Bio – Karen T. Craddock


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Karen T. Craddock is an Applied Developmental Psychologist whose research and consultation practice concentrates on the socio- cultural context of child, family and community development within the fields of Education and Health. Her exploration of psychosocial functioning, maternal/child health, access/equity, social-emotional wellness and neuroscience focuses within the frameworks of relationship, expressive healing, learning and support systems, especially among women, ethno-culturally diverse and marginalized communities.

With over 20 years experience, her expertise in strategic development, community engagement, program evaluation research, coaching and training includes senior academic and administrative positions at Harvard University, Tufts University, Education Development Center, Inc., Boston Children’s Museum, Work/Family Directions, and Phillips Academy Andover, where among other roles she led special efforts and designed integrative protocols for system-based effectiveness and processes to build diversity, strengthen community and cultivate relationship-based partnerships. Her work experience with diverse communities across the lifespan covers a range of sectors including federal, non-profit, corporate, public and independent education, public health, and human services.

Dr. Craddock is faculty and Lead Scholar at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women/Wellesley College where she is currently exploring Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT) within the intersections of ethno-cultural contexts and neuroscience, as well as effective social action applications and strategies across fields and among diverse communities. As co- founder and director of the training and research organization Social-Emotional Learning for Families – SELF ©, Karen and colleagues have developed a culturally responsive, trauma informed and strength-based initiative designed for cultivating social-emotional skills, relational and behavioral wellbeing and practice directly with women and families. She is principal investigator for the federally funded Promise and Pathways study aimed at engaging and increasing diverse representation in STEM fields among Native American communities, and as a senior program associate for the Harvard University Achievement Gap Initiative’s parenting campaign, Seeding Success, she works with a team to develop and design program materials for dissemination while leading efforts to foster community- based partners for local piloting and national roll out.

Karen is an advisory board member for Boston Medical Center’s RESPECT-Plus, a project addressing the parenting practice and health needs of new mothers in substance recovery building on Project DULCE, a site for the national Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood (QIC-EC) for which she was also a board member. She also serves on the board of directors for Smart from the Start, a family support, community engagement and school readiness program serving several Boston area neighborhoods in wrap around services and positioned for national replication with pilot site in Washington D.C. Dr. Craddock is a member of the Human Services Committee and Domestic Violence Prevention Advisory Committee of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts of which she is an enrolled tribal member, and is a steering committee member of the Social Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts (SAM), chairing its Family and Community subcommittee. Karen is a trustee and alum of the Advent School, and a former board of trustee at the Shady Hill School where she co-chaired the multi-cultural committee designing and analyzing a school wide study exploring diversity, school practice, student outcomes and parent satisfaction.

She has presented and led workshops nationally and internationally on parenting and education in cultural contexts, the social- emotional impact of societal stressors, and strength-based strategies of support, including the Six Seconds Nexus – EQ (Emotional Intelligence) conference at Harvard Medical School on case research “Margin and Center: Societal Stressors, Strengthening Factors and Social- Emotional Well-Being”. Her editorial review work includes roles with the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI)/Journal of the Motherhood Initiative and the Caribbean Exploratory NIMHD Research Center (CERC). Karen has published on mothering and women’s identity development, adolescent parents in juvenile justice, mentoring constructs, cultural fluency, personal narrative and learning. Forthcoming publications include an edited volume “Black Motherhood(s): Contours, Contexts and Considerations” (Brunswick Press) and a research essay “Profiles of Resistance: Exploring Psychological Resistance to Marginalization Among Young African-American Mothers” (Journal of Family Issues).

Dr. Craddock’s work is fueled by her desire to collaboratively build bridges between innovative thinking and creative practice by using action research and collective impact models for prevention and intervention programming that build capacity and sustainability to enhance and enrich lives across all communities. (Ed.M. Harvard University; PhD Tufts University)


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