2021 Summer Conference

Online via Zoom

Friday, July 23rd, 2021Register Now
9:00am CDT to 4:00pm CDT

The Survival and Adaptation of the African American Family

This presentation applies Bowen family systems theory to discuss the mechanisms influencing the functioning of the African American family. This conceptual framework provides the context for understanding human behavior within the family and the larger society. The findings in this case study reveal the extent to which there is a direct correlation between the quality of a person’s family relationships and how that person functions. In effect it is an attempt to answer a basic research question asked by Murray Bowen in the late 1970s: “How does a slave develop a ‘self’ in an oppressive, dehumanizing system forcing him into a ‘no self’-position?”  Bowen was convinced the answer could be found by shifting the focus from the atrocities of slavery to the ability of the enslaved to survive and thrive. Despite their deprivations, many enslaved families demonstrated patterns of coping and adaptation that were highly functional. What we learn by analyzing these adaptations can have a broad application today.


Mignonette N. Keller, Ph.D.

Dr. Keller is a faculty member at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, D.C., founder and former director of Family Transitions, Inc. in Columbia, MD, and a former assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She recently co-edited the Handbook of Bowen Family Systems Theory and Research Methods with Robert J. Noone.

Dr. Keller’s writing and research interests include theoretical and methodological issues in family research, a systems model for family research, and the family diagram as a reliable assessment instrument for empirical research. Keller received funding from the Center of Research on Minority Health at the National Institutes of Health for her study of alcohol dependence and the family.  The Howard University Faculty Research Award Program provided funding for her multigenerational study of factors influencing family functioning.

Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)

CEUs: 6 hours approved for social worker, psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and professional counselor education credits.

Attendees will receive an evaluation form and short quiz after the program to be completed and returned to CFC. A CEU certificate will be sent via email after evaluation and quiz are returned.


The registration deadline is June 20th, 2021.

Register Now

General Admission: $125.00

Students: $90.00

Registration: On the website: www.thecenterforfamilyconsultation.com. (Eventbrite is the online registration system for Center for Family Consultation (CFC). Click on the “Register Now” button and it will take you to Eventbrite.com, a secure online system for registering for events. Upon registration, your credit card will be processed by Eventbrite on CFC’s behalf, and you will receive a confirmation with their logo as well as CFC’s.If you have ever purchased a ticket for another event from Eventbrite, your email address and credit card information may already be in their system. You need to make sure you use the same card that is associated with your email address, and it must not be expired.Finally, make sure you add Eventbrite to your email contacts, so that email messages from CFC regarding the program you registered for will not go to your spam or junk mail folders.)