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Jennifer Shepard Payne, Ph.D., LCSW, is a Research Scientist and Clinician for the Kennedy Krieger Institute in the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress (CCFTS) and theCenter for the Neuroscience of Social Injustice. She is also an Assistant Professor in the John Hopkins University School of Medicine with a primary appointment within the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She serves as the coordinator of the Culturally-Tailored Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Clinical Services within the adult segment of CCFTS.


Dr. Payne received her doctorate from the UCLA School of Public Affairs and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with many years of experience in mental health clinical practice and administration. Her research interests include developing culturally tailored community-based depression and trauma interventions and addressing minority mental health disparities. 

For several years, Dr. Payne has been working on culturally tailoring Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for African American communities experiencing racial trauma. She developed a culturally-tailored ACT intervention called POOF® and is training and consulting on the model:


Additionally, she is a board member of MEND, an international organization of clinicians of color who are trauma-trained to help oppressed communities ( More information about her is located at 



B.A., University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Psychology

MSW, California State University, Long Beach - School of Social Work

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles - Department of Social Welfare

  • ​Awardee of the Diana Garland Award for Practitioner Excellence, North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW)

  • National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Health Disparities Research Institute Scholar

  • Robert Woods Johnson Foundation New Connections Leadership Program awardee

  • National Center for Institutional Diversity, Emerging Diversity Scholar

  • Emerging Scholars Interdisciplinary Network Empirical Scholar, Program in Applied Multi-Ethnic Research, University of Michigan

  • SAMHSA-funded Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Minority Doctoral Fellow in Mental Health Leadership

Click here for full CV:  Curriculum Vitae


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