Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III: The Man, The Mindset, & Relevance for Today


As a psychologist, teacher, and historian, Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1933 – 2007) was a preeminent scholar whose research influenced the fields of education, child development, and social policy. His pioneering work on child assessment, teaching and curriculum, and African culture was grounded in his commitment to promote the genius and excellence of all children. His enduring legacy continues to have relevance for the preparation and practice of the professionals who educate young children.

Learn more by reading Dr. Hilliard’s Bio »

On Wednesday, February 23, 2022, the Foundation for Child Development hosted a special virtual event dedicated to highlighting the life and timeless work of Dr. Hilliard.

This virtual event launches the Foundation’s Scholars of Color Series highlighting the contributions of scholars of color in the early care and education field and the vital relevance of their work in improving the lives of young children today.

Commentary from Dr. Hilliard featured in this webinar can be viewed in full using the links below:

Journalist Ed Bradley | Folks (1984)

In Memory of Dr. Asa Hilliard 

Dr. Asa G. Hilliard Resources


Sue Bredekamp, Ph.D., is an Early Childhood Education Specialist who serves as a consultant on curriculum, teaching, and professional development for national and state organizations, institutions of higher education, departments of education, and Head Start. For two decades, she was Director of Professional Development and Accreditation at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). She edited NAEYC’S highly-influential publication, Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs (1987, 1997, & 2009). She was also Director of Research at the Council for Professional Recognition. Dr. Bredekamp is Board Chair Emerita of the HighScope Educational Research Foundation.

Carol Brunson Day, Ph.D., has spent her career as an advocate for quality early childhood services for young children and families. She retired from the National Black Child Development Institute in Washington, DC where she served as CEO and President from 2006 until 2011. Prior to 2006, she served as the CEO and President of the Council for Professional Recognition, the home of the Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program, as well as the National Head Start Fellowship Program.

Dr. Day received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from the Erikson Institute in Chicago and a Ph.D. in Education from Claremont University in Claremont, California.

Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph.D., is a Research Professor in the Department of Public Policy, a Fellow at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG), and the Founding Director of the Equity Research Action Coalition at FPG (the Coalition) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Iruka is leading projects and initiatives focused on ensuring that minoritized children and children from low-income households, especially Black children, are thriving through the intersection of anti-bias, anti-racist, culturally grounded research, program, and policy. Some areas of focus include family engagement and support, quality rating and improvement systems, and early care and education system and programs. Dr. Iruka serves and has served on numerous national and local boards and committees, including the National Advisory Committee for the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the American Psychological Association’s Board of Educational Affairs, Brady Education Foundation, and Trust for Learning.

She has a B.A. in Psychology from Temple University, an M.A. in Psychology from Boston University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in applied developmental psychology from the University of Miami, FL.

Wade W. Nobles, Ph.D., serves as the Chairperson of the ABPsi Pan African Black Psychology Global Initiative. Dr. Nobles is professor emeritus in Africana Studies and Black Psychology at San Francisco State University; a founding member and past president (1994-95) of the Association of Black Psychologists and the founder and Executive Director (retired) of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Family, Life & Culture, Inc. in Oakland. His professional career, as a teacher, researcher, academician, and scholar/activist has been a consistent and formal engagement in the ongoing theoretical and programmatic development and restoration of the African mind and worldwide liberation of African people.

Kenneth B. Nunn, J.D., is Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches courses on criminal law, criminal procedure, African American history and the law, race and crime, cultural studies and African traditional law.

Hakim Rashid, Ph.D., is a Professor and former Chair of the Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies in the School of Education at Howard University in Washington, DC. A native of Flint, Michigan, Dr. Rashid received his B.A. degree from Pomona College in Claremont, California, a M.A. and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Education and Psychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Dr. Rashid has served as a Fulbright Scholar at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a Visiting Professor at Khartoum University in Sudan, and a Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad Fellow in China. He has lectured in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Bermuda, Canada, and the United States. A former Research Associate at the High Scope Educational Research Foundation, he has also been a preschool teacher, a center director, and a consultant to child development programs across the country. In addition to Howard University, Dr. Rashid has served on the faculties of Jackson State University, the University of Michigan at Flint, and the University of South Carolina.

Ann Terrell is President of Governing Board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and an early childhood education professional serving 40 years in local, state and national leadership capacities. She has held a variety of positions and roles over her career including teacher, center director and administrator, child care licensing specialist, school district early childhood education director and higher education faculty. Ann holds a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership, a Master of Science degree in Cultural Foundations of Education, a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and an Associate Degree and Apprenticeship Certificate in Early Childhood Education.

Madge Willis, Ph.D., NCSP, has been involved in education in many roles for over 40 years. Dr. Willis has been a classroom teacher, school counselor, school psychologist, college professor, teacher trainer, school administrator and educational consultant. Throughout her career, Dr. Willis has been interested in how children learn and how to create exemplary and effective educational programs, especially for children of African descent.

Dr. Willis earned her A.B. with Honors in Psychology from Brown University, M.S. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania in Psychological Services in Education, and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University under the direction of Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III. She also completed graduate work at Temple University leading to School Psychology certification and at North Carolina State University in Educational Leadership. However, the experiences of raising two children with her husband, Dan, have been one of her greatest source of knowledge about child development, learning, and education.

James C. Young, Ph.D., is a Professor of Early Childhood Education and serves on the faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Clark Atlanta University. Dr. Young has been an educator for more than 50 years. He is a motivational speaker, author, workshop leader, and has served as a consultant to schools and school districts.   In addition to being a public-school teacher, he served as a regional director of Head  Start Leadership Development, covering upstate New York and New England. He was also the Executive Director of the Association for Childhood Education International – ACEI.


Charlyn Harper Browne, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) where she is primarily responsible for contributing to the research, theoretical, and training components of various projects within CSSP’s “Young Children and Their Families”, “Systems Change”, and “Equity, Inclusion, and Justice” initiatives. Dr. Browne has over 40 years of experience in theory development, teaching, training, technical assistance (TA), and administrative management in academic and private sector settings. She has expertise in child and adolescent development; TA in advancing racial and ethnic equity; project management; and the development of resources designed to strengthen the knowledge base of practitioners, administrators, and policy makers whose work can impact the well-being of children, youth, and families. Prior to joining CSSP, Dr. Browne served as a college and university administrator and professor in departments of psychology and counseling. Her educational background includes extensive post-doctoral coursework in clinical child and family psychology after earning a doctoral degree in early childhood education. Her publications focus on promoting healthy development and well-being in children, youth, and families.