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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.

Current research project

Black Children with Disabilities Study

We are a research team at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC Chapel Hill and have been funded by the Equity Research and Action Coalition to conduct a pilot study. This study is split into 2 phases: an electronic questionnaire and a parent interview. 

We are looking for Black families of Black children (ages 7 to 12) with a diagnosed disability in the North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC area. 

After completion of the electronic surveys (which should take no more than 30 minutes), families will receive a $25 e-Amazon gift card. For families interested in taking part in the second phase of the study, individual interviews will be scheduled via phone or Zoom and should last no more than 60 minutes. After completion of these interviews, families will receive another $25 e-Amazon gift card.

Please use the contact information on the flyer if you are a family (or know a family) that may be interested.

Research Areas of Expertise 


Children's Developmental Outcomes

I focus on the social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development of racially minoritized youth.


Current project in this area:

  • Click here to read a relevant article

  • Investigating and creating recommendations for the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-3) to address and dismantle anti-racist practices.

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.

Click here to read Dr. Telfer's research on ERS


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.

Black children with neurodevelopmental disabilities

My current work highlights and explores the experiences of Black children with neurodevelopmental disabilities in the school setting.

Current work

  • Child care consultant for the Color of Autism Foundation. Specifically, I offer training and consulting to early childhood educators and specialists in Detroit, Michigan.

  • I am also part of a collaborative team of speech-language pathologists, attorneys, and physical therapists. Our work includes engaging in evidence-based practices and connecting with disability justice advocates and policy makers to improve the experience of neurodivergent learners.

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