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Authority on African-American families to speak Nov. 12

Craig Chamberlain, Education Editor
(217) 333-2894;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Robert B. Hill, a nationally known authority on African-American families, will speak on "Understanding Black Families: Strengths and Challenges" in a lecture Nov. 12 (Tuesday) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hill’s talk, the first in a new "Visiting Scholars in Child Welfare" series, will begin at 10 a.m. in Room 406 of the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana.

The talk, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Children and Family Research Center (CFRC), a unit of the School of Social Work.

In his presentation, Hill will discuss the strengths of African-American families, in particular the strength of kinship bonding and its implications for subsidized guardianship programs for children in the care of relatives.

Hill is a senior researcher at Westat Inc., an opinion and research firm based in Rockville, Md. He has been researching and publishing on the topic of African-American families since 1972, when his book "The Strengths of Black Families" was published. His second book, "The Strengths of African-American Families: Twenty-Five Years Later," was published in 1999.

Hill also has contributed to an upcoming book, "Race Matters: Examining the Overrepresentation of African-Americans in the Child Welfare System," edited by the CFRC and to be published by the Child Welfare League of America.

The new lecture series, which will run through next spring, is designed to provide a forum on issues that impact child-welfare policy in Illinois and nationally. Lectures in the series should be of interest to researchers, educators and students in this and related fields, as well as social work practitioners and interested community members.