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Healthcare Summit

Spelman College Healthcare Summit Speakers

Angela Farris Watkins, C’86, Ph.D.

Panelist: Mental Health and Health Behaviors in the African American Community

An educator, author, lecturer, and civil rights advocate, Angela Farris Watkins earned a bachelor’s degree in child development from Spelman College, and a master’s in early childhood education and doctorate in educational psychology, both from Georgia State University. Currently an associate professor and chair of psychology at Spelman College, Farris Watkins formerly served on the faculty of Morehouse College, Georgia State University and Atlanta Public Schools. She is a longtime advocate against the injustices facing African-American learners and is committed to culture-specific teaching methodologies and the needs of diverse learners. 

Farris Watkins’ research has appeared among several professional forums, including the American Psychological Association; Administration for Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; International Reading Association; the journals of Counseling Psychology, Black Psychology, Excellence in College Teaching; and Jet magazine. Her manuscripts, "Nurturing African American College Students: A Learning Styles Approach," in Mentoring African American College Students by L. Gallien and M. Peterson, Editors – Allyn & Bacon Publishers, and "Learning Styles of African American Children: A Developmental Consideration" (Journal of Black Psychology), are a testament of her concern for African-American students. Trained in the philosophy of nonviolence espoused by her late uncle, Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Farris Watkins conducts Kingian Nonviolence workshops and teach-ins to ensure the history and principles of her uncle are continually embraced. She has written three children’s books about him; Love Will See You Through (Simon & Schuster Publishing), My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart, and My Uncle Martin’s Words for America (Abrams Books). She is also the editor of Martin Luther King Jr.: A King Family Tribute (Abrams Books). 

An expert in African-American psychology, Farris Watkins is author of African American Psychology Review (Allyn & Bacon Publishers). She developed a model curriculum on HIV/AIDS prevention to call attention to the need for prevention programs targeted at African-American college students and to challenge historically Black colleges and universities to become involved in curricular initiatives as a way of fighting the epidemic. She is the recipient of several grants from the United Negro College Fund, the American Psychological Association, and the National Institutes of Health to support this effort. Dr. Farris Watkins is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., The Links Inc., the International Women’s Forum and Ebenezer Baptist Church. Farris Watkins is a fourth-generation Spelman alumna. Her mother, Christine King Farris is Class of 1948 and Spelman professor emerita. Farris Watkins’ daughter, Farris Christine Watkins is a fifth-generation alumna, Class of 2019.