Minority Fellowship Program Historical Information

The Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) at the AAMFT Research and Education Foundation is a workforce development program that was created to increase the number of culturally competent marriage and family therapist researchers, teachers, and practitioners, who will increase mental health and substance abuse services to racial and ethnic minority populations and underrepresented populations. Since 2007, the AAMFT Foundation achieves its yearly goal of increasing the number of culturally competent MFTs who will improve mental health and substances abuse services to the target populations in the US. The MFP program is a part of the national workforce development program, MFP program, which includes seven guilds (AAMFT, ANA, APA, ApA, CSWE, NADAAC, NBCC) that are building cohorts of trained professionals to meet the needs of the behavioral health and mental health workforce. The national MFP program was created in 1972, but was transformed into a clinical workforce program in 1974 under the NIMH. Please see below for a quote from the MFP for the 50th Anniversary of the MFP Program (1974 - 2024).

A moment captured of Doctoral Fellows, Blendine Hawkins, PhD, LMFT-S, and Jessica Chen, PhD, LMFT-S, at the 2012 AAMFT Annual Conference.
Overcoming, Achieving and Soaring: Celebrating 50 Years of the Minority Fellowship Program
SAMHSA's Hybrid Event
June 08, 2023

Register for the SAMHSA Event here.

"The history of the MFP program now spans to 50 years! Beginning in “1974 as a grant initiative under the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to enhance services to minority communities through specialized PhD and research training,” the MFP has expanded to provide additional practitioners to the landscape of behavioral health in the US. From past unto present, the MFP program has gone through many iterations with support from NIMH, SAMHSA, technical assistance organizations, and the grantees and these strategic improvements have allowed for an increase in the number of culturally competent graduate level-trained researchers, teachers, and practitioners to expand the delivery of mental health and substance abuse services to racial and ethnic minority populations and underrepresented populations.

The grantees, consisting of: AAMFT, ANA, APA, ApA, CSWE, NAADAC, NBCC, and recently AAAP, represent a woven fabric in the tapestry of clinical training and research, and cultivating the professional development of researchers, teachers, and practitioners. Since 2007, the AAMFT Foundation MFP Program has been a representation of this intricate fabric that promotes “initiative ideas and strategies enhancing the effectiveness of systemic family therapy and projects that will remove barriers to treatment.” With the celebration of the MFP for reaching 50 years of impact to racial and ethnic minority communities, the AAMFT FND MFP Program celebrates the addition of 756 researchers, teachers, and practitioners. The MFP recognizes the dedication of these alumni who, through direct service (and/or research), are expanding the delivery of culturally competent mental health and substance abuse services to underserved ethnic minority populations throughout the US."

The MFP Project Historical Video

Transforming Mental Health for Communities of Color
*created by the American Nurses Association MFP

The MFP Impact Video

SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) 50th Anniversary
*created by MFPCC contractor, MayaTech

MFP Historical Segments

  • MFP Inaugural Years
  • MFP Expansion Years
  • MFP Present Years
  • MFP on the Horizon

MFP Consultant Impact

  • Kenneth Hardy, PhD (2007 - 2011)
  • Mudita Rastogi, PhD, LMFT-S (2011 - 2015)
  • Stephanie Brooks, PhD, LMFT-S (2015 - 2020)
  • DeAnna Harris-McKoy, PhD, LMFT-S (2020 - Present)

MFP Project Directors

  • Adisa Ajuma (2010 - 2014)
  • Shomari Whittaker, M.S (2014 - 2017)
  • Jermaine Lowery, MPH, MCFFM, CNEL, CEDI (2017 - Present)