Fielding Provost and Senior Vice President Wendi S. Williams, Ph.D., delivered a strong keynote address at the annual American Psychological Association (APA) 2023 conference held in Washington D.C. earlier this month. Provost Williams’s presentation was titled “On Refusal and Recovery: What Black women teach us about reclaiming our wellness in our work.”

In her keynote address, Dr. Wendi Williams explained to a standing-room-only packed auditorium how Black women’s refusal and recovery offer key lessons to positively shape our collective reclamation of wellness in our work lives. Black women have a complicated relationship with labor in the U.S. context and beyond. Born out of a legacy of enslavement, Black women’s labor dynamics entangle identity, purpose, and survival with the potential to undermine their thriving. And yet, Black women are getting free. Finding deeper, personal meaning in our work, articulating boundaries for rest and restoration, and uncoupling the damage of intergenerational racial trauma from the intersection of racism, sexism, and classism from who we know ourselves to be.

The 2023 American Psychological Association (APA) conference was held in Washington D.C. from August 3-5, 2023 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

About Provost Williams

Wendi Williams, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President Wendi S. Williams, Ph.D.

Psychologist, advocate, and educator, Dr. 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, with an emphasis in multicultural psychology and family systems. Williams began her career as assistant professor in counselor education at Long Island University — Brooklyn and has served as an academic administrator for progressive, justice-focused higher education institutions, like Bank Street College of Education and Mills College, School of Education. She joined Fielding Graduate University as provost and senior vice president in October 2022. Dr. Williams is an accomplished scholar in the areas of Black women and girls leadership and development, most notably with her recently published book, Black Women at Work: On Refusal and Recovery.

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