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Representative: Angela Farris Watkins, Ph.D., C'86

Angela-Farris-Watkins Associate Professor, Chair of Psychology,
President of the Faculty Council at Spelman College
B.A., Spelman College
M.Ed., Ph.D., Georgia State University
Spelman College Board of Trustees, Faculty Representative: Elected in 2020
City of Residence: Atlanta, Georgia

Angela Farris Watkins, Ph.D., is an associate professor, chair of psychology, and president of the Faculty Council at Spelman College. Watkins joined the faculty of Spelman College in August, 1995. Watkins is a graduate of Spelman College, class of 1986, and awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree (with Honors) in Child Development. Watkins also holds a Master’s of Education degree in Early Childhood Education and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Psychology, both from Georgia State University.

Watkins is committed to Liberation Psychology; an understanding of the lived experience of oppressed groups and advocacy for psycho-social change. In response to the injustices facing African American learners, Watkins stresses the need for culturally responsive pedagogy. Her publications, 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 to her advocacy.

Watkins is also an expert in African American psychology and the author of African American Psychology Review (Allyn & Bacon Publishers). To address the need for HIV prevention programs targeted at African Americans, Watkins developed a model HIV/AIDS curriculum at Spelman College. She was supported by funding from the United Negro College Fund and the American Psychological Association.

Watkins is trained in the philosophy of nonviolence espoused by her late uncle, Martin Luther King, Jr. She conducts Kingian Nonviolence teach-ins to insure that the application of King’s principles for social change continues. Watkins has written three children’s books about King; Love Will See You Through (Simon & Schuster Publishing), My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart and My Uncle Martin’s Words for America (Harry Abrams Publishing). Watkins is the editor of Martin Luther King, Jr. A King Family Tribute (Harry Abrams Publishing). She served as contributing editor for the Infusion Model for Teaching Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nonviolent Principles in Schools (a project for the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, funded by the United States Department of Education).

Watkins serves on the boards of The King Center and Four Corners Primary Care. Her civic memberships include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc., the International Women’s Forum, and Ebenezer Baptist Church.

As a fourth generation Spelman alumna, Watkins followed the steps of her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother. Her mother, Dr. Christine King Farris, class of 1948, is Professor Emerita, Spelman College. Watkins’ daughter, Farris Christine Watkins, is a fifth generation Spelman alumna, class of 2019.

Why I Serve on the Spelman College Board of Trustees

As president of the Faculty Council, it is necessary to work with the Board of Trustees to ensure advocacy of the Spelman faculty. However, this appointment to the Spelman College Board of Trustees will also be personally fulfilling. Having experienced Spelman from the vantage points of descendant of Spelman College alumnae (great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother), child of Spelman faculty, student (class of 1986), faculty member (25 years), administrator (Department Chair), and Spelman parent (of my daughter Farris, class of 2019), this appointment will surely sharpen the vision in my TRUE BLUE eye.