal Punishment in American Life