Committee History



Chair: Stacey Horn

Members: Melanie Killen, Rashmita Mistry, Martin Ruck, Stephen Russell, Adam Rutland, Elliot Turiel, Tiffany Yip

SECC Representative: Guadalupe Espinoza

Governing Council Representatives: Lynn Liben


Chair: Melanie Killen

Members: Stacey Horn, Martin Ruck, Stephen Russell, Adam Rutland, Carola Suarez-Orozco, Elliot Turiel

SECC Representative: Russell Toomey

Governing Council Representatives: Lynn Liben

The SRCD Equity and Justice committee evolved from a taskforce established in 2010 by the Society for Research in Child Development with the specific charge of considering the role of diversity, broadly defined, in developmental research and the field of developmental sciences.  The initial task force was comprised of members from diverse disciplines who also studied distinct and varied aspects of diversity within developmental science. The work of the Taskforce culminated in a proposal to SRCD’s governing council to establish a standing committee on Equity and Justice within the organizational structure of SRCD.  In April 2011, an initial committee was seated by SRCD’s governing council and that group, chaired by Dr. Melanie Killen, established the initial committee charge/mission for the committee:

Equity and justice are goals for healthy child development and are increasingly a focus of research in developmental science.  The need for addressing issues of equity and justice has become especially apparent as the world becomes increasingly global, and as children are living in ever more heterogeneous communities.  Reflecting the importance of the topic for scientific inquiry, the SRCD Committee on Equity and Justice has as its mission to: 1) promote the importance and legitimacy of  national, international, and interdisciplinary scientific scholarship on topics related to equity and justice in childhood and adolescence; 2) enhance efforts to build coherence and to foster conceptual advances within and across the varied approaches to research on equity and justice; and 3) foster the dissemination and implementation of findings that bear on programs and policies related to equity and justice at both national and international levels.

Since its establishment, the committee (through several smaller working groups) has engaged in several activities to further this mission of the committee as well as the strategic initiatives of SRCD. The activities of the committee are listed below:

  • Transdisciplinary Thought Meeting (2013). A thought meeting that brought together members of the committee with external experts from fields outside of developmental sciences held in February 2013 at the SRCD Policy office in Washington, DC; Experts included Susan Klein, Feminist Majority Foundation Olivia Golden, Urban Institute Elizabeth Saewyc, University of British Columbia.
  • Invited Symposium at 2013 SRCD Biennial Meeting: An initial research symposium organized and chaired by Martin Ruck on Equity and Justice in Developmental Sciences held at SRCD’s 2013 Biennial Meeting (panelists included: Tiffany Yip, Carola Saurez-Orozco, Stephen Russell, and Adam Rutland);
  • Invited small conference on Equity and Justice in Developmental Science (2014).  A larger two-day meeting titled “Equity and Justice in Developmental Sciences:  Building Cohesion and Synergy in the Field” held in Chicago in 2014.  Inclusive of committee members, 34 people participated in the two-day meeting and included leading scholars (both junior and senior) who study issues related to equity and justice in developmental sciences.  In addition, 5 of the attendees were from outside of North America.  The purpose of the meeting was to begin to integrate and synthesize the study of equity and justice across diverse research areas within developmental sciences and to develop an initial blueprint for expanding the role of equity and justice in the field. The organizing committee included Melanie Killen, Martin Ruck, Adam Rutland, and Stacey Horn. The meeting was funded through the SRCD strategic initiatives funding mechanisms, as well as by the Spencer Foundation, Elsevier Publishing, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Education, the UIC Social Justice Initiative, and an anonymous donor.
  • Child Development Special Section:  Invited special section of SRCD’s premier journal, Child Development focused on discrimination, social exclusion, and intergroup attitudes (155 Letters of Intent submitted;  X articles accepted); the special section was guest edited by Melanie Killen, Tiffany Yip, Adam Rutland, and Martin Ruck.

Killen, M., Rutland, A., & Yip, T. (in press). Discrimination, social exclusion, and intergroup attitudes: Equity and justice in developmental science. [Guest Editors for special section]. Child Development.

Advances in Child Development and Behavior two-volume set:  A two volume series in the Advances in Child Development and Behavior series edited by Stacey S. Horn, Martin D. Ruck, and Lynn S. Liben.

Horn, S. S., Ruck, M. D., Liben, L. S. (2016).  Equity and justice in developmental sciences (Vol. 1): Theoretical and methodological issues. Advances in Child Development and Behavior Series.  London, UK: Elsevier Publishers.

Horn, S. S., Ruck, M. D., Liben, L S. (2016).  Equity and justice in developmental sciences (Vol. 2): Implications for young people, families, and communities. Advances in Child Development and Behavior Series.  London, UK: Elsevier Publishers.

Inaugural Presidential Pre-Conference (2015). An Inaugural Presidential Pre-Conference (theme of Equity and Justice in Developmental Science) held in 2015 prior to the SRCD Biennial in Philadelphia.  The pre-conference was organized by Rashmita Mistry, Stacey Horn, Lynn Liben, Russell Toomey, Guadalupe Espinoza and funded by SRCD and the William T. Grant Foundation.  One hundred participants and 25 organizers and presenters attended the preconference which included a plenary panel discussion on defining Equity and Justice in Developmental Sciences, as well as two sets of break-out sessions, the first focused on methodological issues and the second focused on dissemination, strategic communications, and advocacy.

Diversity Poster Session at SRCD. The committee participated in supporting the special strategic plan poster session on Diversity at the 2015 Biennial meeting in Philadelphia.  In collaboration with the ERI sub-committee we reviewed abstracts, made decisions about inclusion in the poster session, and developed a feedback report on the process for the SRCD office and conference organizers.

Child Development Perspective Article (in revision). Article submitted to Child Development Perspectives focused on the importance of Equity and Justice in Developmental Sciences.  Co-authored by Rashmita Mistry, Martin Ruck, Stephen Russell, and Tiffany Yip.  The proposal was accepted and the authors are in the process of revising the article based on feedback from the editor.

Equity and Justice review panel, 2017 Biennial.   Equity and Justice review panel added to RFP and program selection process for 2017 SRCD biennial

Related Activities

Russell, S. & Horn, S. S. (2017).  Sexuality, gender identity and schooling:  The nexus of research, practice, and policy.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Russell, S. R., Kosciw, J. G., Horn, S. S., & Saewyc, E. (2010).  Safe schools policy for LGBT students.  SRCD Social Policy Report: Sharing Child and Youth Development Knowledge, 24 (4).

Killen, M., Rutland, A., & Ruck, M. (2011). Promoting equity, tolerance, and justice: Policy implications. SRCD Social Policy Report: Sharing Child and Youth Development Knowledge,, 25, 1 – 33.