Katherine Stone Kaufmann '67
- Ph.D., Temple University
Executive Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women; expert on the womanist worldview and activist methodology
Layli Maparyan, Ph.D., is the Katherine Stone Kaufmann ’67 Executive Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women and Professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley College. She is best known for her scholarship in the area of womanism and is the author of two groundbreaking texts in the field of womanist studies, The Womanist Reader (Routledge, 2006) and The Womanist Idea (Routledge, 2012); a third book is forthcoming. Maparyan has also published significantly in the areas of adolescent development, social identities, (including biracial/biethnic identity and the intersections of racial/ethnic, sexual, spiritual/religious, and gender identities), Black LGBTQ studies, Hip Hop studies, and history of psychology.
Maparyan’s scholar-activist work interweaves threads from the social sciences and the critical disciplines, incorporating basic and applied platforms around a common theme of integrating identities and communities in peaceable, ecologically sound, and self-actualizing ways.
Prior to joining WCW, Maparyan was Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and associated faculty of African American Studies at Georgia State University (GSU). While there, she served as inaugural Chair of the University Consortium for Liberia (UCL), a regional collective of Southeastern U.S. institutions with projects in Liberia, West Africa. In 2009, Maparyan was a Contemplative Practice Fellow of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and, in 2010, she served as a Fulbright Specialist at the University of Liberia, where she developed a model gender studies curriculum. Before GSU, she was Assistant Professor of Psychology and African American Studies at the University of Georgia (UGA). While at UGA, she co-founded and co-directed the Womanist Studies Consortium, a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowships residency site, for which she recruited and supported scholars and interns from the U.S. and around the world and published a journal, The Womanist (later Womanist Theory and Research).
Maparyan holds a Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis on lifespan human development from Temple University and an M.S. in Psychology with an emphasis on developmental psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. She is a graduate of Spelman College, where she majored in philosophy.
Maparyan currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Global Fund for Women, where she serves as Chair of the Governance Committee. She also serves as International Board Chair of the Sustainable Market Women's Fund (SMWF) and is a long-time member of the Ms. Magazine Committee of Scholars. She has held past positions of leadership in the National Women's Studies Association, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights Women’s Initiative, the University Consortium for Liberia, Foreverfamily (formerly Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers), the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW), and the Atlanta Women’s Foundation's Faith, Feminism, and Philanthropy Initiative. In 2014, she served on the planning committee for the White House Research Conference on Girls. She is a member of the Constructive Resilience Working Group of the Association for Baha'i Studies (ABS).