Department of African American Studies, University of Maryland (September 2021)

Prestigious Grant Awarded To Dr. Oscar Barbarin

Oscar Barbarin, Ph.D.

Distinguished African American Studies professor, Oscar A. Barbarin, Ph.D., awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) grant to study racial disparities in School Discipline. 

College of Behavioural and Social Sciences, September 21, 2021.

The Department of African American Studies, a part of the University System of Maryland’s flagship campus at the University of Maryland, proudly announces faculty member Oscar Barbarin, Ph.D. was named the winner of a grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This funded project addresses the racially disparate use of school suspensions and expulsion.  It will support Dr. Barabarin and his research team in examining longitudinal state and school district level data to document the extent of these disparities and identify policies and alternative practices that have successfully mitigated disparities and the reduced the use of exclusionary discipline. In a collaboration with the HighScope Educational Research Foundation, technical assistance will be provided to school districts seeking to ban suspension and replace it with Socio-Emotional learning programs as an alternative.

“This is a critical social-policy issue that is a precursor to so many problems facing our nation such as academic achievement gaps, mass incarceration, and economic inequality,” said Dr. Barbarin. “We will  generate empirical evidence that we hope will  guide us toward more effective  policies and identify efforts some school districts have employed to reduce racial disparities and implement alternatives to severe disciplining particularly of African American & LatinX boys.”

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supports research and programs targeting some of America’s most pressing issues with special attention to creating a culture of health and well-being and promoting social equity and inclusion. 

This project is a prime example of solution-focused scholarship that is central to the mission of the Department of African American Studies and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. “Please join [us] in congratulating Prof. Oscar Barbarin for his newly awarded grant,” said Dr. Sangeetha Madhavan, Chair of the Department of African American Studies. 


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)