Second Wave: Sustainers

WHO WE ARE    Applied Sciences | Social Sciences | Humanities

Applied Social Sciences

Wizdom Powell :

Wizdom Powell

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director

University of Connecticut, UConn Health, Health Disparities Institute

Dr. Powell is a trained population health disparities research scientist and clinical psychologist and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Health Behavior. She is recognized nationally for the impact of her work addressing social determinants of health inequities among boys and men of color. Resolving the widely acknowledged “gender paradox” that men, despite having more social power than women, are more likely to experience pre-mature death than women is central to this work. She is the winner of UNC’s Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty for 2015. Powell served on the faculty for a decade before becoming director of the Health Disparities Institute at the University of Connecticut.

Joseph Richardson :

Joseph Richardson

The Joel and Kim Feller Professor and MPower Professor of African-American Studies and Medical Anthropology

University of Maryland-College Park, Department of African American Studies

Dr. Richardson is the Joel and Kim Feller Endowed Professor of African-American Studies and Anthropology. Dr. Richardson received his PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Rutgers University-School of Criminal Justice and his bachelor's degree in African and African-American Studies from the University of Virginia. He completed a Spencer Foundation Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Chicago and an NIMH clinical post-doctoral research training fellowship in Substance Use, Mental Health and HIV/AIDS in Correctional Healthcare at the Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Richardson holds a Joint Appointment in the Department of Anthropology (Medical) and a Secondary Appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Division of Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Richardson's research focuses on four specific areas: 1) Gun violence; 2) The intersection of structural violence, interpersonal violence and trauma among Black boys and young Black men; 3) The intersection of the criminal justice and healthcare systems in lives of young Black men; 4) Parenting strategies for low-income Black male youth. Trained as a criminologist and medical anthropologist. Dr. Richardson uses an inter-disciplinary, intersectional and longitudinal qualitative research approach. He is specifically interested in understanding the ways that the healthcare and criminal justice systems intersect and impact the lives of Black male survivors of violence.

Dana K. Harmon :

Dana K. Harmon

Contributing Faculty

Walden University, College of Social and Behavioral Health, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Dr. Dana K. Harmon’s field of study is Social Work. Her research interests include Black males and family functioning, marriage quality and commitment, spirituality and religiosity among Black Americans, and parental loss. Dr. Harmon has 22 years of direct service experience with couples, families, adults and children, and has co-led various court-ordered groups. She earned her Ph.D. in 2005 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. She is contributing faculty at Walden in the Barbara Solomon School of Social Work.
Raphael Travis, Jr. :

Raphael Travis, Jr.

Professor and MSW Program Director

Texas State University, College of Applied Arts, School of Social Work

Dr. Travis is a Professor and MSW Program Director at Texas State University in the School of Social Work. His research, practice and consultancy work emphasize healthy development over the life-course, resilience, and civic engagement. He also investigates creative arts, especially Hip-Hop culture, as a source of health and well-being for individuals and communities. He is author of the book “The Healing Power of Hip Hop.” Dr. Travis integrates the best of social work research and public health research within applied research and direct practice strategies. His latest research, linking arts engagement and well-being, appears in a variety of academic journals and book chapters. The Collaborative Research for Education, Art, and Therapeutic Engagement (CREATE) Lab, led by Dr. Travis, partners with researchers, educators, and artists focused on better understanding the educational, health, and therapeutic benefits of music and art engagement. The CREATE Lab has multiple active research projects including studies that build upon the lab’s music studio with professional quality music technology, hardware and software that makes constructing, recording, remixing, and other ways of engaging music possible.

Lionel C. Howard :

Lionel C. Howard

Interim Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Educational Research

George Washington University, Graduate School of Education & Human Development

Dr. Lionel Howard is a developmental psychologist whose research interest includes, broadly, gender and racial identity development and socialization, motivation and academic achievement, and research methodology. He has worked on several local and national research projects focused on Black child development and improving the educational trajectory and schooling experiences of minoritized students. He has also served as a consultant on education policy and evaluation studies. Dr. Howard has published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 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, and is completing a manuscript on researcher vulnerability in social science research. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health. Dr. Howard received his Ed.D. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, and completed a 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.

Daphne C. Watkins :

Daphne C. Watkins

University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, Director, and Faculty Associate 

University of Michigan, School of Social Work, Vivian A. and James L. Curtis Center, and Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Institute for Social Research

Daphne C. Watkins is a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor at the University of Michigan who studies: (1) behavioral interventions for historically marginalized groups; (2) mixed methods approaches to research in context; and (3)leadership development and organizational structures. Centering the strategies for success among historically marginalized groups, Professor Watkins’ research aims to maximize human potential, elevate social experiences, and provide equitable impact in communities and organizations. She is a community-practitioner interested in developing efficient tools and systems that activate positive, strengths-based outcomes for those most in need. Ultimately, she is committed to conducting and mobilizing cutting-edge, use-inspired research to address important social concerns. In addition to directing the Vivian A. and James L. Curtis Center for Health Equity Research and Training, Professor Watkins is the founding director of the Gender and Health Research (GendHR) Lab, the Certificate Program in Mixed Methods Research, and the award-winning Young Black Men, Masculinities, and Mental Health (YBMen)Project, which leverages technology to provide mental health education and social support for young Black men. She teaches graduate-level courses on research methods, social equity and equality, and community-based interventions. She also serves on committees and advisory boards aimed at improving men’s health equity both domestically and globally.
William L. Jeffries IV : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

William L. Jeffries IV

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Associate Chief for Science

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Capacity Building Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention

Dr. William L. Jeffries IV earned his MA in sociology (2006), MPH in social and behavioral sciences (2008), and PhD in sociology (2009) at the University of Florida. Here, he began researching bisexual men’s health. During 2009–2011, he acquired post-doctoral training in applied epidemiology as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since this time, he has led and contributed to studies that examine racial/ethnic and sexual orientation-related health disparities. Much of this work has focused on HIV prevention challenges that are unique to bisexual men as well as social determinants of health. He currently serves as Associate Chief for Science in the Capacity Building Branch within CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. In this role, he contributes expertise that informs that development and clearance of capacity building assistance products designed to strengthen the United States’ public health workforce. However, he also maintains an active research agenda focused on the health of racial/ethnic and sexual minorities. Dr. Jeffries’ research and mentorship exemplify his commitment to promoting social justice and health equity for socially marginalized populations. He uses innovative research methods that highlight societal racism, homophobia, and other forms of social oppression as underlying determinants of health. His research and programmatic efforts emphasize the urgent need for federal, state, and local public health entities to purposefully develop interventions that counteract these and other forms of social injustice. Within and outside CDC, Dr. Jeffries formally and informally mentors countless young women and men. Since its inception, he has been a faculty advisor for the Young Black Gay Men's Leadership Initiative. In this role, he mobilizes young African American same-gender-loving men to address social and health problems that disproportionately affect them. Dr. Jeffries’ unwavering commitment to rectifying social injustices that adversely affect the well-being of racial/ethnic and sexual minorities is testament to his commitment to the lives of marginalized populations.

Ben Carrington :

Ben Carrington

Associate Professor of Sociology and Journalism

University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Ben Carrington is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on the sociology of race, politics and popular culture. Prior to joining USC Annenberg, Carrington taught in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin for 13 years, and before that he worked at the University of Brighton in England. He is also a visiting Carnegie research fellow at Leeds Beckett University. Outside of USC Annenberg, Carrington holds courtesy appointments with USC’s Department of Sociology and the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity. Carrington studies a broad range of topics generally concerned with mapping the circulation and reproduction of power within contemporary post/colonial societies. More specifically, he is interested in how ideologies of race, gender, class and nationalism shape — and are themselves shaped by — cultural forms and practices, and how popular culture is often a key site of both cultural resistance and domination. His work examines mass media and sport as way to understand key sociological dimensions of everyday life as well as focusing on how racialized, gendered and classed social structures constrain and enable social life.

Odis Johnson, Jr. :

Odis Johnson, Jr.

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Social Policy & STEM Equity, Director, and Executive Director

Johns Hopkins University, School of Education, Department of Health Policy and Management, Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, & Mixed Methodologies, Johns Hopkins Center for Safe & Healthy Schools

Odis Johnson Jr., PhD, is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University, where he has faculty appointments in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the School of Education as Executive Director of the Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, and in the Department of Sociology at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. He also directs the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methodologies (ICQCM). Odis Johnson previously served as a faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis, and chaired the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland. His work on the interrelated topics of neighborhoods, social policy, and race have been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, William T. Grant Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. Odis 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, The Associated Press, Vox, The New Yorker, The New York Times, NBC News, The Chicago Tribune, SiriusXM, and a variety of international and local news outlets.

Gregory Seaton :

Gregory Seaton

Senior Director of Impact & Improvement


For his role at KnowledgeWorks, Gregg leads their state impact assessment portfolio and internal benchmark reporting efforts, overseeing data, research and learning. He brings asset-based approach that is grounded by direct service work and informed by rigorous interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks to help shape educational opportunities and supports that promote equitable life outcomes. Gregg is passionate about being a voice at the table for those who are not yet seated. Gregg’s research has been primarily focused on the developmental and academic outcomes of youth, particularly urban males. Previously, he was an associate director for JFF’s Pathways to Prosperity initiative and an associate professor at the College of New Jersey, teaching educational psychology, adolescent learning and development, and research methods to pre- and in-service teachers. He has also served as a youth outreach worker for the Orlando Housing Authority and as the executive director at Teacher Education for America’s Minorities at the University of Central Florida. Gregg has a master’s degree from Harvard University and a doctorate in educational leadership and human development from the University of Pennsylvania.

Janice Johnson Dias :

Janice Johnson Dias

Associate Professor 

City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice 

Janice Johnson Dias is a scholar and an activist whose life work is to develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing the poor, particularly black mothers and their children. Dr. Dias' work sits at the intersection of sociology, public health, public administration, and social work. Dr. Dias strives in her research, teaching, and practice to give those at the greatest risk for deleterious life outcomes their best opportunity and the resources to live healthy and productive lives. Dr. Dias identifies, develops, and rigorously tests promising community health programs and approaches that can create fundamental change in the circumstances of the lives of vulnerable people. During the last decade, Dr. Dias has refined her research agenda, developed new research methodologies, expanded teaching skills, and bridged the gap between academic inquiry and public action. As a result, she has become a skilled researcher, an effective teacher, and a community change agent. Dr. Dias' research focuses on mothers and children who are grew up and/or living in poverty. In addition to her academic work, Dr. Dias has extensive experience working with, evaluating and building collaborations among social service and community organizations.

Branden A. McLeod :

Branden A. McLeod

Assistant Professor

University of Illinois Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work

Dr. McLeod has held several professional social work positions including co-facilitator for Fatherhood Groups at the Chesapeake Detention Center, Associate Director & Policy Analyst with the Maryland Center for Economic Policy, Chair of Maryland Alliance for the Poor, Government Affairs Associate with the Child Welfare League of America, and as a Jail-Diversion Case Manager with You Are Never Alone (YANA), Inc. Dr. McLeod's professional interests include fatherhood among Black fathers and families, reentry into society from incarceration, and criminal justice reform.

Tera R. Jordan :

Tera R. Jordan

Assistant Provost for Faculty Development and Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Studies

Iowa State University, Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, College of Human Sciences

Dr. Tera R. Jordan is the Assistant Provost for Faculty Development and an Associate Professor 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 and men. 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 and published in high-quality journals under her name, Tera R. Hurt. In instruction, she has taught advanced qualitative methods and mixed methods. An award-winning scholar, the her department, the College of Human Sciences, Iowa State, and Faculty of Women of Color in the Academy have honored her dedication and commitment to teaching and mentoring, community engagement, and diversity enhancement and inclusive excellence. Prior to her faculty appointment in 2012, Dr. Jordan earned a dual-title Ph.D. in HDFS and Demography from The Pennsylvania State University in 2005.

Charles R. Rogers :

Charles R. Rogers

Associate Professor, Research Scholar Endowed Chair, Associate Director of Community Outreach & Engagement, Associate Member, Founding Director, and Founder & President

Medical College of Wisconsin, Institute for Health & Equity, MCW Cancer Center, University of Michigan-Mixed Methods Program, Men's Health Inequities Research Lab, and Colorectal Cancer Equity Foundation

As a behavioral scientist and master certified health education specialist (MCHES®), Dr. Charles R. Rogers currently serves as an associate professor of epidemiology & social sciences in the Institute for Health &Equity at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). He is also an MCW Cancer Center Research Scholar Endowed Chair and the inaugural Associate Director of Community Outreach & Engagement for MCW’s Cancer Center. In addition to being the Founding Director of his Men’s Health Inequities Research Lab since 2014, Dr. Rogers is also an Associate Member of the University of Michigan-Mixed Methods Program. His career has permitted him to study, partner with, and/or be a vociferous advocate for various underserved and socially vulnerable groups including community-dwelling older adult, African American, homeless, Somali, adolescent and young adult, Hispanic, rural, Indigenous, and sexual minority populations. Dr. Rogers is committed to dismantling systems of oppression to ensure equitable health for all. His transdisciplinary training in applied mathematics & statistics, health education, public health administration & policy, community-based participatory research, and cancer-related health disparities, provide a unique perspective for translating research findings into prevention methods among government agencies, policy makers, private health care organizations, and communities.

Michael Lindsey :

Michael Lindsey

Dean and Paulette Goddard Professor of Social Work

New York University, Silver School of Social Work

Dr. Michael A. Lindsey is a noted scholar in the fields of 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 Dean and Paulette Goddard Professor of Social Work at NYU Silver School of Social Work, and an Aspen Health Innovators Fellow. Additionally, Dr. Lindsey led the working group of experts supporting the Congressional Black Caucus Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health, which created the report Ring the Alarm: The Crisis of Black Youth Suicide in America. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice (NAP) in Social Work and Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. He was also appointed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF).Prior to being named NYU Silver’s Dean, Dr. Lindsey was the Constance and Martin Silver Professor of Poverty Studies and Executive Director of the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. Dr. Lindsey serves on the editorial boards of the following journals: Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Psychiatric Services, and School Mental Health. 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. Dr. Lindsey also completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Darrell Hudson :

Darrell Hudson

Associate Professor

Washington University in St. Louis, Brown School 

Darrell Hudson’s research focuses on racial/ethnic health disparities and the role of social determinants of health, particularly how socioeconomic position and social context affect health and health disparities. He is currently investigating why data show that African Americans—despite bearing a disproportionate burden of physical health disparities and greater exposure to stress—have lower rates of depression compared to white Americans. He has examined perceptions of depression and mental healthcare among African Americans and investigated comorbid depression and Type 2 diabetes in various settings. He also co-directs the Collaboration on Race, Inequality, and Social Mobility in America within the Brown School’s Center for Social Development. Hudson holds a joint appointment with the Washington University Department of Psychiatry and is a faculty scholar with the Institute for Public Health.

M. Daniel Bennett Jr. :

M. Daniel Bennett Jr.

Assistant Professor

University of Alabama, School of Social Work

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 PracticeCriminology 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.

Marvin Lynn :

Marvin Lynn


University of Colorado Denver, School of Education & Human Development

Dr. Marvin Lynn, Dean of the School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) at the University of Colorado Denver, has enjoyed a robust career as a teacher, equity scholar, public university administrator, and artist. SEHD is a statewide and national leader for education quality, access and equity across the education and human development lifespan. It is the largest graduate school of its kind in Colorado and is highly regarded for its high quality academic programs that demonstrate evidence of a strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Dr. Lynn earned his bachelor’s in Elementary Education from DePaul University in Chicago and a master’s in Curriculum & Teaching from Teachers College-Columbia University. He started his career as an elementary teacher in New York City Public Schools and Chicago Public Schools. He went on to earn his PhD in Race and Ethnic Studies in Education from University of California, Los Angeles. Before his arrival at CU Denver in June of 2022, he served as professor of education at Portland State University as well as Dean and associate dean at public universities in the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. Dean Lynn is one of the most highly cited researchers in the nation around educational equity. He is particularly well-regarded for his scholarship on Critical Race Theory in education. His research focuses on race, education, the work and lives of Black male educators, and best practices for advancing teacher diversity in the United States. Dr. Lynn is quoted regularly in local, national and international news stories. He is the lead editor of The Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education which features chapters by the most prolific scholars in the fields of education and the law. The second edition of the handbook was recently published with Routledge Press. His research has been recognized by the American Educational Research Association, the Critical Race Studies in Education Association, and the University of the Free State in South Africa.

Charles Corprew :

Charles Corprew

Loyola University

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 :

Lance T. McCready

Associate Professor

University of San Francisco, International & Multicultural Education

Lance T. McCready, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the department of International and Multicultural Education at University of San Francisco where he teaches courses on qualitative research, critical race theory, urban education and lgbt studies. Dr. McCready was born in New York City, completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Carleton College and obtained his graduate degrees from University of California, Berkeley in social and cultural studies. He is an interdisciplinary scholar-activist whose research and writing focuses on the health, education and employment of marginalized and racialized youth, specifically young Black men and queer youth of color. He recently returned to the U.S. after living abroad in Toronto, Ontario for nine years where he was Associate Professor in the department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at University of Toronto. There he served as Co-Principal Investigator of the Many Men, Many Voices (3MV) project at the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention in Toronto, and Principal Investigator of the Educational Trajectories of Young Black Men study (in collaboration with the John Howard Society of Toronto).

Jamel K. Donnor :

Jamel K. Donnor

Professor of Education and Affiliated Faculty

College of William and Mary, School of Education, Africana Studies, American Studies, Asian & Pacific Islander American (APIA) Studies, Center for Racial & Social Justice 

Jamel K. Donnor, Ph.D., is a socio-legal scholar with faculty affiliations in Arts & Sciences and William &Mary Law School. His areas of expertise include education policy and law, race and the law, affirmative action and higher education, intercollegiate athletics, and school de/segregation. Professor Donnor is one of the country’s leading experts on critical race theory, school segregation, and education inequality and race. His work draws on political theory, legal history, and case law to examine questions on the relationship between law and racial inequality, and to interpret how the U.S. Supreme Court interacts with conservative ideology and right-wing movements in interpreting the Constitution. Professor Donnor teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate level. His earlier works focused on the educational experiences of Black males in higher education and at the secondary level.

Jamie Mitchell :

Jamie Mitchell

Associate Professor of Social Work & Faculty Associate

University of Michigan, School of Social Work & Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research 

As a social work and health disparities researcher, Jamie Mitchell has extensive experience conducting research on health behaviors and healthcare communication strategies to optimize well-being and longevity for older African Americans, with an emphasis on older African American men. Her peer-reviewed research articles specifically center on older African American men’s preventive health behaviors, cancer and chronic disease communication, co-morbid mental and physical health, and psychosocial and physical well-being. As the principal investigator of an NIH (NIA) R24 grant titled "Recruiting and Retaining Older African Americans into Research (ROAR)", Mitchell works with academic and community stakeholders to specifically recruit a higher yield of older African Americans into health research, while sharing best practices for minority recruitment and retention in aging research with NIH centers and investigators nationally. In her role as co-investigator in the NIH NIA-funded Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) project and co-director of the Community Liaison and Recruitment Core of MCUAAAR, she engages a thriving community advisory board of African American older adults, and co-manages the administrative components of MCUAAAR’s Participant Research Registry of 1200 older African American research participants in Detroit. Most recently, Mitchell has taken on the role of assistant director of clinical research participation at Michigan Medicine’s Rogel Cancer Center. In this role, she is supporting investigators in their efforts to diversify cancer clinical trials by providing evidence-based tools for investigators, bolstering community outreach and engagement, and contributing to the evidence base on disparities in clinical research participation in cancer care.

Michael Dumas :

Michael Dumas

Assistant Professor

University of California Berkeley, African American Studies & African Diaspora Studies

Michael J. Dumas is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the Graduate School of Education and the African American Studies Department. He earned a Ph.D. in Urban Education with an emphasis in social and educational policy studies from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research sits at the intersection(s) of the cultural politics of Black education, the cultural political economy of urban education, and the futurity of Black childhood(s). He is primarily interested in how schools become sites of Black material and psychic suffering and anti-black violence, how disgust with and disdain for blackness inform defenses of inequitable distribution of educational resources, and ways that anti-blackness persists in education policy discourses and in broader public discourses on the worth of economic and educational investment in Black children. His recent publications have appeared in such journals as Teachers College Record, Race, Ethnicity and Education, and Discourse, and he was an invited contributor to the Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education and the Handbook of Cultural Politics and Education. He is currently lead editor of a forthcoming special issue of Teachers College Record, titled, “Political Economy, Race and Educational (In)equality: Realizing and Extending the Radical Possibilities of Jean Anyon,” and is also lead editor for the 2016 Politics of Education Yearbook, which will appear as a special issue of Educational Policy dedicated to the cultural politics of race.

James L. Moore III :

James L. Moore III

Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, Executive Director, and Professor

The Ohio State University, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Bell National Resource Center, and Department of Educational Studies

Dr. James L. Moore III is the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at The Ohio State University, where he is also the EHE Distinguished Professor of Urban Education in the College of Education and Human Ecology and inaugural executive director of the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male. From 2015 to 2017, he served as a program director for Broadening Participation in Engineering in the Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia, and, from 2011 to 2015, he was an associate provost for Diversity and Inclusion, where he managed numerous programs and units, including the Morrill Scholarship Program, ODI Scholars Program, Young Scholars Program, Upward Bound of Columbus, Upward Bound of Wooster, Community Outreach, Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male, and Administration/Special Programs.

Otima Doyle :

Otima Doyle

Associate Professor

University of Illinois, Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work

Dr. Doyle has over five years of clinical (i.e., individual, group and family therapy), school social work, and administrative experience with high risk youth and their families. Her professional interests include familial risk and protective factors related to emotional and behavioral problems among culturally diverse, underserved youth, the role of fathers and co-parenting in the prevention of youth aggression, depression and suicide, and the development and evaluation of prevention interventions with fathers and children.

Eyitayo Onifade :

Eyitayo Onifade

Founding Member

Consortium of Community Practice and Science

Dr. Eyitayo Onifade is the founding member of the Consortium for Community Practice and Science. He is a community psychologist and social worker with over a decade in program/policy evaluation and design, related to programs servicing marginalized individuals and communities. With a B.S. in Psychology from Morehouse College, Dr. Onifade worked in various capacities as a probation officer, mental health clinician, and victim-witness advocate for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. He completed his graduate studies in Social Work at the University of Georgia, focusing on non-profit management and program evaluation. There he worked with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government as a Fellow in their Child Welfare Policy Division, primarily serving as a reform-oriented policy analyst for legislation related to juvenile justice. His applied research and policy advocacy included an analysis of Georgia’s selection and retention policy for juvenile court judges, disparities in the application of mandatory sentencing laws for juveniles, and differences in sex offender treatment programs between Adult Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Dr. Onifade completed his Ph.D. in ecological-community psychology at Michigan State University. His primary areas of subject matter expertise are restorative justice, economic empowerment and community development.

Edward Fergus :

Edward Fergus

Professor of Urban Education & Policy

Rutgers University - Newark, School of Arts & Sciences

Prior to joining Rutgers University–Newark, Dr. Edward Fergus was Associate Professor of Urban Education and Policy at Temple University and Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at New York University. Edward is a former high school social studies teacher, program evaluator, and community school program director. Dr. Fergus’ 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 more than four dozen articles, book chapters, evaluation reports, and five books including 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), co-editor of forthcoming book Boyhood and Masculinity Construction in the US (Routledge Press, forthcoming), and Unpacking the Cultural Shopping Cart: The Cross-Cultural Lives to Challenge School Segregation (Corwin, forthcoming).Fergus has worked with over 120 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), Connecticut (2021-present),North Carolina (2021–present), and Texas (2012–present) and serves on various boards such as NYState Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (2010-present), appointed in 2011 to the Yonkers Public Schools Board of Education (2011-2013 and 2019-2021), National Center on Learning Disabilities(2020-present), and is an expert consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division on Educational Opportunities (2014-2016), New York State Attorney General’s Office (2022), and NAACP Legal Defense Fund (2018).
David J. Pate Jr. :

David J. Pate Jr.

Associate Professor and Chair, Affiliated Associate Professor, Affiliate, 

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, Institute for Research on Poverty, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, University Honor College

Dr. David J. Pate Jr. is an expert on low income African-American men, fatherhood, and child support. Dr. Pate studies how black men are affected by the social welfare system and the challenges that impede their ability to attain economic security. His research projects involve the use of qualitative research methods to examine life course events of African-American men and boys.

Derek Griffith :

Derek Griffith

Professor, Founding Co-Director, and Founder & Director

Georgetown University, Health Systems Administration, Department of Oncology, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown Racial Justice Institute, Center for Men's Health Equity

Dr. Derek M. Griffith is a Founding Co-Director of the Racial Justice Institute, Founder and Director of the Center for Men’s Health Equity, Member of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Professor of Health Management & Policy and Oncology. Trained in psychology and public health, Dr. Griffith’s program of research focuses on developing strategies to achieve racial, ethnic and gender equity in health. He specializes in interventions to promote Black men's health and well-being and interventions to address racism in organizations and to mitigate the effects of structural racism on health. Dr. Griffith is a contributor to and editor of two books–Men’s Health Equity: A Handbook(Routledge, 2019),and Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional(APHA Press, 2019). He has been interviewed for and quoted in national news outlets such as Ebony, NPR, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Dr. Griffith has provided expert review of reports from the World Health Organization and others. He is the author of over 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and he has been the principal investigator of research grants from the American Cancer Society, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and several institutes within the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Griffith serves on the editorial boards of several public health and men's health journals, and he has been a guest editor of journal special issues or supplements on African American men's health, men's health equity, qualitative approaches to health equity research, and other topics. He has received three noteworthy honors: (a)Tom Bruce Award from the Community-Based Public Health Caucus of the American Public Health Association in recognition of his research on “eliminating health disparities that vary by race, ethnicity and gender”, (b) he was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior for his significant contributions to the field of health behavior research, and (c) he was named one of 1,000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America by the Cell Mentor’s Community of Scholars.

Desmond Patton :

Desmond Patton

Brian and Randi Schwartz University Professor and Director of SAFE Lab

University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication and Columbia University, School of Social Work

Desmond Upton Patton studies the impact social media has on well-being, mental health, trauma, violence and grief for youth and adults of color. He leverages social work thinking, data science, qualitative methods, and community partnerships to develop strategies to support digital grief and trauma and reduce on and offline gun-related violence. Desmond Upton Patton is the Brian and Randi Schwartz University Professor and the thirty-first Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor. He has joint appointments in the School of Social Policy &Practice and the Annenberg School for Communication along with a secondary appointment in the department of psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine. Professor Patton’s groundbreaking research into the relationship between social media and gang violence–specifically how communities constructed online can influence often harmful behavior offline–has led to his becoming the most cited and recognized scholar in this increasingly important area of social science. His early work attempting to detect trauma and preempt violence on social media led to his current roles as an expert on language analysis and bias in AI and a member of Twitter’s Academic Research advisory board and Spotify’s Safety Advisory Council. As a social worker, Patton realized existing gold standard data science techniques could not accurately understand key cultural nuances in language amongst predominantly black and Hispanic youth. In response, he created the Contextual Analysis of Social Media (CASM) approach to center and privilege culture, context and inclusion in machine learning and computer vision analysis. CASM can be applied by businesses and other organizations to observe social media and workplace communication channels for potentially incendiary language, which taken out of context can lead to violence. With this methodology, organizations can better foster diverse and inclusive environments and minimize employee conflict. Further, Patton’s insights on creating non-biased and culturally nuanced algorithms give tech companies a holistic perspective on various business and social issues. The companies that adopt these proactive measures are then able to ensure they are not unintentionally propagating bias.

Keon L. Gilbert :

Keon L. Gilbert

Associate Professor and Co-Founder

Saint Louis University, College for Public Health and Social Justice, Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education, Institute for Healing Justice & Equity 

Dr. Gilbert’s research interests include social capital, health disparities, African American men's health, health promotion and disease prevention interventions for chronic diseases. 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.

Armon Perry :

Armon Perry


University of Louisville, Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work & Family Science

Dr. Perry’s research efforts center on the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and external factors that influence men's involvement in the lives of their children and families, as well as the impact of that involvement on the well-being of the family. The findings of his research have pointed to the tools, resources, and experiences that shape men’s ability to be involved fathers, the  role that mothers play in facilitating or truncating fathers’ involvement, and social service providers’ attitudes toward engaging fathers. The findings of Dr. Perry’s research have also highlighted the relationship between fathers’ provision of instrumental and affective support and positive outcomes for families, such as fewer behavioral problems in children and lower levels of reported maternal stress. With regard to the potential impact of his work, Dr. Perry is interested in not only understanding the factors that encourage or discourage fathers' involvement in the family, but ultimately, participating in projects to enhance the quantity and quality of their involvement. Consistent with his interest, Dr. Perry’s most recent project involves him serving as the PI on 4 Your Child, a federally funded project that provides responsible fatherhood, healthy relationship, and economic self-sufficiency services to non-resident fathers across several counties in Kentucky. To date, over 1000 fathers have been recruited into the program and preliminary data analysis indicate that fathers increase their parenting knowledge and report more empathy for their co-parents over time.

Social Sciences


Simone Drake :

Simone Drake

Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor

The Ohio State University, Department of English & African American and African Studies

Simone C. Drake is the Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Department of English. She is a faculty affiliate at the Moritz College of Law, the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, the Department of African American and African Studies and theDepartment of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Simone’s interdisciplinary research agenda focuses on how people of African descent in theAmericas negotiate the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation through the lenses of critical race, gender, and legal studies. She is particularly interested in how the humanities do and should inform public policy and law. 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, Southern Literary Studies Series); co-editor (with Dwan Henderson) of Are You Entertained?: Black Popular Culture in the Twenty-First Century (Duke University Press 2020); and numerous journal articles and book chapters; and the editor of The Oxford Handbook on African American Women’s Writing (in progress).

David Ikard :

David Ikard

Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies

Vanderbilt University, African American and Diaspora Studies

Professor Ikard is a Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies.  He is the author/co-author of four books, including Breaking the Silence: Toward a Black Male Feminist Criticism (2007)Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama's Post-Racial America (2012), co-authored with Martell Teasley and winner of the Best Scholarly Book Award by DISA in 2013, Blinded by the Whites: Why Race Still Matters in 21st-Century America (2013), and Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs (2017). His essays have appeared in African American ReviewMELUSPalimpsestAfrican and Black Diaspora JournalThe Journal of Black Studies, and Obsidian III.

Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr. :

Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr.

Frederick Douglass Associate Professor of African American Literature and Culture, Director

University of Rochester, Department of English, Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies

Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr., PhD, is the author of the award-winning book Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing(University of Chicago Press, 2014). He is the co-editor of the Black Sexual Economies: Race and Sex in a Culture of Capital (University of Illinois Press, 2019). He is presently completing two book projects, Disobedient Reading: An Experiment in Seeing Black (University of California Press), and the other on the “wildness" of Kanye West titled, On Kanye. He has published in a variety of journals and also serves on the editorial board of numerous journals. He is the co-editor of the University of California Press’s New Sexual Worlds book series. For his work at the intersections, of race gender, and sexuality, McCune has been featured on Left of Black, Sirius XM's Joe Madison Show, HuffPost Live, NPR, Pitchfork and as a guest expert on Bill Nye Saves The World. In July 2021, he assumed the role as the Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute of African and African American Studies.

J. James Scott :

J. James Scott

Bard College

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.

Vershawn Ashanti Young :

Vershawn Ashanti Young


University of Waterloo, Department of Communication Arts, Department of English Language and Literature

Dr. Young works primarily in three areas of African American studies (gender studies, language studies and performance studies). In his work he draws from the disciplines of communication, composition and rhetoric, education, American literature, and theatre. Dr. Young is a multi-disciplinary artist, scholar, and teacher.  Dr. Young integrates these multiple areas into his published work and instruction. For several years now, Dr. Young has been writing and speaking to audiences around the globe about his educational and sociolinguistic concept “code-meshing,” about African American English, about intercultural communication, about performances of masculinity, and about representations of race in art, film, and literature.

Antonia Randolph :

Antonia Randolph

Assistant Professor

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Department of American Studies

Antonia Randolph is an assistant professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Her interests include diversity discourse in education, multicultural capital, non-normative Black masculinity, and the production of misogyny in hip-hop culture. Her book The Wrong Kind of Different: Challenging the Meaning of Diversity in American Classrooms (Teachers College 2012) examined the hierarchies elementary school teachers constructed among students of color. She has also published in Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, The Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, and The Feminist Wire. Her current book project, That’s My Heart: Queering Intimacy in Hip-Hop Culture, which is under contract with University of California Press, examines portrayals of Black men’s intimate relationships in hip-hop culture.

Terrance Wooten :

Terrance Wooten

Assistant Professor

University of California, Santa Barbara

Terrance Wooten joined the Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara after serving as a 2017-2018 Mark Steinberg Weil Early Career Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland. He is currently working on his first book manuscript, “Lurking in the Shadows of Home: Homelessness, Carcerality, and the Figure of the Sex Offender,” which examines how those who have been designated “sex offenders” and are homeless in the Maryland/DC area are managed and regulated through social policies, sex offender registries, and urban and architectural design. His scholarly interests are located at the intersections of Black studies, gender and sexuality studies, studies of poverty and homelessness, and carceral studies.