About Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards, PhD

I am an interdisciplinary scholar, and a developmental psychologist by training. I investigate how racism, gender, and culture influence development throughout the lifespan, primarily focusing on African Americans. An underlying thread in my research is the use of cultural strengths to promote resiliency in families, communities, and schools in the face of racial stressors and challenging social contexts.

As an Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine and the Associate Director of Research/Director of the Health Equity Working Group at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, I conduct research on how racism, gender, and culture influence health, social and educational outcomes. Beyond identifying disparities, I also investigate the ways that systems can be improved to support the well-being of African Americans throughout their lives.

I earned my doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development. There, I received in-depth training on methodology, theory, and the study of racial stress, racial socialization, and gender. My Master of Arts degree in Developmental Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, and my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Howard University, were the foundations for my interest in resiliency.  

My research has been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. I regularly share my expertise with policymakers, practitioners, the media, and the broader community.

"As long as we keep using poverty as a proxy for race, rather than addressing race directly, racial equity will always be just out of reach"

Dr. Keisha Bentley-Edwards

Profile picture of Dr. Keisha Bentley-Edwards standing in front of a brick wall