Enrique W. Neblett Jr., Ph.D., inaugural winner of the NIMH James Jackson Memorial Award. – Photo by Austin Thomason


Special to The Dallas Examiner


The National Institute of Mental Health recently announced that Enrique W. Neblett Jr., Ph.D., had been selected as the first winner of the NIMH James Jackson Memorial Award.

The memorial award is named in honor of the late Dr. James Jackson, a renowned social psychologist who was the Daniel Katz Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Jackson’s research on race, ethnicity, racism, health and mental health has had far-reaching impacts on the fields of disparities research and minority mental health. Of particular significance, he authored the National Survey of Black Americans and the National Survey of American Life, which changed the way the field examined and understood Black life and mental health in the United States.

NIMH launched the memorial award to honor outstanding researchers who have demonstrated exceptional individual achievement and leadership in mental health disparities research and excellence in mentorship, influence and support of students – particularly students that are Black, Indigenous and people of color.

Neblett began his journey in research and mental health 15 years ago. He earned his Sc.B. from Brown University and his M.S. from The Pennsylvania State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2006.

Neblett is a professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Associate Director of the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center. He teaches courses on race, ethnicity and mental health and population health determinants and disparities. He is one of the leading U.S. scholars in the area of racism and health, with a particular focus on understanding how racism-related stress influences the mental and physical health of young Black Americans.

In 2017, he was awarded the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring. In 2019, the Black Caucus of the Society named him Mentor of the Year for Research in Child Development.

In his newest line of research, Neblett conducts community-based participatory research to develop and implement interventions, programs and policies that can:

  1. Address the mental health consequences of individual, cultural and structural racism.
  2. Improve health.
  3. Promote health equity.

The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have funded Neblett’s research.

Mollie Finch Belt is the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of The Dallas Examiner. She attended elementary school in Tuskegee, Ala.; Cambridge, Mass.; and Dallas, Texas. In 1961, she graduated from...

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