Duke University professor to give Maxwell-Roddey Lecture

Keisha Bentley-Edwards
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Keisha Bentley-Edwards, an assistant professor at Duke University’s School of Medicine, will present “Black Women and Reproductive Justice: A Lifelong Health Issue” at 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24, in the Cone University Center, McKnight Hall. This public presentation is this year’s Bertha Maxwell-Roddey Distinguished Africana Lecture, sponsored by the Africana Studies Department.

Bentley-Edwards, who also is associate director of research for the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, conducts interdisciplinary research that focuses on how culture, gender and racism influence healthy development throughout the lifespan. Her research has received support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

In addition to contributing to the first text book on African American women’s psychology, Bentley-Edwards has provided expert commentary to national media outlets, including USA Today, Time Magazine, CBS and NPR, on issues related to race, social justice and disparities in health and education. She also has led workshops and trainings on identifying and managing racial stress for educators, health care providers, clergy and families. She earned a doctorate in applied psychology and human development from the University of Pennsylvania.

The Bertha Maxwell-Roddey Distinguished Africana Lecture honors its namesake for her pioneering contributions to the development of Africana Studies as an academic discipline at UNC Charlotte as the department’s founding chair; she also spearheaded the establishment of the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) and co-founded Charlotte’s Afro-American Cultural Center (now the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Art + Culture).