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Black Mental Wellness 2019-2020 Mentee: Kimberly Stokes

Updated: Feb 19, 2021


Kimberly Stokes is a Ph.D. student in counseling psychology at Wayne State University as well as a former elementary school educator. She is a co-investigator for the Detroit Family Resilience project lead by Dr. Erika Bocknek. Her research interests are related to social-emotional growth in Black children and self-care practices for Black mothers.


Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?

I am a first-year doctoral student in Wayne State University’s counseling psychology program. Currently, I am studying how Black mothers explicitly and implicitly use verbal and nonverbal messages to teach their young children about race. Research shows that forming a positive racial identity at a young age can lead to better health and academic outcomes for youth. Prior to going to graduate school, I taught for a total of five years in Berkley, MI, and Brooklyn, NY. I am a proud graduate of Howard University where I received a bachelor’s degree in English and a master's degree in elementary education.

I first became involved with Black Mental Wellness when my friend and soror Dr. Danielle Busby invited me to volunteer for Black Mental Wellness’ workshops through Detroit Public Community Schools Districts' “Saturdays in the D” program. To me Black Mental Wellness is a prime example of why representation is so important! With the lack of psychologists of color in the field, receiving guidance from the Black Mental Wellness founders, who are each successful, service-oriented Ph.D.-level psychologists has been invaluable. Dr. Busby was extremely helpful while applying to graduate programs, and as a mentor Dr. Jessica Henry has been very supportive during my first year of a Ph.D. program.