Nkemka Anyiwo

Scholar. Advocate. Artist.

Who am I?

I am a Nigerian-American woman driven by my passion for history, health, social justice, and the arts.  I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a joint degree in Social Work and Developmental Psychology, and I earned a BA in African American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. I will be joining the Columbia School of Social Work as an assistant professor in the summer of 2022.

As a scholar and advocate, my research focuses on understanding the sociocultural factors that promote the healing and empowerment of Black youth. My work elucidates the ways that families, communities, media, and the arts contribute to Black youth’s racial beliefs and sociopolitical behavior. A key goal of my work is to identify the beliefs and behaviors that facilitate positive psychological outcomes for Black youth. 

My research is grounded in my own experiences as a youth activist, an artist, and a leader. For more than a decade, I have served in several leadership roles in cultural and social justice organizations where I have designed initiatives aimed to promote political awareness, cultural empowerment, education development, and community healing.

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