Erin N. Winkler

Associate Professor and Undergraduate Advisor
 Mitchell Hall 221C


PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests

Racial socialization; Racial identity development in African American families and communities; The impact of gender, skin tone, and other demographic factors on racial identity development and responses to racism; The effect of place on shaping conceptualizations and experiences of race and racism.

Teaching Interests

Effects of racism on individuals, communities, and society; Racial identity development and well-being in children and adolescents; African American families; Qualitative research methods in Africology; Sociology of African American communities; Race and place (nationally and internationally).

Selected Publications

Witherspoon, D. P., White, R. M. B., Bámaca M. Y., Browning, C. R., Leech, T. G. J., Leventhal, T., Matthews, S. A., Pinchak, N., Roy, A. L., Sugie, N., & Winkler, E. N.** 2023. Place-based Developmental Research: Conceptual and Methodological Advances in Studying Youth Development in Context. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 88(3). [**After the two lead authors, authors’ names are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of contribution.]

White, Rebecca M.B., Dawn P. Witherspoon, Wei Wei, Chang Zhao, Michelle C. Pasco, Tiyobista M. Maereg, PLACE Development Working Group**, Mayra Bámaca‐Colbert, Christopher Browning, Debra Furr‐Holden, Tamara Leech, Tama Leventhal, Stephen A Matthews, Amanda Roy, Naomi Sugie, Erin Winkler**. 2021. “Adolescent Development in Context: A Decade Review of Neighborhood and Activity Space Research.” Journal of Research on Adolescence, 31(4): 944-965. [**names of PLACE Development Working Group in alphabetical order, not order of contribution.]

Blair, Katelyn, James Topitzes, Erin N. Winkler, and Cheryl B. McNeil. 2020. “Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: Findings from an Exploratory Qualitative Study with Practitioners and Foster Parents.” Qualitative Social Work, 1-17. DOI: 10.1177/1473325020917722

Kopkin, N. A., & Winkler, E. N. (2019, April (2nd Quarter/Spring)). Naming Black Studies: Results from a Faculty Opinion Survey. Journal of Black Studies50(4), 343-366.

Winkler, E. N. (2017, March). Racism as a threshold concept: Examining learning in a ‘diversity requirement’ course. Race, Ethnicity and Education.

Winkler, E. N. (2015, December). “Why does Latino/a Youth Literature Matter? How Children and Young Adults Learn about Race”. Henderson, L. (Ed.). The Américas Award: Honoring Latino/a Children’s and Young Adult Literature of the Americas, 7-26.

Winkler, E. N. (2012, November). Learning Race, Learning Place: Shaping Racial Identities and Ideas in African American Childhoods. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Winkler, E. N. (2011, August). “My aunt talks about black people all the time”: The significance of extended family networks in the racial socialization of African American adolescents. Aborampah, O., & Sudarkasa, N. (Eds.). Extended Families in Africa and the African Diaspora, 273-295. Africa World Press.

Winkler, E. N. (2010, March). “I learn being black from everywhere I go”: Color blindness, travel, and the formation of racial attitudes among African American adolescents. Sociological Studies of Children and Youth13, 423-453.

Winkler, E. N. (2009, August). Children are not colorblind: How young children learn race. PACE: Practical Approaches for Continuing Education3(3), 1-8.

Winkler, E. N. (2008, March). “It’s like arming them”: African American mothers’ views on racial socialization. Rudd, E., & Descartes, L. (Eds.). The Changing Landscape of Work and Family in the American Middle Class: Reports from the Field, 211-241. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Winkler, E. N. (2003, October (4th Quarter/Autumn)). The Attack on Affirmative Action: The ‘Race Neutral’ Excuse. The Black Scholar33(3/4), 41-43.


Dr. Erin Winkler wrote the piece, “Tips for Talking to Children about Racism.” [Later renamed “Here’s How to Raise Race-Conscious Children” by the publication] for BuzzFeed in June 2017. This piece has also been translated into Brazilian Portuguese and French and was “trending” in France in June 2020.

Dr. Erin Winkler spoke with Milwaukee Public Radio’s Stephanie Lecci about how childlren learn and perceive race and how we consider it as adults. Listen to How children understand race interview.

Dr. Erin Winkler was featured on Iowa Public Radio’s “Talk of Iowa” program as an expert on how children learn about race. Listen to Teaching Kids about race interview.

Read about Dr. Winkler’s work with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture: Africology Professor Consults for Newest Smithsonian Museum

Some additional pieces in which Dr. Winkler is quoted:

How to Talk to Kids About Race and Racism,” (June 1, 2020) by Gabbi Timmis, which was posted by many NBC local affiliates, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston, Miami, San Francisco Bay Area, and San Diego, and is part of the NBC Universal Parent Toolkit.

Help Your Kids Take Action Against Racism,” (June 3, 2020) by Alison Granito of The Girl Scouts USA.

Kids Learn About Race Younger Than You Think. Talk to Them Before That,” (June 1, 2020) by Maija Kappleron on Huffington Post, Canada.

Kids Are Not Racially ‘Colorblind’” (June 3, 2020) by Meghan Moravcik Walbert on LifeHacker.

How White Parents Can Talk to Their Kids About Race,” (June 2, 2020) by Caroline Bologna on MSN

Selected Presentations

Society for Research on Adolescence Annual Meeting. “Reimagining Place: Perspectives of Black and Latinx Adolescents Experiencing Homelessness.” San Diego, CA, April 2023.

Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Panel Moderator for Panel entitled, “Racial Identity and Belonging among Latinx and Afro-Latinx Children and Youth in the United States.” March 2023.

Society for the Study of Human Development, 2021-22 Conference Series: Macrosystem Challenges to Lifespan Human Development. “Race, Place, and Power: Perspectives of Black and Latinx Children Experiencing Homelessness in the Bronx,” February 7, 2022.

Medical College of Wisconsin, “How Children Understand Race and How Adults Can Help,” Milwaukee, WI, May 2022.

Schaumburg Public Library. “How Children Understand Race and How Adults Can Help,” Schaumburg, WI, February 2022.

La Crosse First Congregational UCC. “How Children Understand Race and How Adults Can Help,” LaCrosse, WI, November 2021.

Waukesha Head Start, “Engaging the Young Children around Issues of Race,” Waukesha, WI, October 2021.

VanBuren Intermediate School District, “How Children and Youth Develop Ideas about Race and How Adults Can Help,” Mattawan, MI, August 2021.

ACE (Antiracist Community Education), “How Young Children Learn about Race,” West Lafayette, Indiana, May 2021.

New Canaan Library, “How Children Learn about Race and How Adults Can Help,” New Canaan, CT, February 2021.

Toronto District School Board, “How Children Learn about Race and How Adults Can Help,” Toronto, CA, January 2021.

The Anti-Racist Table, “A Roadmap to Teaching Your Children about Race,” December 2020.

Shorewood Public Library. “How Children Learn about Race and How Adults Can Help,” Shorewood, WI, February 2020.

Bridge the Divide. “How Children Learn about Race and How Adults Can Help,” Cedarburg, WI, November 2019.

Embrace Race, “How Children Learn about Race: A Conversation with Maggie Hagerman and Erin Winkler,” Webinar, January 22, 2019.

University of Pittsburgh P.R.I.D.E. Speaker Series, “Reimagining Early Childhood: Being Intentional About Race and Young Children,” Pittsburgh, PA, September 27, 2018.

Keynote, Trying Together ‘Unconference,’ “Being Intentional about Race and Young Children,” Pittsburgh, PA, September 29, 2018.

Whitefish Bay Public Schools. “Talking about Race: Understanding Our Own Racial and Cultural Identity,” Whitefish Bay, WI, September 2018.

Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin. “How Children Learn about Race and How Adults Can Help,” Green Bay, WI, February 2018.

Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company. “How to Talk with Kids about Race,” Milwaukee, WI, February 2018.

Black Currents Conference, University of California, Berkeley, “The Implications of De-radicalized Diversity,” December 2017.

Covenant Presbyterian Church, “How Children Learn About Race and How Adults Can Help,” Racine, WI, November 2017.

Parents Advocating for Cultural Equality and Educational Excellence. “How to Talk with Children about Race,” Whitefish Bay, WI, October 2017.

Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Annual Conference    “‘Don’t Vent on Topics That You Aren’t Informed About’: African American Student Experiences in a ‘Diversity Requirement’ Course at a Predominantly White University,” Cincinnati, OH, September 2017.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, “Middle      Childhood & Teens: Cognitive Development, Racial Identity Development, and Talking about Race,” Washington, DC, July 2017.

Ex Fabula Milwaukee. “Talking to Kids about Race,” Milwaukee, WI May 2017.

Diversities Conference, Center for International Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “Rethinking Notions of Diversity,” April 2017.

Shorewood Public Library, “How Children Learn about Race and How Adults Can Help,” Shorewood, WI, March 2017.

Winkler, Erin N.Health of the Community Series. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. January 2017.

Winkler, Erin N.“Rethinking Racism: Why How We Think and Talk about Race Matters.”Madison, WI. November 2016.

Winkler, Erin N.“Talking about Race with Young Children.” Children’s Center Staff Training Day. Madison, WI. October 2016.

Winkler, Erin N.“Difficult Conversations: Talking with Children About Race.” 4K Summer Institute. Madison, WI. August 2016.

Winkler, Erin N.”Girl Talk” Series. Middleton, WI. July 2016.

Winkler, Erin N.Children Are Not Colorblind: Talking with Children about Race and Racism. Verona, WI. May 2016.

Winkler, Erin N.Children Are Not Colorblind: Talking with Young Children About Race and Racism. Janesville, WI. May 2016.

Winkler, Erin N.Children Are Not Colorblind: Talking with Children about Race and Racism. Madison, Wisconsin. April 2016.

Winkler, Erin N.Implicit Bias: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?. Madison, Wisconsin. April 2016.

Winkler, Erin N.Children Are Not Colorblind: Talking with Young Children About Race and Racism. Madison, Wisconsin. March 2016.

Winkler, Erin N.“Children Are Not Colorblind: How to Talk With Children about Race.” . Madison, Wisconsin. January 2016.

Winkler, Erin N.“Difficult Conversations on Race.” Wisconsin Early Childhood Association Annual Conference. Wisconsin Dells, WI. November 2015.

Winkler, Erin N.“Conversations with Young Children about Race.” . Madison, Wisconsin. October 2015.

Winkler, Erin N.“Sustaining African American Studies: Leadership of Departments, Programs, and Centers in the 21st Century..” Association for the Study of African American Life and History Annual Conference. Atlanta, GA. September 2015.