For immediate release

Mental health of students of color is focus of expert gathering at Stanford University

More than 150 experts, college administrators, researchers, students, and others interested in student mental health will gather at Stanford University on November 20 to discuss the specific mental health needs of students of color, at the second annual “Young, Gifted and @ Risk” conference of the Steve Fund.

Stanford (November 16, 2015) The mental health and emotional well-being of students of color will be the focus of the second annual “Young, Gifted and @ Risk” conference of the Steve Fund at Stanford University on November 20, 2015. The event is expected to draw more than 150 experts from across the U.S., among them researchers, mental health professionals, students, and college and university administrators. Presenters and panelists will discuss challenges to mental health for students of color and strategies for addressing them. Research in affective science and social psychology, issues such as “multicultural mental health literacy,” marginality and belonging, and the needs of students from diverse backgrounds to thrive in college environments will also be addressed. Young people will be an important voice in the dialogue.

The conference is organized annually by the Steve Fund, a nonprofit focused on the mental health needs of students of color. For this year’s conference, the fund is partnering with the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE), Stanford Medical School, and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE).

“Research shows that differences in the ethnic background of students require culturally-sensitive approaches to fully support their mental health and emotional well-being,” says Evan Rose, a co-founder and president of the Steve Fund. “The Steve Fund’s annual The Young, Gifted and @ Risk conference brings together some of the nation’s top experts in this area,” Rose continues. “It connects efforts, research and knowledge to help establish what is an important new field in mental health.”

“Universities have a key role to play in understanding and addressing the mental health needs of students of color. I’m delighted that Stanford is bringing our culture of caring and problem-solving to this challenge,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University. “We’re pleased to bring experts from many colleges together with Stanford experts for this exciting day of collaboration.”

“The Young, Gifted, and @ Risk symposium focuses on the emotional well-being of young people of color, particularly those on college campuses. It brings together mental health practitioners, higher education leaders, researchers, students, and non-profit organizations to not only discuss the challenges, but also to highlight recently developed strategies and solutions that promote the well-being of this population through an inter-professional approach. As a clinician-researcher who works across both the Schools of Medicine and Education, I’ve come to understand that the very best approaches to these challenges arise from collaborative environments like this Symposium,” said Dr. Shashank Joshi.

Studies show that students of color at American colleges and universities are often less likely to seek help when they feel depressed or anxious. They report more micro-aggressions than their European American counterparts. According to a Harris poll (source:, they are almost twice as likely to be not sufficiently prepared to deal with the stresses of higher education. Only 49% of African Americans students complete their 4-year college education, compared to 71% of white, non-Hispanic students, according to a CollegeBoard report (source: ).

The conference will address a broad range of mental health issues. Panel and presentation subjects include:

  • How Culture, Mindset, and Identity Shape Affect and Mental Health Among Young Adults
  • Marginality, Belonging, and Success: The University Experience and the Mental Health of Students and Emerging Adults of Color
  • Thriving in a Multicultural College World
  • Mental Health at Stanford: Current Conversations and Meeting the Needs of Diverse Students

Last year’s “Young, Gifted and @ Risk” conference took place at Brown University. Videos of presentations from the 2014 conference are viewable at the Steve Fund Web site at

The 2015 “Young, Gifted and @ Risk” conference will take place at Stanford University School of Medicine on Friday November 20th, 2015. It is free of charge and open to the public. More information and a link to a registration page is at

Young, Gifted and @ Risk

WHEN: Friday, November 20, 7:30 AM PT – 5 PM PT


Morning: Old Union Clubhouse, 520 Lasuen Mall.

Afternoon: CERAS 101, 520 Galvez Mall. Stanford University

About the Steve Fund

The Steve Fund aims to stimulate dialogue and to promote effective programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance regarding the mental health and emotional well-being of the nation’s students of color as they enter, matriculate in, and transition from higher education. For more information, please visit

The Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) fosters research, policy, and practice to advance high-quality, equitable education systems in the United States and internationally.

Established in November 1996, the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) at Stanford University houses two interdisciplinary undergraduate programs and also serves as an umbrella institute for seven other institutes, centers, and programs at Stanford, on topics ranging from race, ethnicity, and politics to international migration to Jewish Studies.

The Stanford School of Medicine improves health through leadership, diversity and collaborative discoveries and innovation in healthcare, education and research.

Media Contacts:

Ralph Rogers

Director of Communications

Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education


For the Steve Fund:

Marc Fest