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Culture of Health 2018 Featured Speakers

Dr. Howard C. Stevenson

Professor, Author, Community Thought Leader
Director, Forward Promise

If we hope to heal the racial tensions that threaten to tear the fabric of society apart, we’re going to need the skills to openly express ourselves in racially stressful situations. Through racial literacy — the ability to read, recast and resolve these situations — psychologist Howard C. Stevenson helps children and parents reduce and manage stress and trauma. Learn more about how this approach to decoding racial threat can help youth build confidence and stand up for themselves in productive ways.

Dr. Howard Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, in the Human Development & Quantitative Methods Division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also Executive Director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC), a research, program development, and training center that brings together community leaders, researchers, authority figures, families, and youth to study and promote racial literacy and health in schools and neighborhoods.

He also serves as the Director of Forward Promise, a national program office funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to provide philanthropic support for organizations designed to improve the health of young men of color and to help them heal from the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination, and colonization. Since 1985, Dr. Stevenson has served as a clinical and consulting psychologist working in impoverished rural and urban neighborhoods across the country.

Dr. Stevenson is the author of numerous publications and books including the best seller, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference. His areas of expertise include: African-American psychology, effects of at-risk neighborhoods on youth, family and parental engagement, racial/ethnic socialization and negotiation, racial literacy, violence prevention, bullying, sports and psychotherapy and family therapy.

He holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and a B.A. from Eastern College.

Cory Nieves AKA Mr. Cory and Cookie Mom

Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Mr. Cory’s Cookies

Cory Nieves, also known as Mr. Cory, is a pint-sized entrepreneur who serves as co-founder of Mr. Cory’s Cookies. The company sells all-natural gourmet cookies made with premium ingredients.

Mr. Cory lives in Englewood, New Jersey, with his mother, Lisa Howard, also known as Cookie Mom. Together they created Mr. Cory’s Cookies when, at age 6, Cory decided he wanted to sell hot cocoa and Chocolate Chip Cookies to raise money to buy his mother a car because he was tired of riding public transportation. The cookies were a hit. Today, these delicious cookies are available in Chocolate Chip and Sugar with more flavors to come.

Lisa grew up in foster care and was determined to not let her son encounter the same adverse experiences she experienced as a child. Through economic empowerment and perseverance, they are working hard to ensure a brighter future for Cory. Lisa is also a strong advocate for single moms.

Mr. Cory was recently among 10 teens in the United States to be awarded The Diana Award. Established in memory of the Princess of Wales, the award is considered among the most prestigious a young person can receive for their social action or humanitarian work.

Mr. Cory and Lisa have been featured on CNBC’s The Profit, which is the brainchild of businessman Marcus Lemonis, who helped the mother-son duo grow their business. Mr. Cory has also been featured on MasterChef JuniorCBS This Morning and the Ellen DeGeneres Show where Ellen gifted him a car bearing his company’s logo. He is also a model and has appeared in numerous ads, including collaborating on a major fashion promotion and his own clothing line.

As part of Mr. Cory CARES, he gives back to those in need. He often speaks at schools encouraging young people like him to become entrepreneurs. Upon high school graduation, he plans to attend Princeton University and study business and law.