This is the time of the year where many students start to feel their motivation dwindle, and their exhaustion levels rise. Some may even feel a lack of creativity or inspiration.
I have always been passionate about education, mine as well as others’; to thirst and quest for knowledge and “truth” was instilled in me early on by my parents. Teaching is not, however, without its challenges. Sometimes students are resistant to new information or knowledge that sits juxtaposed to their own beliefs and experiences (and that’s ok), but most are (eventually) open to exploring new ideas and different ways of doing and being, and THAT is what true education is all about.
My interest in the field of social work is both professional and personal. I, myself, have suffered from several mental health issues and have encountered a number of challenges seeking and receiving help. After working hard to get to the place of wellness that I desired, I wanted to help others find and maintain their unique pathway to healing.
Overall, my research is best described as a quest to learn, understand, and improve the mental health, illness, and wellness of Black Americans. This pursuit has led me into exploring the mental health illness narratives/experiences, help-seeking behaviors, and service use patterns of this group. I also examine the various facilitators and barriers to “optimal” mental health and wellness for Black Americans. How Black churches and clergy as well as culturally-informed practitioners are involved in these processes is among my topics of interest as well, all with the goal of destigmatizing mental illness and creating and delivering culturally-informed, appropriate, and responsive interventions for those who need and seek them.
I hope my students learn three things from me whether in my classes or being around me. This first is how to be curious, and ask questions as opposed to making assumptions or judgments about their clients, their situations, or things in general. The second thing I want them to learn is how to see people instead of problems. I teach that we are working with PEOPLE with disorders, and our language and actions should reflect that. The last thing I want my students to learn is how to live well and authentically by prioritizing self-care and living by their values
- Ph.D., Social Work and Sociology, University of Michigan
- M.S.W., University of Michigan
- B.A., Sociology, Ethnic Studies, The University of Texas at Austin