This Black History Month, we recognize the struggles and achievements of Black and African Americans who have made a significant impact in the mental health and human services field. This week, we pay tribute to Dr. Joseph L. White.

Dr. White was a pioneer in the field of black psychology. He was the founder of the Association of Black Psychologists and San Francisco State University’s Black Studies program in 1968. In 1970, he wrote a groundbreaking article called “Toward a Black Psychology” featured in Ebony magazine that argued that psychology that was developed by white psychologists didn’t have much applicability to black people and developed an illusion of racial inferiority in the mental health field. He also fought to increase minority students’ access to higher education and helped create California’s Educational Opportunity Program, which allowed more than 250,000 students to attend college with many being first in their families to attend college.

Throughout Black History Month, we will highlight individuals who reflect MHA’s mission of providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities, housing and rehabilitation to those in recovery, and behavioral outreach services through its BestLife Clinic and residential programming.