Marva L. Lewis earned a PhD in Sociocultural Psychology and Associate Professor at Tulane University School of Social Work in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a former child protection worker, infant mental health psychotherapist, and children’s counselor at a domestic violence shelter. While completing her graduate degree in Boulder, Colorado she worked with Janet Dean and Rae Sullivan as a psychotherapist on a nurse/therapist outreach team for the Community Infant Project and helped develop the Circulo Infant Outreach program for Latina mothers. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Louisiana State University Department of Psychiatry with Dr. Charles Zeanah and Dr. Joy Osofsky, where she was part of the original Infant Team. She conducts research on cultural rituals and routines of hair-combing interaction and parent-infant attachment. Her research focuses on the development of strengths-based, culturally valid, community-based interventions to support African American families to address intergenerational messages of acceptance or rejection of children based on colorism.
Dr. Lewis serves on the ad hoc Board of Director’s group developing the Statement on Disrupting Systemic Racism in Academic Publishing
from the Infant Mental Health Journal.
Since 2020 she served as chair of the work group, Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
for the steering committee of the Erikson Institute and Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Curricular Guide for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Developmental Neuroscience. In 2011 she was commissioned by the National Zero to Three Safe Baby Court Teams to provide consultation, coaching, and training on issues of bias, historical trauma of slavery, and workforce contributions to racial disparities in the child welfare system. She worked with the national Center for Social Science Policy (CSSP) to develop the Race Equity Assessment Tool
for Safe Babies Court Teams. In 2021 she chaired the development of an online introductory resource module and toolkit for leadership training on racism as a form of psychological maltreatment of children.
Deborah J. Weatherston, PhD, IMH-E®
began her career as a developmental and clinical specialist in an infant mental health home visiting program through Michigan’s Community Mental Health system. Her commitment to this two-generational, preventive intervention approach to service, working with the parent and infant or young child together, in the intimacy of their own home, led to the co-development of the Graduate Certificate in Infant Mental Health in 1988 at the Merrill-Palmer Institute of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She was the Director of that program until 2002 when she became the Executive Director of the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (2002-2016), an organization promoting infant mental health training, education, and reflective practice experiences for professionals across disciplines and in multiple service settings. She co-developed and served as the first Executive Director of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health, Inc.®., a nationally and internationally recognized organization whose mission is to promote workforce development through the competency-based Endorsement for Culturally-Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
She is currently an infant mental health supervisor and consultant in private practice in Michigan.
Dr. Weatherston’s interest in promoting infant mental health is reflected in her service on the Board of Directors for the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH), where she was the Editor of WAIMH Perspectives in Infant Mental Health from 2009-2019, as a Consulting Editor for the Infant Mental Health Journal, and as a ZERO to THREE graduate fellow. In addition, she has written extensively about infant mental health principles and practices and, most recently, about reflective supervision as a cornerstone for effective work with infants, very young children, and families.