I am the co-editor of three books, Mapping the Moral Domain: A Contribution of Women’s Thinking to Psychological Theory and Research (Harvard University Press, 1988), Souls Looking Back: Life Stories of Growing Up Black (Routledge, 1999) and Gender and Teaching, with Frances Maher, published in 2001 by Lawrence Erlbaum. I also wrote the book, The Skin We're In: Teaching Our Children to be Emotionally Strong, Socially Smart and Spiritually Connected (Free Press/Simon and Schuster, 2000).

In 1990-92 I was the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for the Study of Black Literature and Culture, University of Pennsylvania, and in 1996-97 I was a Visiting Scholar at the Wellesley College Centers for Women. From 2000-2003, I served as the Director for the Alliance on Gender, Culture and School Practice at Harvard Graduate School of Education. With Harvard Professor Wendy Luttrell, I was Co-Principal Investigator of Project ASSERT, a five-year school based research study and curriculum development project exploring issues of gender, culture and school practice for urban elementary and middle school teachers. This project ended in 2006.


  • B.F.A., New York University
  • M.Ed. Counseling and Consulting Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Ed. D. Human Development, Harvard Graduate School of Education


  • AST 101 Intro to Africana Studies
  • AST 102 Black American Cultures and Society
  • AST 275 Soul, Funk and Civil Rights
  • GEDUC 445 Educational Psychology

Research/Creative Activities

For over twenty years my professional work and research interests have centered on the developmental issues of African American adolescents, focusing on identity and moral development in African American girls and boys. Along with my teaching responsibilities I work with youth counselors, secondary school educators and other practitioners in a variety of school-based and out-of-school settings. I recently completed a study of socialization practices of White mothers of Chinese daughters and a chapter on educational and clinical interventions with children in schools against everyday colorism.

Janie Ward in the News

Professor Janie Ward

Professor Emerita Janie Victoria Ward Co-Authors New Book on Mentoring Black Women

In her new book co-authored with Tracy L. Robinson-Wood, Sister Resisters: Mentoring Black Women on Campus (Cambridge: Harvard Education Press, 2022), Professor Janie Victoria Ward uncovers strategies of resistance that empower young women and their mentors. She and her co-author...

Shout-outs from Students and Alums

Headshot of Erika Rodriguez

Executive Director Erika Rodriguez ’14 Creates Leadership Pipeline Through the Chica Project

Erika Rodriguez '14 utilizes the empowering lessons she learned at Simmons as Executive Director of the Chica Project, a non-profit organization offering mentorship opportunities for Latinas and other women of color.

Headshot of Gina Patterson

Taking Initiative: Gina Patterson '06 on Giving and Leadership at Boston Medical Center

As Boston Opportunity System (BOS) Collaborative Director at the Boston Medical Center, Patterson invests in local communities by bolstering the work of existing non-profits. Learn more about her work and how Simmons brought out the leader within.