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Female Leaders in Mental Health

As we are moving through March and celebrating Women’s history month, Tools for Success Counseling recognizes how important it is to recognize major female BIPOC Mental Health Leaders. These women were essential in building up mental health care in the BIPOC community and paved the road toward greater resources, understanding, and overall care.


Inez Beverly Prosser, Ph.D. (1895 -1934)

Dr. Inez Prosser was the first African American woman to receive her doctoral degree in psychology. She is known for finding that Black students benefited from segregated schools as they were more likely to receive support, affection and a balanced curriculum, however these schools were greatly underfunded and under-resourced. This research was integral in the Brown v Board of Education case. Dr. Prosser remained active in advocating for Black students’ education throughout her life.

Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D. (1979- Present)

Dr. Joy Bradford is best known for being the founder of the website and podcast, Therapy for Black Girls. Her work and activism focuses on reducing the stigma of mental health in the black community. The weekly podcast targets Black women addressing such topics as confronting racial injustice at work, to taking care of yourself during the pandemic, to personal development, and more. She continues to actively work on expanding culturally relevant care for the Black community today.

Alice F. Chang, Ph.D.

Dr. Alice Chang is best known for founding the Academy of Cancer Wellness as well as the Women’s Division of the Asian-American Psychological Association (AAPA) in 1995. Dr. Chang was the first minority woman to serve on AAPA Board of Directors. She also published “A Survivor’s Guide to Breast Cancer” which was both a memoir and guide on the treatment and survival of cancer. Dr. Chang has actively advocated and cared for minority communities and those diagnosed with cancer throughout her career.

Jane Delgado, Ph.D. (1953- Present)

Dr. Jane Delgado is a Cuban American psychologist who is best known for publishing “Salud:The Latina Guide to Total Health” and becoming the first woman president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (NAHH). She has spent her career advocating for women to focus on self-care and fighting racial and ethnic inequities and continues to work on addressing these inequalities through published works and activism.

Diane J. Willis, PhD

Dr. Willis is best known for her work in the fields of child and Native American advocacy and is a proud member of the Kiowa Tribe. She helped create the Child Protection Committee at OU Children’s Hospital which was the first program to train medical personnel to detect signs of abuse and neglect in child victims. She continues to be a prominent advocate for Native American health services.

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