Speaker discusses how families deal with incarceration of other members

Contact: Deanne Puca
Dr. Dana Cunningham sitting outside in front of green bushes.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Dana Cunningham, licensed clinical psychologist and author, will speak at a pair of events in Kalamazoo Thursday, April 5, on how families deal with the incarceration of family members.

Her presentation, "Beyond the Bars: The Impact of Parental Incarceration," is sponsored by the University-Community Empowerment Center at Western Michigan University, AARP and Northside Ministerial Alliance. Lectures are free and open to the public.

She will speak at 11 a.m. in 4010 Health and Human Services Building on WMU's East Campus and will follow with a discussion with students, faculty and community members. No registration is required.

Later that day, she will visit the same topic at 6 p.m. at the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home, 1424 Gull Road. Cunningham will lead a panel of University and community leaders in a discussion about the impact of incarceration on a community, specifically the impact on children. More information and registration are available at wmich.edu/empowerment/bridges.


Cunningham is a licensed psychologist with more than 16 years experience providing therapeutic services to children, adolescents and families. In 2016, she published "A Day I'll Never Forget," a children's book which tells the story of a young boy whose father was suddenly incarcerated. Since 2006, Cunningham has served as the program director of the Prince George's School Mental Health Initiative, which provides intensive school-based counseling and support services to students in special education. 

She graduated from J.W. Sexton High School in Lansing and attended Spelman College in Atlanta before obtaining her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

University-Community Empowerment Center

The University-Community Empowerment Center at WMU is a research, consultation, and training center that collaborates with individuals, groups and organizations to empower communities to reduce poverty.

Employing research, evaluation, policy analysis, consultation, training and advocacy, the overall goal of the UCEC is to empower distressed communities by assisting them in creating social and economic opportunities through the engagement of community residents, service providers and other stakeholders in collaborative action to reduce poverty.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.