Brief National ABPsi History

The Association of Black Psychologists was founded in San Francisco in 1968 by a number of Black Psychologists from across the country. They united to actively address the serious problems facing Black Psychologists and the larger Black community. Guided by the principle of self determination, these psychologists set about building an institution through which they could address the long neglected needs of Black professionals. Their goal was to have a positive impact upon the mental health of the national Black community by means of planning, programs, services, training, and advocacy. Their objectives were:

  • To organize their skills and abilities to influence necessary change, and
  • To address themselves to significant social problems affecting the Black community and other segments of the population whose needs society has not fulfilled.

History of Denver-RMABPsi

The Denver-Rocky Mountain Association of Black Psychologists (D-RMABPsi) was established in 1977 as a chapter of the national Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) and is incorporated as a Colorado nonprofit corporation and has 501 (c) 3 federal tax exemption status. Its first meeting was convened by Drs. Barbara Miller and Joyce Washington at the Stapleton Hotel September 1977 with several individuals from the Denver metro area, Colorado Springs, and Cheyenne, Wyoming in attendance.
Since its inception in 1977, the D-RMABPsi has engaged in numerous activities in pursuit of the goals outlined by the national organization. A partial itemization of these activities include psychology student recruitment conferences, providing graduate level scholarships, conducting symposia for psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health related professions, providing consultation to local nonprofit organizations on African American mental health issues, and sponsorship of annual conferences which addresses mental health issues from an African American perspective. Our annual conferences have covered a wide range of mental health related topics including child abuse, strength based interventions with African American families, and cultural competence training on cross cultural issues. Additionally, the D-RMABPsi has sponsored three national Association of Black Psychologists conventions (1981, 1992, & 2001). In 2001, the D-RMABPsi sponsored a community presentation by former Surgeon General Satcher during the 33rd International Convention of the ABPsi in Denver, Colorado. The membership base of the D-RMABPsi primarily includes licensed psychologists, undergraduate and graduate students of psychology, Social Workers, related mental health professionals, and health professionals. Our membership extends from Pueblo, Colorado to Cheyenne, Wyoming, with most members residing in the Denver and Colorado Springs metropolitan areas.

Highlights of Past Activities of the D-RMABPsi

  • 1980   Host of the Western Regional Conference of the Association of Black Psychologists
  • 1980    1st Minority Graduate Student Recruitment Conference (Univ. of Denver)
  • 1981   Host of the 13th National Convention of the Association of Black Psychologists (Regency Hotel)
  • 1980 First fundraiser in support of Nat’l Convention held, at the Broadmoor Hotel (Colorado Springs)
  • 1981    2nd Minority Graduate Student Recruitment Conference (Metro State College-Denver)
  • 1083  First D-RMABPsi Annual Scholarship Benefit (Marriott Hotel-Southeast Denver (2 scholarships granted)
  • 1984  Child Abuse and the Black Family Conference (Embassy Suites – Denver)
  • 1984  Third D-RMABPsi Annual Scholarship granted
  • 1985 The Black Family: Crisis and Survival Conference (Ft. Logan Mental Health Center)
  • 1985  Fourth D-RMABPsi Annual Scholarship granted
  • 1986 Individual Psychotherapy With the Black Client: An Experiential Workshop (Univ. of Denver Driscoll Center)
  • Crisis in Education: Healing the Wounds – Fall Experiential Workshop  (Colorado Springs Sheraton Hotel)
  • 1987  Multi-Faceted Dimensions of Black Adolescents: Identity and Competence (Univ. of Denver Driscoll Center)
  • 1987  D-RMABPsi 10th Anniversary Celebration Keynote Speaker: Dr. Na’im Akbar (Stoufer’s Concourse Hotel)
  • 1987  First D-RMABPsi  Scholarship Benefit Art Auction (Aurora Public Library)
  • 1988  Second D-RMABPsi  Scholarship Benefit Art Auction (St. Cajetan’s Conference Center- Metro State College)
  • 1988 Fifth and Sixth Scholarships granted
  • Task Force on Gang Violence initiated
  • 1989  Presentation by Dr. Adelbert Jenkins: Psychotherapy with Minorities: A Humanistic View (Cherry Creek Inn- Denver) held in conjunction with the Colorado Psychological Association
  • 1989  A View From Psychology presentation by the D-RMABPsi Task Force on Gang Violence at the summer conference of the Colorado Psychological Association
  • 1990  Black Youth at Risk: The Challenge – Spring Conference (Richard Allen Center; Shorter AME Church)
  • 1990 Membership Reception held jointly with D-RMABPsi and the Sam Cary Bar Association
  • 1990  Third D-RMABPsi  Scholarship Benefit Art Auction (Richard Allen Center; Shorter AME Church)
  • 1992  Host of the 24th National Convention of the Association of Black Psychologists (Red Lion Hotel)
  • 1993 Spring Sherehe Scholarship Fundraiser
  • 1997-2011  Through a unique collaboration with Denver’s Shadow Theater, the D-RMABPsi provided Shadow Theatre Talk Backs after emotionally provocative  performances. This long-standing, fun, and useful partnership with Denver’s African American theater community and the D-RMABPsi assisted in de-stigmatizing mental health issues in the community. 
  • 2001  Host of the 33rd National Convention of the Association of Black Psychologists (Hyatt Hotel)
  • 2003 Enhancing Romantic Relationships Seminar  featuring Dr. Paris Finner-Williams & Robert Williams, MSW.ACSW (Metro State College –  Denver)
  • 2005-2007 Assisted in the assessment and treatment of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita evacuees in Denver and Colorado Springs
  • 2006-2019 Provided mental health screenings at the annual African American Health Fair sponsored by Denver’s  Center for African American Health.
  • 2011 Conducted our annual Professional Development Symposium: Enhancing the Emotional Well-being of Families of Color: Re-entry of Incarcerated Individuals, Male-Female                                     Relationships, Immigrant Integration, and Children’s Mental Health at the Community College of Aurora. Keynote Speaker: Valerie Boykin, M.A., SAMHSA consultant.
  • 2013 facilitated a thought provoking Community Talkbacks (film discussion) on Haile Gerima’s “Sankofa”, Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, and Quentin Tarantino’s  Django at the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center.
  • 2014 Facilitated thought provoking Community Talkbacks on Lee Daniels’s The Butler and Lee Daniel’s 12 Years A Slave at the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center.
  • 2014 Conducted a series of three community forums on Strategies for Coping with Being Terrorized in the African American Community.
  • 2017 initiated 6 Emotion Emancipation Circles in Aurora, Colorado Springs , and Denver, Colorado in collaboration with of our six community partners (African American professional and community organizations).
  • Conducted Fall and Spring Professional Development Symposiums: Enhancing Healing and Wellness in the Black Community
  • 2005 to present provided mental wellness screening for participants of the Annual Center for African American Health Fair

In addition to the many exciting activity of our chapter, as an organization, we provide training and consultations to Colorado’s faith-based community, grass-roots community organizations, and to other professional organizations.  Since our inception in 1977, the D-RMABPsi has also provided countless hours of practicum and Jegnaship (e.g. wise counsel, guidance, and personal support) to dozens of undergraduate and graduate students of Psychology .

In our ongoing efforts to proactively address issues pertaining to the healing and well-being of the community in general, and the Black community, in particular, our members maintain active  memberships on several community-based, nonprofit, and governmental boards as well as task forces and collaborations with local, county, and Statewide agencies/organizations.

 Wawa aba   Overcoming barriers, movement, progression

A Few Founding Members D-RMABPsi:
 Drs. Curtis Dotson, Charlotte Bell, Joyce Washington, & Anthony P. Young
Also Pictured: Center:
 Dr. Robert L. Atwell (Past D-RMABPsi and National President 2005-2007)

Ako-ben (war horn) – The sound of Akoben is a battle cry, hence it symbolizes a call to arms

A Sample of Prominent Positions Held by D-RMABPsi Members

  • National ABPsi Convention Co-Chairs 1981 – Drs. Anna M. Jackson & Joyce Washington
  • National ABPsi President 1982-1983 – Kobi K.K. Kambon, Ph.D.
  • National ABPsi President 1993-1994 – Anna M. Jackson, Ph.D.
  • D-RMABPsi Founding Member (1977) and President (2007-2020), established ABPsi’s Leadership Development Institute  while 2000-2001 National President, Western Regional Representative (1983-1984), National Treasurer (1985-1985), and National Convention Chair (1992), Colorado Minority Health Advisory Commission- Chairman and Vice-Chairman (2006 – 2010) and Colorado State Board of Parole, Member (1991-1995) and Chairman (2011-2013), Founder and President of Kuumba Cultural Collective of Southern Colorado  – Dr. Anthony P. Young
  • ABPsi General Assembly Chair, 1994-1996; General Assembly Vice Chair 1992-1994 and General Assembly Secretary 1990-1992.   Leadership Development Institute Committee Chair 2001 – 2008.  Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award at the 2004 national convention in Washington DC for dedication and service to the ABPsi – Dr. Pamela L. Shipp.
  • Established ABPsi’s Foundation while National ABPsi President 2005-2007, served as a Member of the Colorado Board of Psychologists Examiners, Chair of the Board – Asian Pacific Islanders Development Center –  Dr. Robert L. Atwell
  • Colorado Board of Psychologists Examiners and established The Spirituals Project – Dr. Arthur C. Jones  
  • ABPsi General Assembly; Co-Chair Health Committee, Colorado Multi-Ethnic Cultural Consortium Founding Board Member and CoCERN Founding Board Member & Command Subcommittee – Carnita Groves, M.A.
  • ABPsi Western Regional Representative, ABPsi General Assembly; Chair Education & Assessment Committee, and National Association of Black Nurses Board Member – Dr. Gayle Hamlett

My illumination is only a reflection of His

Past Presidents (Chairs) of the D-RMABPsi

1977-1978   Joyce Washington, Ed.D. and Barbara Miller, Ph.D.  (Co-Chairs)
1978-1979   Joyce Washington
1979-1980   Charles Swan, Ph.D.
1980-1981   Arthur C. Jones, Ph.D.
1981-1982   Anna M. Jackson, Ph.D.
1982-1983   Donald F. Cheadle, Ph.D.
1983-1984   Charlene Smith, Psy.D.
1984-1986   Robert L. Atwell, Psy.D.
1986-1987   Pamela L. Shipp, Ph.D.
1987-1988   John R. Brown, Ph.D.
1988-1990   John Campbell, Psy.D.
1990-1992   Anthony P. Young, Psy.D.
1992-1993   Karen Y. Wilson Starks, Ph.D.
1993-1997  Anthony P. Young, Psy.D.
1997-1998  Robert L. Atwell, Psy.D.
1998-1999  Frank Rice, Ph.D.
2000-2001  Gayle Hamlett, Psy.D.
2001-2002  Anthony Bandele, Psy.D.
2002-2007  Carnita Groves, M.A.
2007-2021 Anthony P. Young, Psy.D.

Gye Nyame (except God). Symbol of the Omnipotence and immortality of God.

Members That Have Transitioned to the Ancestors

Alice “Babs” Parker, Ph.D.

Frank Rice, Ph.D.

Barbara Miller, Ph.D.

Joyce Washington, Ph.D.

Linda J. Williams, Ph.D.

Kobi K. K. Kambon (Joseph A. Baldwin), Ph.D.

Donald S. Cheadle Sr., Ph.D.

We are a federally tax-exempt 501(c)3 charitable organization
Serving the Colorado Community Since 1977