Meet Dr. Simmons

About me

Revolutionary Vision.


I earned my Ph.D. from Western Michigan University in 2020, and I completed my APA-Accredited internship at University of Michigan. I received my bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Iowa in 2008, and my master’s degree in Counseling from DePaul University in 2013.

During my academic journey, I often experienced the ubiquitous challenges of systemic racism in classes, at work, and in predominantly White social spaces. By the time I entered my doctoral program, a seasoned witness to the insidiousness of systemic racism, and trainer in the areas of diversity and inclusion for the last 12 years, I began to problematize racism in higher education with the hope of developing a model that could be used in academic and non-academic environments.

In August 2016, I founded an organization at my university to address racial inequity on campus. After conducting research, I discovered that engaging in race-related discourse is a much needed form of education intervention that is designed to address inequity, racism, and White supremacy in the college classroom.

In a 2015 study (Bryan et al., 2015), the findings suggest that when race-related conversations do not happen in higher education, instructors, faculty, and staff are complicit in maintaining the status quo. I also conducted my own research on the efficacy of RaceTalk Panel interventions and found that participants responded favorably to the content. I was determined to humanize the racial experience with the power of narrative.

Storytelling or narrative-sharing has been used for decades in myriad academic disciplines to study the experiences of people in social science (Bruner, 2002); medicine (Randall, 2007); psychology (Church, 1995; Coles, 1989; Shafer, 1992); and higher education (Behar, 1996; Rodman, 2007).

I currently run a race-equity lab that invites students, faculty, and staff to collaborate with me and learn how to conduct research from a critical race lens while orienting them to race-based issues at the intersection of sexual orientation, gender, the workplace, and the counseling profession.

My RaceTalk panels are an educational intervention that provide a unique, storytelling panel-presentation experience that inspire dialogue and interrogate the presence of dominant culture in institutions

Passion. Experience. Diligence.

My Mission

I've Partnered With...

Elizabethtown College

Southwest Michigan District Dietetic Association

Western Michigan University

Elizabethtown Church of Brethren

Contact Me

Schedule a Consultation

Humanize the racial experience by contacting me for a free consultation to discuss your critical race needs.