Roderick J. Watts is a professor emeritus of Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He recently retired from his positions as a professor of Social Welfare at the Silberman school of Social Work at Hunter College and a Professor of Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California.
Watts is a fellow in the American Psychological Association and in the Society for Community Research and Action. In past years, Watts held positions at Georgia State University, DePaul University, The Consultation Center and the School of Medicine at Yale University, and Howard University. He is both a community psychologist and a licensed clinical psychologist. Because his practice of psychology and applied research emphasizes social justice, his approach to interventions reflect an integrative analysis—one that includes larger social forces and qualities of community—along with growth at the personal level.
As a consultant, he has worked with governmental organizations, schools, foundations, research and public-policy organizations, universities, and other nonprofit organizations on diversity, program development and evaluation, and training. His interests as a scholar include liberation studies and action (with roots in liberation psychology), and youth sociopolitical development.
In the area of psychological services, his skills lie in holistic health and men’s development, with a particular interest in men’s well-being following incarceration. His most recent sponsored project is a four-year, international study of youth community organizing and civic engagement now in the dissemination phase.
Flores Forbes is a writer, urban planner and economic development expert and is currently an associate vice president in the Office of Government and Community Affairs, Columbia University in the City of New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies of the Social Science from San Francisco State University and a Master of Urban Planning from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service New York University. He has also been a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow (NYU) and a Charles H. Revson Fellow (Columbia University). In 2000 he published an essay in the Norton Anthology on Police Brutality, entitled “Point Number Seven: We Want an Immediate End to Police Brutality and the Murder of Black People.” And in 2006 he published his memoir “Will You Die with Me?” My Life and the Black Panther Party (Atria 2006, Washington Square Press 2007) which chronicles his 10 years in the BPP, 3 years as a fugitive and 4 years, 8 months and 9 days as an inmate in Soledad and San Quentin Prisons in California. His new book, “Invisible Men: A Contemporary Slave Narrative in the Era of Mass Incarceration,” (Skyhorse Publishing, 2016) explores the lives of successful formerly incarcerated Black Men in the first person.