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Applied Social Sciences
New York University
Dr. Michael A. Lindsey is a noted scholar in the field child and adolescent mental health, as well as a leader in the search for knowledge and solutions to generational poverty and inequality. He is the Executive Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University (NYU), the Martin Silver Professor of Poverty Studies at NYU Silver School of Social Work, and an Aspen Health Innovators Fellow. At McSilver, Dr. Lindsey leads a team of researchers, clinicians and other professionals who are committed to creating new knowledge about the root causes of poverty, developing evidence-based interventions to address its consequences, and rapidly translating their findings into action through policy and best practices. Dr. Lindsey’s current research, which is funded by the Robin Hood Foundation, involves the delivery of an innovative intervention aimed at decreasing PTSD and depression symptoms, and improving positive parenting skills in child-welfare involved mothers with trauma-related disorders. As a child and adolescent mental health services researcher, he has received research support from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop and test the Making Connections Intervention, a treatment engagement intervention that promotes access to and use of mental health services among depressed and traumatized teens in schools. In 2017 Dr. Lindsey was appointed to spearhead NYU’s Strategies to Reduce Inequality initiative, leading a team of faculty from schools and disciplines across the university who aim to extend their impact on inequality through focus and collaboration. Prior to joining NYU Silver in 2014, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and a Faculty Affiliate at the University of Maryland Department of Psychiatry’s Center for School Mental Health. Dr. Lindsey is a standing member of Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) National Advisory Council at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He also is on the editorial board of the journal Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. He holds a PhD in social work and MPH from the University of Pittsburgh, an MSW from Howard University, and a BA in sociology from Morehouse College.
Pathways to Prosperity
Gregory Seaton, PhD, is an associate director for the Pathways to Prosperity Network. In this role, he is leading a landscape analysis focused on supporting postsecondary success in Delaware and is the Pathways to Prosperity team lead for Philadelphia. Dr. Seaton brings a unique blend of practical work experiences in urban schools and communities and a rigorous academic background. His research is primarily focused on the developmental and academic outcomes of youth, particularly urban males. Previously, he served as associate professor at the College of New Jersey in the Department of Education Administration and Secondary Education. Dr. Seaton taught educational psychology, adolescent learning and development, and research methods to pre- and in-service teachers. He also served as a youth outreach worker for the Orlando Housing Authority, where he was responsible for job readiness and life-skills training for public housing residents. Additionally, he served as the executive director for Teacher Education for America's Minorities (TEAM) at the University of Central Florida. As director, he recruited and trained minority teachers to provide high-quality instruction in urban and poorly funded schools. Throughout his graduate training and professional career, Dr. Seaton has participated in multiple phases of large-scale mixed methods research and evaluation projects. In particular, he served as senior researcher at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Health, Achievement, Neighborhood, Growth, and Ethnic Studies. There, he was responsible for developing and teaching health-based curricula in Philadelphia public schools and analyzing outcome data using GIS (geographic information systems). He has also conducted evaluations for the New Jersey Department of Education, Center for Disease Control, the Environment Protection Agency, and local school districts. Dr. Seaton has a master's degree from Harvard University and a PhD in educational leadership and human development from the University of Pennsylvania.
M. Daniel Bennett Jr.
University of Alabama
M. Daniel Bennett Jr. is an interdisciplinary researcher with clinical practice experience. His research addresses gaps in research and practice with African American males, and incorporates an interdisciplinary focus that transcends social welfare policy and practice aimed at this population. Bennett’s preliminary findings have been presented at several senior interdisciplinary research conferences, and his work has been published in social work and research journals. He has been an expert manuscript reviewer for disciplinary journals including Research on Social Work Practice, Criminology and Public Policy, and the Journal of Black Psycholog. Most recently, Dr. Bennett co-edited a special issue of Research on Social Work Practice focused on African American males.
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Dr. Marvin Lynn is Dean of the College of Education at Portland State University. Prior to coming to PSU, Dr. Lynn served as Dean of the School of Education at Indiana University South Bend, Associate Dean for Teacher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction, Affiliate Faculty member in African American studies and Director of graduate and undergraduate elementary teacher preparation programs at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Assistant and Associate Professor of Minority & Urban Education—a graduate program he founded and coordinated at the University of Maryland at College Park. He also worked for several years as an elementary and middle school teacher in Chicago and New York City. Dr. Lynn is an internationally recognized expert on race and education. He is the lead editor of the Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education published simultaneously in the U.S. and the U.K. with Routledge Press. He serves as an editorial board member of several journals and has published more than two-dozen research articles and book chapters in reputable outlets. He earned his PhD in Social Sciences and Education with a concentration in race and ethnic studies in education from the University of California at Los Angeles, a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching with an emphasis on Urban Education from Teachers College-Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with concentrations in music and language arts from DePaul University in Chicago. Dr. Lynn is a member of Phi Kappa Phi.
Charles Corprew has dedicated his research to the academic achievement of young African-American males. Specifically, Corprew examines the ways in which ideas of hyper-masculinity influence African-American males and their social development. Since receiving a master’s degree in Urban Education from Norfolk State University in 1997, Corprew has worked extensively within the Virginia Beach public school system, teaching high school American History and Advanced Placement Psychology. In addition, he served as the Director of the James Madison University Male Academy, a program dedicated to the social and academic development of young African American males. He completed his PhD in Psychological Sciences at Tulane University in 2011.
Lance T. McCready
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
Lance T. McCready, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Urban Education. An interdisciplinary social scientist, he researches the education, health and wellness of young men in urban centers. Recently, his research has centered on young black men’s perspectives on education, work and gender relations. McCready is author of Making Space for Diverse Masculinities, a critical ethnography of gay and gender non-conforming black male students. In addition to coordinating a number of Toronto-based research projects, he is also a Lead Researcher on the Black and Latino Male School Intervention Study in the United States.
Jamel K. Donnor
College of William and Mary
Jamel K. Donnor is the William and Martha Clairborne Stephens Distinguished Associate Professor of Education at William and Mary. In addition to being a leading scholar on critical race theory and education, Dr. Donnor's research investigates the relationship between education quality, life opportunities, and the lived experiences of African American male student-athletes in major college football. His 2005 journal article, “Towards an Interest-Convergence in the Education of African American Football Student Athletes in Major College Sports,” is one of the most widely cited publications on African American male student-athletes. His books include: Scandals in College Sports (Routledge, 2017), Critical Race Theory in Education: All God’s Children Got a Song (2nd, ed.) (Routledge, 2017), and The Resegregation of Schools: Education and Race in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2013).
Wayne State University
Jamie Mitchell is an Assistant Professor within the School of Social Work. Her work has focused on the social barriers to cancer preventive/early detection behaviors among African American men and social determinants of health, specifically as they relate to prostate and colorectal cancers. Her research has prompted her to survey over 1,000 African American males regarding their health needs and access in order to develop a framework of understanding the social factors that may impact engagement with cancer preventing behaviors. Dr. Mitchell received her Ph.D. in Social Work from The Ohio State University.
New York University
Michael Dumas has dedicated his scholarly research to the intersection of education policy and the cultural politics of Black education. His upcoming projects seek to examine how poor and working-class young Black parents of Black boys in early childhood and elementary education navigate social and educational policy in their own lives, and in the lives of their children. His previous publications have included cultural and political-economic analyses of educational equity politics. Dumas received a Ph.D. in Urban Education and Educational Policy from The Graduate Center of The City University of New York.
James L. Moore III
Ohio State University
Dr. James L. Moore III is an associate provost in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, where he also serves as the inaugural director of the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male. Additionally, Dr. Moore is a full professor in Counselor Education in the College of Education and Human Ecology. He has a widely recognized research agenda that focuses on school counseling, gifted education, urban education, higher education, multicultural education/counseling, and STEM education. He recently co-edited a book titled African American Students in Urban Schools: Critical Issues and Solutions for Achievement. Dr. Moore has published nearly 90 works and given over 150 scholarly presentations and lectures throughout the United States and abroad.
University of Illinois, Chicago
Dr. Otima Doyle’s program of research is dedicated to understanding familial risk and protective factors related to emotional and behavioral problems among culturally diverse, underserved youth. In particular, she focuses on the role of fathers and co-parenting in the prevention/reduction of youth aggression, depression and suicide, and the development of preventive interventions with this population. In addition to several pre- and post-doctoral fellowship awards, Dr. Doyle was the recipient of an NIMH Diversity Supplement which was amended to the Impact of Adolescent Suicide Attempters on Parents study. She is a co-investigator on a second NIMH supplement to the IMPACT study (IMPACT, father supplement). Dr. Doyle is also the principal investigator of the Voices ‘n Visions study, which is a qualitative pilot study exploring the parenting experiences of African American fathers of pre-adolescent sons at risk for developing aggressive behaviors and depressive symptoms. Through the Voices ‘n Visions study Dr. Doyle added the largely unrepresented perspectives of African American fathers to the growing scholarly discourse on the roles, needs, and influences of fathers. Collectively, the Voices ‘n Visions findings highlight the gendered, cultural, familial, and environmental contexts that shape African American fathers’ parenting. More specifically, the findings reveal fathers’ experiences with, and the importance fathers place on: 1) co-parenting and father-son relationships, 2) communication within the co-parental relationship, 3) fathers’ roles in disciplining and monitoring their sons, and 4) teaching their sons values such as responsibility and the importance of education. Dr. Doyle has been published as the lead author in journals such as Family Process, Social Work Research, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, American Journal of Public Health, Research on Social Work Practice, and the Psychology of Men and Masculinity.
Florida State University
Dr. Onifade teaches courses in community practice and serves as the principal investigator of a number of research projects on juvenile justice. His research interests include child welfare, criminal justice, community development via policy intervention, and system responses to negative social behaviors like child maltreatment and delinquency. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow for the National Science Foundation at Michigan State University, where he created a neighborhood typology system for connecting communities with the specific programs that best serve their needs. Dr. Onifade has presented his work at a number of conferences and workshops, including the Society for Community Research and Action Biennial Conference and the Midwestern Psychological Association Annual Meeting.
Edward Fergus is Assistant Professor of Urban Education at Temple University. Edward is a former high school teacher, program evaluator, and community school program director. Dr. Fergus’ current work is on the intersection of educational policy and outcomes with a specific focus on Black and Latino boys’ academic and social engagement outcomes, disproportionality in special education and suspensions, and school climate conditions. He has published numerous articles and is the author of Skin Color and Identity Formation: Perceptions of Opportunity and Academic Orientation among Mexican and Puerto Rican Youth (Routledge Press, 2004), co-editor of Invisible No More: Disenfranchisement of Latino Men and Boys (Routledge Press, 2011), co-author of Schooling For Resilience: Improving Trajectory of Black and Latino boys (Harvard Education Press, 2014), author of Solving Disproportionality and Achieving Equity (Corwin Press, 2016), and co-editor of forthcoming book Boyhood and Masculinity Construction in the US (Routledge Press, forthcoming). Fergus has worked with over 65 school districts since 2004 on educational equity and school reform, specifically addressing disproportionality in special education and suspension. Fergus partners with state education departments such as California (2010-2017), Maryland (2016 – present), and Texas (2012 – present) and serves on various boards such as NY State Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (2010-present), appointed in 2011 to the Yonkers Public Schools Board of Education (2011-2013), and is an expert consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division on Educational Opportunities (2014-2016) and NAACP Legal Defense Fund (2018).
David J. Pate Jr.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
David J. Pate, Jr. is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Social Work Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, and an Affiliated Associate Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, and an Affiliated Associate Professor at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Faculty Affiliate of the Institute for Child and Well-Being at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Professor Pate’s research projects involve examining the life course events of Black adult males thorough the use of qualitative research methods. His primary areas of interest are the child support enforcement system, infant mortality, and the impact of adverse childhood experiences on the well-being status of Black males. A Ted Talk was conducted in September, 2017 and released in January, 2018 titled “Seeking Peace and Justice in my Black Life”. Professor Pate received a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Detroit, a Masters of Arts in Social Work from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration and then earned a Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Derek M. Griffith is the Founder and Director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health and Professor of Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University. The Center for Research on Men’s Health is one of the first university-wide center in the US that focuses on men’s health and men’s health disparities. Launched in the September 2016, the center has the threepronged mission of improving men’s health, reducing unjust differences in health among men, and improving the health of African American men and other men in the US and across the globe. Dr. Griffith is trained in psychology and public health and he has published extensively on men’s health. Specializing in qualitative and behavioral research, Dr. Griffith focuses primarily on developing and testing individually-tailored interventions to promote healthier eating, physical activity and weight loss to reduce risk for cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease among middle-aged and older African American men. His research on African American men’s health has been funded by the American Cancer Society, the Aetna Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and several institutes within the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Griffith is the lead editor of the forthcoming Handbook of Men’s Health Disparities: the first volume to describe men’s health disparities as a field of study that emerged from gaps in and between research on men’s health and health inequities across the globe.
Associate Professor Desmond Upton Patton’s research uses qualitative and computational data collection methods to examine the relationship between youth and gang violence and social media; how and why violence, grief, and identity are expressed on social media; and the real-world impact these expressions have on well-being for low-income youth of color. He studies the ways in which gang-involved youth conceptualize threats on social media, and the extent to which social media shapes and facilitates youth and gang violence. Dr. Patton is the founding director of SAFElab, a member of the Data Science Institute, and a faculty affiliate of the Social Intervention Group (SIG). He holds a courtesy appointment in the department of Sociology. He is the recipient of the 2018 Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) and was named a 2017-2018 fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. In partnership with the Data Science Institute, he is developing an online tool for detecting aggression in social media posts. Dr. Patton’s research on “internet banging” has been featured in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, NPR, Boston magazine, ABC News, Nature, and Vice. It was cited in an amici curiae brief submitted to the United States Supreme Court in Elonis v. United States,which examined the interpretation of threats on social media. Before coming to Columbia, Dr. Patton was an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and School of Information. He holds a BA in Anthropology and Political Science with honors from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, an MSW from the University of Michigan School of Social Work, and a PhD in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.
Keon L. Gilbert
Saint Louis University
Dr. Gilbert is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science and Health Education. His work focuses on the interconnections of racial identity, socialization, and institutional racism as factors in African-American male health and wellness over time. Drawing from the disciplines of Public Health, Public Affairs, Biology and African-American studies, Gilbert seeks to understand the impact of structural racism on health disparities, and the role of cultural relevance and understanding as a means of promoting health and disease prevention in the African-American community. His courses include Introduction to Behavioral Sciences and Eliminating Health Disparities.
University of Louisville
Armon Perry is an Assistant Professor in the Kent School of Social Work. His research interests are focused primarily on the dynamics of African-American families, specifically as they relate to the presence and involvement of African-American fathers. He has several peer-reviewed articles and presentations on these topics. He received his MSW and PhD in Social Work from the University of Alabama, and his BSW in Social Work from Alabama State University.
University of Connecticut
Wizdom Powell is Director of the Health Disparities Institute and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Connecticut. Formerly, Dr. Powell spent over a decade at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health where she held a tenured appointment in the Department of Health Behavior and was Research Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity Research in the Department of Social Medicine. In February 2010, Powell gave invited testimony before the President’s Cancer Panel (PCP) on physician communication with minority patients and its impact on their mistrust and use of health care. The PCP used her testimony to recommend national strategies for eliminating cancer disparities to President Obama. In 2011-2012, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as a White House Fellow to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. In this role, she provided subject matter expertise on Military Mental Health (e.g., PTSD, Suicide, and Military Sexual Trauma). Her community-based research focuses on of the role of modern racism and gender norms on African American male health outcomes and healthcare inequities. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters including ones in the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Behavioral Medicine, and Child Development. In addition to being a White House Fellow, she is an American Psychological Association (APA) Minority, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Burch Leadership, Institute of African American Research, and Ford Foundation Fellow who received a Ph.D. and M.S. in Clinical Psychology and M.P.H. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She serves as chair of the APA’s workgroup on Health Disparities in Boys and Men and co-chair of the Health Committee for President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative in Durham County. In recognition of her public service to boys and men, she received the American Psychological Association’s (D51) Distinguished Professional Service Award. In 2015, she received the prestigious Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Outstanding Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty. Dr. Powell was awarded a 2017 academic writing residency at the Bellagio Center from the Rockefeller Foundation. During this highly competitive residency, Dr. Powell worked with other global leaders on collaborative strategies for transforming social and healthcare system landscapes to address gendered health Inequities among vulnerable males. Most recently, she was selected as a Health Innovator Fellow by the Aspen Institute and is the 2019 President-Elect of the Division for the Psychological Study of Men & Masculinities at the APA .
University of Maryland-College Park
Dr. Joseph B. Richardson, Jr., is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Medical Anthropology in the Departments of African-American Studies and Anthropology at the University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Richardson also has a secondary appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (Division of Preventive Medicine) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Richardson is one of the founders and the Program and Research Director for the Capital Region Violence Intervention Program (CAP-VIP), a hospital-based violence intervention program, at the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center. CAP-VIP provides trauma informed care and psychosocial services for male survivors of violent injury. He completed his doctoral studies at Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice and his Bachelor’s Degree in African and African-American Studies at the University of Virginia. Dr. Richardson has been completed post-doctoral research training at the University of Chicago (Spencer Foundation Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship) and the Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine (National Institute of Mental Health Clinical Scholars Research Training Fellowship in HIV/AIDS, Mental Health and Substance Use in Correctional Healthcare). He is also a recipient of the Mid-Career Scholars Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections Program. Dr. Richardson’s research focuses on four substantive areas: 1) Biopsychosocial approach to understanding gun violence and trauma among Black boys and young Black men; 2) The intersection of the criminal justice and healthcare systems among violently injured young Black men; 3) Parenting strategies for low-income Black boys; 4) Trauma informed and patient centered care. His selected publications and featured stories have appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Urban Health, Journal of Surgical Research, Violence & Victims, Journal of Black Psychology, NPR, Newsweek, VICE News and the Huffington Post. He is also the Producer of the award nominated short documentary Bullets Without Names and the digital storytelling project Life After the Gunshot. Dr. Richardson is the Producer/Host of the Working Class Intellectuals Podcast, which is devoted to amplifying the extraordinary narratives of working class people.
Dana K. Harmon
Dana K. Harmon is an Assistant Professor of Social Work and Coordinator of the Pre-Social Work Program at Auburn University at Montgomery in Montgomery, AL. Her research interests include Black males and family functioning, marriage quality and commitment, spirituality and religiosity among Black Americans, and parental loss. She has published peer-reviewed journal articles and presented at local and national conferences about the factors associated with fathers’ involvement with their children, the impact of that involvement on mothers’ parenting stress and children’s behavior, African American men’s perspective on the intersection of marriage and fatherhood, and police brutality against Black boys and men.
Dr. Harmon has 21 years of direct service experience with couples, families, adults and children, in which she was co-led various court-ordered programs that focused on domestic violence intervention for male perpetrators, juvenile substance abuse prevention (co-developer), anger management and divorce education for parents seeking a divorce. She also does mitigation work for capital murder cases.
She earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, MSW from Loyola University Chicago, and BA in Sociology from the University of Alabama. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and an SREB Graduate Scholar.
University of Michigan
Larry L. Rowley employs theoretical and empirical analyses to chart racial and gender stratification in higher education. He has examined the dynamics between urban universities and communities; the relationships between racial diversity and the public service mission of higher education; and the factors shaping the paucity of African-American males in colleges and universities. Rowley’s research has been funded by the Lumina Foundation for Education. He is a faculty member in the School of Education and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.
Lionel C. Howard
George Washington University
Lionel C. Howard, Ed.D, is an Associate Professor of Educational Research at The George Washington University, in Washington DC. Dr. Howard’s research interest include, broadly, gender identity development and socialization, motivation and academic achievement, and quantitative and qualitative research methodology. He has worked on several local and national research projects focused on improving the educational trajectory and schooling experiences of African American and Latino students. He has also served as a consultant on education policy and evaluation studies. Dr. Howard has published in the Journal of Black Psychology, Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Journal of Boyhood, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Journal of Homosexuality, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and Harvard Educational Review. He is co-editor of Facing Racism in Education (3rd Ed), published by Harvard University Press. Dr. Howard received his Ed.D. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, and completed an National Institute of Child Health and Development postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Department of Psychology and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. He also has a M.A. in Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation from the University of Maryland, College Park, and B.A. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from William Paterson University of New Jersey.
City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
An Assistant Professor of Sociology, Douglas Thompkins analyzes the phases of prisoner life behind bars and after the completion of a jail sentence. Specific topics of his focus include the relationships between prison education programs and ex-offender employment opportunities. He is also the principal investigator of CUNY’s Black Male Initiative. Outside of his academic commitments, Thompkins serves as advisor for several organizations, including the Prisoner Reentry Institute, the Center on Race Crime and Justice at John Jay College, and the Public Safety Initiative, run by the Lifers Organization at the state prison in Graterford, Pennsylvania.
Dr. William L. Jeffries IV
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. William L. Jeffries IV received his MPH in social and behavioral sciences and PhD in sociology from the University of Florida. His research focuses on the intersections of sexuality, race, and ethnicity in relation to HIV infection among American men. Dr. Jeffries has worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and an epidemiologist. In his current CDC assignment, he leads research addressing social determinants of HIV infection among black gay and bisexual men. Dr. Jeffries was a recipient of the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship and has published in a number of academic journals, including the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of African American Studies.
Raphael Travis, Jr.
Texas State University-San Marcos
Dr. Travis is an Associate Professor and Director of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program at Texas State University’s School of Social Work. His research, practice and consultancy work each focus on positive youth development over the life-course, resilience, and civic engagement. He also investigates creative arts, especially Hip-Hop culture, as a source of positive development and well-being in people's lives. As an educator and administrator Dr. Travis works to ensure that the next generation of social workers are prepared personally and professionally by emphasizing excellence, rigor, and innovative engagement within at each stage of their social work program. Dr. Travis early practice work as a clinical social worker with youth in residential settings anchored his practice and research commitment to investing in the positive development of youth and young adults. The emphasis is as much about preventing undesirable outcomes as it is about promoting desirable outcomes among youth. Dr. Travis’ most recent research related to positive youth development and arts-based interventions appear in a variety of academic journals. Dr. Travis examines how attitudes and competencies are a cultural byproduct of positive and supportive relationships, self-reinforcing, and help individuals to cope with adversities and demonstrate resilience. His work is attentive to strategies that help to uncover and ameliorate social and environmental stressors that make it difficult for some individuals to learn and to be healthy. He is also the author of the book, “The Healing Power of Hip Hop.” He had three goals for the book: (1) to help people understand conceptually and empirically how Hip Hop helps to improve lives and communities; (2) to introduce readers to a new generation of leaders, or “cultural ambassadors,” who understand how Hip Hop culture can be used to promote well-being both personally and professionally; and (3) to celebrate the many opportunities to use Hip Hop for learning and growth. Dr. Travis has been interviewed about his research and book extensively, appearing on a variety of audio, video, and digital media outlets.
Odis Johnson, Jr.
Washington University in St. Louis
Odis Johnson Jr., PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Education, Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Education, and a Faculty Scholar at the Institute of Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to his appointments at Washington University, Dr. Johnson chaired the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland. Dr. Johnson’s research examines how neighborhoods, schools and public policies relate to social inequality, youth development and the status of African American populations. His work on these topics has earned him the 2013 Outstanding Review of Research Award from the American Educational Research Association, and the 2015 Outstanding Author Contribution Award in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence. Dr. Johnson’s work has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Spencer Foundation, National Science Foundation (NSF), and the American Educational Research Association. His research has been published in highly-selective scientific journals, including the Review of Educational Research, Social Science and Medicine, and the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Research. Dr. Johnson currently is the principal investigator of the Fatal Interactions with Police Study (FIPS) which has generated a national data file of police homicides, and an NSF-funded study of how strategies to maintain law and order in neighborhoods and schools impact the career trajectories of race-gender groups. Dr. Johnson’s work and ideas about social change have been featured in prominent media outlets, including the Oprah Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, CNN, The Washington Post, MSNBC, NPR, Teen Vogue, Vox, The New Yorker, SiriusXM, and a variety of international and local news outlets. He frequently serves as an advisor to governmental agencies and school systems to improve the lives of young people, urban neighborhoods, and social programs.
Daphne C. Watkins
University of Michigan
Daphne C. Watkins, PhD is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan with faculty appointments in the School of Social Work, the Department of Psychology, and the Institute for Social Research. Broadly, her research cultivates a deeper understanding of the influence of gender role socialization on health over the adult life course for marginalized men. Dr. Watkins’ research focuses on generating knowledge about (1) the social determinants of health that explain within group differences among black men; (2) evidence-based strategies to improve the mental health of black men; and (3) the intersection of age, culture, and gender. She is the immediate past President of the American Men’s Studies Association; the first woman and person of color to ever serve as President in the organization’s 30 year history. She also serves on several committees and boards aimed at improving men’s health domestically and globally.
Dr. Watkins has received federal and private foundation funding for her research, and has produced over 60 peer-reviewed publications, 20 book chapters and volume sections, and two books. In addition to her scholarship, Dr. Watkins is the Founding Director of the Gender and Health Research (GendHR) Lab and the Young Black Men, Masculinities, and Mental Health (YBMen) Project. She teaches Masters and PhD courses on research methods, program evaluation, theory, and community-based interventions. She is also the Founding Director of the Certificate Program in Mixed Methods Research.
Janice Johnson Dias
City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Janice Johnson Dias’s research examines racial/ethnic and socio-economic disparities in the areas of health and human services, and specifically, how those disparities are manifested in the everyday lives of the poor, particularly low-income women and their children. A former fellow at the National Poverty Center of the University of Michigan, she is now assistant professor of sociology and the President of GrassROOTS Community Foundation, a health advocacy and giving organization. In these roles she is pursuing several community-based research projects that explore the health experiences of impoverished women and girls. Her current health research investigates how low-income black mothers’ perception of neighborhood safety influences physical activity and dietary choices for themselves and their children.
University of California-Santa Cruz
An associate professor of Psychology, Aaronette White investigates feminist thought through the diverse perspectives of self-identified feminist women and men of African descent. These perspectives, many depicted as life narratives in her books Ain’t I a Feminist: African American Men Speak Out on Fatherhood, Friendship, Forgiveness, and Freedom and African Americans Doing Feminism: Putting Theory into Everyday Practice, have informed her presentation of psychological models that explain how women and men of color learn and sustain their feminist identities. As a Fulbright Fellowship Scholar, Professor White spent a year teaching at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and completing her forthcoming collection, Ethiopian Feminist Perspectives: Theory, Identity, and Practice.
Tera R. Jordan
Iowa State University
Dr. Tera R. Jordan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University. Dr. Jordan’s research program centers on health-focused intervention programming, community-based studies, and African American families, couples, men, and youth. She utilizes this skill base to study two areas: (a) marriage and intimate relationships and (b) Type-2 diabetes prevention and management. She has received internal and external grant funding to support her research; results are published in high-quality journals under her maiden name, Tera R. Hurt. In addition to conducting research, she teaches courses on family communication and relationships, advanced qualitative methods, and mixed methods and serves the university community through leadership positions on the Athletics Council, Black Faculty and Staff Association, Inclusive Action Commission, McNair Advisory Council, and her college and department’s Honors and Awards Committee. Prior to joining the faculty at Iowa State in 2012, Dr. Jordan earned a dual-title Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies and Demography from The Pennsylvania State University in 2005 and worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Georgia from 2004 to 2012.
University of Texas at Austin
Ben Carrington’s research focuses on the sociology of race, constructions of masculinity, as well as sociological approaches to popular culture and sports. His book Race, Sports, and Gender: The Sporting Black Diaspora, gives a historical overview of the role of sports in the formation of racial discourse. He received his PhD in Sociology from Leeds Metropolitan University. He is also a Visiting Research Fellow from the Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education. Outside of the realm of sports sociology, Carrington is closely involved with the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and the Center for European Studies. He has received a number of awards, including the 2010 President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award.
Ohio State University
Simone Drake is the Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University. She received her doctorate in English Literature from the University of Maryland, a Master in the Study of Law from OSU Moritz College of Law as well as a dual master’s degree in English and African American and African Studies, and a bachelor’s degree in Classical Civilization and English from Denison University. She is the author of When We Imagine Grace: Black Men and Subject Making (University of Chicago Press 2016) and Critical Appropriations: African American Women and the Construction of Transnational Identity (Louisiana State University Press 2014); co-editor (with Dwan Henderson Simmons) of Are You Entertained?: Black Popular Culture in the Twenty-First Century (forthcoming Duke University Press); and numerous journal articles and book chapters. She serves on the editorial boards of The Ohio State University Press and Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men (Indiana University Press).
David Ikard is professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. He has served as chair of Africana Studies at the University of Miami and the chair of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt. He is the author of four books, including Breaking The Silence: Toward a Black Male Feminist Criticism, Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama's Post-Racial America (co-authored with Martell Teasley), Blinded by the Whites: Why Race Still Matters in the 21st Century and Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs (2017). In 2013 Nation of Cowards received the Best Scholarly Book Award from the DIOP organization. His essays have appeared in African American Review, MELUS, Palimpsest, African and Black Diaspora Journal, The Journal of Black Studies, and Obsidian III. In 2015 he received the William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award from the Florida Education Fund and the McKnight Fellows for his dedication and commitment to mentoring graduate students. He is also a Ford Fellow and a faculty mentor for the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship.
Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr.
Washington University in St. Louis
Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr. is an Associate Professor of African & African American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. McCune is the author of the award-winning book Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing. He is the former director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program at Washington University. He is presently completing On Kanye, a critical engagement with the impossibility of black genius, iconography, and monster aesthetics. McCune has been featured on Left of Black, Sirius XM's Joe Madison Show, HuffPost Live, Pitchfork, and a guest expert on Bill Nye Saves The World.
The Director of Africana Studies and an Associate Professor of English, James Peterson has dedicated his academic career to the study of hip-hop and the development of its cultural and educational potential. In 2004, Dr. Peterson founded Hip Hop Scholars, LLC, a non-profit organization of scholars committed to researching and developing an educational bridge from hip-hop to urban youth. In addition, Dr. Peterson has delivered “Hip-Hop Studies” lectures alongside Cornel West at Princeton University and has also worked with Michael Eric Dyson at the University of Pennsylvania. Beyond fielding interviews for numerous magazines on urban culture and hip-hop, he has also published articles in the Black Arts Quarterly and The Wall Street Journal.
J. James Scott
J. James Scott is a Senior Lecturer in African American and African Studies. His research interests include African American and American Cultural Studies, Critical Race and Gender studies, especially black masculinity in popular cultural discourse and 20th Century African American Literature. Currently, he is revising his manuscript, Not Just Money: Reparations, Gender and Cultural Identity, and conducting research for an ethnographic study, Reading Black Men’s Read, which focuses on Black men’s reading choices and practices. He received his doctorate in American Studies from the University of Maryland.
University of Waterloo
Vershawn Ashanti Young, who goes by dr. vay, is a scholar within the disciplines of communication and writing, gender, performance, and race. He brings all these together in his scholarship and public work. He regularly serves as a consultant to schools and organizations around issues of cultural competency, educational access and success for historically oppressed people of colour; around issues of gender equity, and what he calls the continuing civil rights movement. He is perhaps best known for his scholarship on the concept of codemeshing, where he advances that writers and speakers should use their home linguistic backgrounds to communicate, particularly in high stakes communication situations. He further advances that students and professionals from diverse language backgrounds should not have to sacrifice their language identities in the face of long-standing U.S. linguistic prejudice against such groups. dr. vay has authoured or co-authored 9 books, including his recent Routledge Reader of African American Rhetoric (Routledge 2018), Neo-Passing: Performing Identity After Jim Crow (Illinois 2018) Antiracist Pedagogy in Writing, Rhetoric and Communication Studies (Parlor Press 2016/17), and Other Peoples English: Code-Meshing, Code Switching and African American Literacy (2018 Parlor Press). He is currently completing two monograph and one teaching guide: Straight Black Queer: Gender Anxiety and the American Dream and When Teachers Hurt: Narratives of Failure and Success in Teaching and Learning and the teaching guide: The Pocket Guide to Code-Meshing: Raise Your Authentic Voice in Academic and Public Speaking and Writing. He is currently a professor in the departments of Communication Arts and English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada. He has served on the faculties at the University of Kentucky and the University of Iowa. He has also served as an administrator within both Chicago Public Schools and Los Angeles Unified School District. He has served as a high school teacher of English, drama, and speech communication, and has worked as a professional actor. He still tours his one-man show “Your Average Nigga,” titled after his first book of the same name.