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Jualynne Dodson

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Profile image of Jualynne Dodson


  • March 18, 2022



  • Born: January 4, 1942
  • Birth Location: Pensacola, Florida


  • Favorite Color: Purple
  • Favorite Food: Collard Greens
  • Favorite Time of Year: Winter
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Cuba

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Professor Jualynne E. Dodson was born January 4, 1942 in Pensacola, Florida, to Flora and Benjamin White. She received her B.A. degree in social sciences in 1969 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology, religion, social organizations, and personality development in 1972 and 1984, respectively, from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dodson was appointed director of the Atlanta University School of Social Work’s Research Center in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972. In 1982, she became Dean of Seminary Life at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Between 1984 and 1992, she served as a National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches delegate to the Nanjing Missionary Conference in China; the Geneva, Switzerland, Conference preparation for the European Union; the Seoul, Korea, Conference on Racism; the International Conference on Black and Indigenous People in Managua, Nicaragua; and a United Church of Christ delegate to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s Anti-Racism Conference. Dodson also served as International Liaison for the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) and led the Cuban Baptist delegation to membership in the PNBC.

From 1988 to 1990, Dodson served as a senior research associate at Yale University’s Center for Study of Race & Ethnicity and visiting professor in the Department of Sociology at Hunter College in the City of New York. In 1992, Dodson was hired as an associate professor in the departments of ethnic studies, religious studies, and sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she founded the African Atlantic Research Team (AART). Between 1991 and 2000, Dodson served as coordinator of the National Council of Churches’ Women’s Project and executive director of the Black Theology Project for Theology In The Americas . In 2002, Dodson served as a distinguished visiting professor at Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine, and as a John A. Hannah Visiting Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University (MSU). She then joined the Michigan State University faculty as Professor of Religious Studies, African American Studies, and Sociology until her retirement in 2022.

Dodson has authored numerous publications including Afro-Centric Education: Toward a Non-Deficit Perspective in Services to Families & Children (1983), Engendering Church (2002), and Sacred Spaces and Religious Traditions in Oriente Cuba (2008).

Dodson has served on the boards of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora, the Association for Sociology of Religion, and as a consulting member of the American Council of Learned Societies. She also served on the editorial board of The Journal of Africana Religions. In 2016, Dodson received the A. Wade Smith Award for Lifetime Teaching, Mentoring, and Service from the Association of Black Sociologists.

Dodson lives in East Lansing, Michigan. She has one daughter, Alyce C. Dodson Emory, and one son, David Primus Luta Dodson.

Jualynne E. Dodson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 18, 2022.