Dr. Telfer's Mission Statement
I will always acknowledge and honor God, my ancestors, and the sacred birthplace of my parents, Jamaica. Our values and beliefs as an island are firmly grounded in the saying, “wi likkle, but wi tallawah,” meaning “we may be little, but we are strong.” I have and will continue to embody this quote through my perseverance, determination, and fruitful spirit. My mission is to build on the strengths of the Black community by endlessly highlighting and affirming our joy, brilliance, and resilience. As a child developmental psychologist, I will show up daily for Black and Brown children through my advocacy, service, and research, as well as by creating centers and programs that will foster their healthy development and aid them in reaching their highest and fullest potential. I will produce and disseminate valuable resources and tools to Black and Brown children and their families as they navigate various systems of oppression. My work will always be rooted in equity, anti-racism, anti-oppression, and anti-white supremacy delusion. Black children and the Black community will prosper. Asé.
Research Areas of Expertise
Children's Developmental Outcomes
I focus on the social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development of youth.
Current project in this area:
- Investigating and creating recommendations for the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-3) to address and dismantle anti-racist practices.
- Child care consultant for the Color of Autism Foundation. I am co-creating a curriculum and co-facilitating a training for early childhood educators in Detroit, Michigan.
Ethnic-Racial Socialization Practices
I explore the role of Black parents' ERS practices on the academic and mental health outcomes of children and, more recently, among Black children with disabilities. ERS practices include preparation for bias, promotion of mistrust, and cultural socialization.
Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism, and Inclusion
As an expert in DEI and anti-racist practices, my research and practice involves addressing campus policing and safety, retention of students and faculty of color in graduate programs, students with disabilities, land acknowledgement, sexual and physical violence, and discrimination.
- Fellow in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program
Socio-cultural factors on educational outcomes
I investigate the impact of racist discrimination, violence oppressive practices, and neighborhood quality on the educational outcomes and functioning of racially minoritized students.