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Oliver WilliamsOliver Williams

Oliver J. Williams, Ph.D., Executive Co-Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, and a Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota, in St. Paul. He is also the Director of the Safe Return Initiative that addresses the issues of prisoner reentry and domestic violence. He has worked in the field of domestic violence for more than thirty years. Dr. Williams has been a clinical practitioner; working in mental health, substance abuse, child welfare, sexual assault, and domestic violence. He has worked in battered women's shelters, developed curricula for batterers' intervention programs and facilitated counseling groups in these programs. He has provided training across the United States and abroad on research and service-delivery surrounding partner abuse. He has been appointed to National Advisory Committees and task forces for the Center for Disease Control, US Department of Justice, US Office on Women's Health, and the US Department of Education. He has been a board member of various domestic violence and human service organization including shelter programs and National Domestic violence Hotline. In 2000, he was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Domestic Violence by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services and US Attorney General. In 2009 participated in a Roundtable with the US Attorney General on issues related to fatherhood and domestic violence and participated in a Whitehouse Roundtable on Fatherhood and issues related to Domestic Violence. He has conducted training for the US Military Family Advocacy programs both in the United States and Abroad. Dr. Williams' extensive research and publications in scholarly journals and books have centered on creating service delivery strategies to reduce violent behavior. Dr. Williams received a bachelor's degree in social work from Michigan State University; a Masters in Social Work from Western Michigan University; a Masters in Public Health and a PH.D in Social Work both from the University of Pittsburgh.

Oliver WilliamsShelia Hankins

Ms. Hankins is the Co-Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community at the University of Minnesota. In this capacity she provides leadership in working with national and local projects dedicated to ending domestic violence among African Americans. Specifically her work includes research, policy, community education and awareness, community organizing and developing, and the provision of technical assistance to federally funded and other non-profit organizations. She has 30 years of leadership experience and is recognized nationally for her work in the domestic violence field. Additionally, Ms. Hankins provides training, meeting facilitation and consulting services nationally.

Before assuming her current position, Ms. Hankins held the following leadership positions: Project Director of the Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, Vice President of Programs for HAVEN in Oakland County, Michigan; Project Director for Laurel Consulting Group in Laurel, Maryland; and Administrator of the STOP Violence Against Women Grant for the State of Florida's Governor's Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence in Tallahassee, Florida. Additionally, Ms. Hankins has held the position of Executive Director of Detroit Women's Justice Center, and of the Downtown and Northwest Branches of the YWCA of Metropolitan Detroit.

Lorraine HaleyLorraine Haley
Executive Assistant and Administrative Specialist

Lorraine has been with the Institute since 2000. Her job responsibilities mostly include financial documents, logistical and event planning, scheduling and planning of IDVAAC meetings, booking travel and many other responsibilities.

Lorraine spent her childhood years in Arkansas and moved to Kansas City, Missouri upon completing high school where she attended Penn Valley Community College. She moved to St. Paul, MN in 1986. Her immediate family resides in Kansas City, Missouri.