FCRR researcher brings career full circle to help reduce violence in the community

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Dr. Latara O. Lampkin

Dr. Latara O. Lampkin, senior research associate at the Florida Center for Reading Research, has been appointed as an inaugural member of the Tallahassee-Leon County Council on the Status of Men and Boys. The new council was formed to address and reduce homicides and non-fatal shootings in the area, provide support and services to men and boys most at risk for violence, address the underlying causes of violence, and improve the overall quality of life for individuals and neighborhoods impacted by violent crime in Leon County.

Created in 2022, the council is a collaboration between the Leon County Sheriff's Office, Leon County Government, the City of Tallahassee, and Leon County Schools. Its governing board will be comprised of a select group of community members who collectively possess the multidisciplinary perspectives and unique insights needed to collaboratively reduce violence.

In accepting this appointment, Lampkin has volunteered to become a leader in the community's earnest efforts to address and reduce violent crime in the area.

“I am honored and excited about this appointment,” states Lampkin. “It brings my interest, passion, and motivation for my work back full circle.”

Lampkin earned an undergraduate degree in criminology and served as a corrections administrator overseeing private prisons for the state of Florida before pursuing a Ph.D. in education policy. “I wanted to be at the front-end of identifying and examining policies and practices that impact the academic success for boys and men that research shows are at the greatest risk­—Black boys and men,” she adds.

“Research that reveal disparities in key educational outcomes for Black boys and men is uncontested, raising critical questions regarding their opportunities and life chances. Engaging in collaborative, interdisciplinary work to identify and provide targeted, evidence-based solutions to address the needs of this population is not only warranted, but critical,” states Lampkin.

Currently, Lampkin’s work, research, and service to the field and community focuses on decision-making, policy implementation, and increasing the use, dissemination, and uptake of culturally relevant, evidence-based interventions to enhance the opportunities and outcomes for underserved student populations in PreK to Ph.D. education. “Collectively,” she explains, “these experiences over the past two decades have uniquely situated me to be able to engage in this critical work with others to serve our community ‘for such a time as this’.”

The council's mission is to unify existing agencies, organizations, and individuals to coordinate resources, funding, and services under a multi-disciplinary plan. It will assess individual risk and implement evidence-based and community-informed prevention and intervention plans for Leon County men and boys at the greatest risk of becoming a victim or perpetrator of violence.

The council will also establish specific goals and objectives to address the disparities and challenges men and boys experience in violence, criminal justice, education, employment, and health. It will continuously evaluate the results of prevention and intervention efforts and conduct further research and analysis of homicides and non-fatal shootings occurring in Leon County.

Learn more at councilmenandboys.org.