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Our Leadership Team

Wendi S. Williams

Dean of the School of Education

About

Psychologist, advocate, and educator, Wendi Williams applies her work at the intersection of education and psychology to her scholarship and leadership praxis. Williams completed undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis where she majored in psychology and minored in African and African American Studies. She completed graduate study at Pepperdine University (MA in Psychology) and Georgia State University, where she earned a doctorate in counseling psychology.

Over a career spanning two decades, Williams’ work delves into the contours of Black women’s and girls’ inner lives, leveraging deep knowledge of their interiority as source content for the development of culturally-responsive educational and psychological interventions. Applying critical lenses of liberation psychology and Womanist, Black, and Intersectional feminist theoretical frames with an equity-centered systems power analysis, Williams develops and implements educational, wellness, and leadership intervention programming with individuals, groups, and organizations. Her work attends to the individual and organizational transformation required to foment the optimal growth and development of diverse women and girls, while attending to systems-level change at the organizational and societal levels.

Williams has made significant scholarly contributions in the field through authored and edited works as well as conference presentations of her research and analysis, and professional development curricula and workshops.  With her recently published edited book, WE Matter!: Intersectional Anti-Racist Feminist Interventions with Black Girls and Women and forthcoming books, Black Women at Work: On Refusal and Recovery and The Majestic Place: The Freedom Possible in Black Women’s Leadership, she keeps these conversations in the discourse.  Of late, she has become more interested in “diminishing the paywall” between the work she engages for and about diverse girls’ and women’s lives and the actual communities that can benefit from this work. To this end, she engages in popular media as well as scholarly journals and books to ensure her work is accessible to members of the public and the professionals who will serve them. Currently, this value manifests in the conversations she convenes on her podcast, She (Been) Ready!, which amplifies the leadership legacy of Black women by mining the leadership strategies nestled in Black women’s (and other diverse leaders’) narratives.

Wendi Williams leverages her background and platform to lead organizations that support the optimal development of vulnerable communities, especially societal challenges that can be enriched by diverse women’s unique perspectives and approaches to leadership. Some examples include serving as co-chair of the Board for Girls Leadership, an organization that teaches girls to exercise the power of their voice through programs grounded in social-emotional learning; and serving in multiple roles, including as president for the Society for the Psychology of Women (SPW), Division 35 of the American Psychological Association (APA). She is currently their representative on the APA Council of Representatives.

Wendi S. Williams

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