For over thirty years, Dr. James P. Griffin, Jr. has been involved in behavioral health promotion, training, education, and research. He has an earned doctorate in psychology with specialized training in behavior modification, school psychology, and community/organizational psychology. He attended West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV; Howard University in Washington, DC, and graduated in 1991 from the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. The last eighteen years of his career have focused on the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and violence prevention. This included consultation on the transfer of research-based prevention technologies in Louisville, KY; Memphis, TN; Washington, DC; Atlanta, GA; and Miami, FL.
Dr. Griffin is faculty at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine and in the Department of Pediatrics. He has also served as adjunct faculty at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. He has been principal investigator for various prevention programs operating in public schools in Atlanta, GA. For example, he directed a National Institutes of Health-funded project called the BRAVE Program. BRAVE stands for Building Resiliency And Vocational Excellence. BRAVE was a substance abuse and violence prevention program designed for African American males. Dr. Griffin also has directed a school-wide violence prevention program that operated in a Metropolitan Atlanta public schools. This initiative was part of a six-university, Hamilton Fish Institute national consortium headquartered at George Washington University in Washington, DC. The program used cognitive-behavioral training and peer influence to encourage nonviolence and strong academic performance by working with school personnel, parents, students, and others. The program served students, parents, and teachers. The current version of the violence prevention program works with students at the Boys and Girls Club through the Community Advisory Board for Youth (CABY) Program. Students promote community service messages aimed at violence prevention through the arts, including T.V. production. Dr. Griffin is also the principal investigator for the Imani Project in the Department of Pediatrics. This is a community-based alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATODs), HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis prevention program for youth, ages 13-17 and 18-25, and their families. It also is designed to serve inmates returning from detention facilities to the Zone One community in northwest Atlanta. The project is structured to work with faith-based prison ministries and youth who function as peer educators to support community-based prevention activities. This five-year project follows a Strategic Prevention Framework and uses audio-enhanced, computer-assisted structured interviewing to conduct a state-of-the-art scientific evaluation. He has also acted as the principal investigator for the Atlanta Violence Prevention Capacity Building Project (ACBP) in collaboration with three community-based organizations (CBOs). The CBOs included The Advocacy Foundation, the Genesis Prevention Coalition, and Visions Unlimited. Dr. Griffin is the original convener of the Metropolitan Atlanta Violence Prevention Partnership (MAVPP), a collaboration of over 200 government, academic, community- and faith-based organizations, and individuals. As the convener and chair for the organization, he has served on multiple MAVPP committees including Web development, re-entry sub-coalition of former inmates to the community, 2010 nonviolent music contest planning, strategic planning, membership, and executive committees. He is, in addition, responsible for the development of the Youth Leaders in Action summer program and 16 Barz violence prevention change agent and leadership development curriculum for high school youth.
Dr. Griffin has contributed work to professional journals such as the Journal for African American Men, the American Journal of Health Studies, the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, the Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved, The Consulting Psychologist, and the Journal of School Violence. He has also co-authored work in the books Violence in American Schools: A Practical Guide for Counselors and Health Issues in the Black Community. Dr. Griffin has been married for 27 years, and he is the father of three children, a boy and two girls.