Research Collective

About Us

Defining an Area of Study


 This collaborative brings together scholars, counselors, and musicians to provide creative resources relevant to the well-being of women in the African Diaspora.  

Talks and Consultations


Members of this research collective offer community talks, keynote lectures, workshops, and consultations in their respective areas of mental health and wellness expertise. 

The Collective

Stephanie Y. Evans, PhD


Professor and Director of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University. Author of several books, including lead co-editor of Black Women's Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability. Founder of Black Women's Music Therapy Research Collective.

Marisol Norris, MA, MT-BC


 Board-Certified Music Therapist and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Therapy, Shenandoah University.  PhD candidate in expressive arts therapies at Lesley University. Founder of The Black Music Therapy Network, Inc. and Regional Board Member of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

Natasha A. Thomas, MS, MT-BC


 Board-Certified Music Therapist and the Clinical Coordinator of Music Therapy at Loyola University New Orleans. Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Music Therapy, Indiana University Purdue University Indiana (Fall 2018).

Angela Neal-Barnett, PhD


 Full Professor and Director of Program for Research on Anxiety Disorders among African Americans at Kent State University. Architect and developer of the Build Your Own Theme Song© App and author of Soothe Your Nerves: The Black Woman's Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Fear. Recipient of federal, state and foundation funding, including grants from National Institute of Mental Health and National Science Foundation.

Melita Belgrave, PhD


Associate Professor of Music Therapy in Arizona State University's School of Music. BA in music therapy from Michigan State University, certification in aging studies, and PhD in music education (music therapy emphasis) at Florida State University.  Experience in special education, mental health, rehabilitation, hospice, geriatric, and intergenerational settings. Research  published in Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives.  

Rachel Bagby, JD


Graduate of Stanford University Law, an innovator in poetry and song. A soprano formerly in Bobby McFerrin’s original international touring ensemble, Voicestra. Consultant, and author of two books, Sounding Hidden Truths, Ignite your Freedom and Divine Daughters: Liberating the Power and Passion of Women’s Voices.

Black Women's Mental Health Resources


Mental Health Website

 This Black Women's Mental Health website offers research and resources to inform and increase essential dialogue about African American women's wellness. This collaborative exchange connects students, faculty, practitioners, and  activists to resources like the Black Women's Health Imperative. Visit our website at

The Book

The new book Black Women's Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability (SUNY Press, July 2017) creates a framework to positively impact Black women’s wellness. Editors Stephanie Evans, Kanika Bell, and Nsenga Burton build a framework based on the expressed need for the concept of balance in mental health assessment and practice. Their “BREATHE” model values characteristics of both strength and vulnerability.  

Black Women's Health Imperative

The Black Women's Health Imperative is the only organization devoted solely to advancing the health and wellness of America's 20 million Black women and girls through advocacy and public policy, health education, research and leadership development. Founded as the National Black Women's Health Project in 1983 by health activist and McArthur genius Byllye Y. Avery, the Imperative works to advance health equity and social justice for Black women across the lifespan. 

American Music Therapy Association

AMTA's purpose is the progressive development of the therapeutic use of music in rehabilitation, special education, and community settings. Predecessors, unified in 1998, included the National Association for Music Therapy founded in 1950 and the American Association for Music Therapy founded in 1971. AMTA is committed to the advancement of education, training, professional standards, credentials, and research in support of the music therapy profession. 

Black Music Therapy Network, Inc.

The Black Music Therapy Network, Inc. was created as a progressive response to the growing need for interconnectivity amongst Black music therapy professionals and music therapy degree-seeking students. Our purpose is to foster an environment of intellectual, political, cultural, and social growth and support for all our members as we strive towards effective stewardship within the communities we serve.  


Contact Us

Send a message to

Black Women's Music Therapy

A Research Collective

Contact: Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans

Atlanta, GA

Clark Atlanta University