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Yvonne Vissing

Yvonne Vissing, PhD, is a sociologist and Professor of Healthcare Studies, and Founding Director of both the Center for Childhood & Youth Studies and the Center for Human Rights and Human Rights Education at Salem State University in Massachusetts. Her areas of specialty focus on the human rights of marginalized people, particularly children and homeless individuals, as well as medical sociology, community sociology, DEI, family sociology, law, and social justice. She is the US policy chair for the Hope for Children Convention on the Child Policy Center in Cyprus, a group of international child rights scholars who study the provision, protection, and participation of policies that impact children and youth. She is on the Steering Committee for Human Rights Educators USA and on the Association for the Advancement of Science’s Human Rights Council. She is the author of 20 books, including Children’s Human Rights in the USA: Challenge & Opportunities, Changing the Paradigm of Homelessness, The Rights of Unaccompanied Minors, and other books on refugee youth, child welfare, human rights, UNICEF’s child friendly community initiative, homelessness, mental health, trauma, resilience, and women without children. She is also a Santaologist with 5 books on Santa Claus that explore why it is useful to reimagine him as a diverse spirit of loving kindness who shares positive values and altruism to all children. A clinical sociologist, National Institute of Mental Health Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on child abuse and Whiting Foundation fellow studying child rights, she was a Dialogue and Democracy fellow at the University of Connecticut’s Dodd Center for Human Rights and a graduate of Equitas International Human Rights Training Program in Montreal. Vissing was a member of the New Hampshire Juvenile Parole Board and worked in the area of criminal justice reform for youth, is a trainer for the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), and was on the board of both the National Coalition for the Homeless and the New Hampshire Coalition for the Homeless. She is a dedicated researcher, having been awarded a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health. Believing the research and good data will help us to design best practices, she is excited to work with the committee to advance the section, the field of childhood studies, and assist the ISA with its pursuit to create a more informed public and scholarly community.

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