Sheryl Brissett Chapman Ed.D., ACSW, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters on Sunday, May 26, 2019 at Brown University in Providence, RI. Her professional work as an advocate and nonprofit innovator speaking for highly vulnerable children, youth, and families, has made her the ideal candidate for such an honor.
Chapman earned her bachelor’s degree from Brown in 1971. She was a student leader during the 1968 Black Student Walkout, which ultimately led to significant reforms focused on increasing diversity and inclusion at Brown. She now serves as trustee emerita and has been recognized by the University with the Brown Bear Award and the John Hope Award for Public Service.
In addition to receiving her award, Chapman will present a forum entitled: Who’s Black? Racist Exclusion and the Intersection of Betrayal, Power, and Identity moderated by Françoise N. Hamlin, associate professor of Africana studies and history on Saturday, May 25 at 9 am. This forum will draw on Chapman’s personal experience growing up under an unrelenting assault on her identity as well as coping, adaptive responses which collectively serve as protection and have guided her path toward advocacy, innovation, and social justice.
An expert in child and family welfare, Chapman has served as Executive Director at NCCF since 1991. Under her leadership, the organization has become a comprehensive center serving more than 50,000 homeless and impoverished children and their parents, survivors of domestic violence, and abused and neglected children and adolescents who have been removed from their families. Chapman publishes and presents on a wide range of topics including juvenile justice, poverty and homelessness, and childhood trauma. She recently conducted research on traumatized black male adolescents removed from their families and placed in public systems.