Delores M. Walters, Ph.D.


Dr. Delores M. Walters, a cultural anthropologist, educator and diversity program specialist has promoted the contributions and cultural/historical heritage of people especially of African descent over the span of an extraordinary, multifaceted career.

Her courses, and training programs have advanced efforts toward increasing diversity, inclusion and cultural competency at various colleges and universities, including multicultural, women’s studies and health education centers. Building on her knowledge and wide-ranging experience in academic, local and international communities, she continues to create dynamic, interactive workshops and presentations that foster enthusiastic and productive dialogue on race, gender, sexual orientation and other multicultural differences. 

DMW Genealogy Presentation, 21 Feb 2018

Introductory Family History/ Genealogy Workshops:
Dr. Walters helps you to begin unraveling the amazing mysteries revealed in your own families’ past in highly interactive, welcoming spaces.  

BWR Flyer_Dr. Walters

The Legacy of Margaret Garner Presentations:
Dr. Walters reveals that the story of Margaret Garner, the enslaved 19th woman who refused to see her baby girl returned to slavery, and took her life instead -- can enlighten, inspire and transform. [Dr. Waters was an organizer and presenter for the conference depicted on this flyer, which took place in 2017 & 2018 in West Palm Beach, FL.]

She facilitates the workshops, and presentations at public libraries, historical and cultural societies, museums, churches and various other venues upon request. BOOKING a WORKSHOP or PRESENTATION

MobiriseURI Pathways to Nursing Program Orientation for new students Assigned by: Delores M. Walters, Ph.D., R.N.
URI Pathways to Nursing Program orientation for new students with Dr. Walters.


Dr. Walters earned a doctorate in Cultural Anthropology from New York University after conducting field research among an African-identified group within the hierarchical society of Yemen in the mid 1980s. Subsequently, she produced articles and a film on Yemeni female primary health workers’ promotion of health care and social inclusion completed in 1999. Walters gave the women the video to use as a training and recruitment tool. Prior to earning the doctorate, she completed a  B.S. in Biology from the City College of New York and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Columbia University. She also has a Liberal Studies Masters from NYU.

Throughout the early 2000s, she taught a range of applied Anthropology courses, eventually specializing on the Underground Railroad. She initiated the Freedom Trail Commission in Upstate New York. Her courses at Northern Kentucky University focused on freedom seekers in the Kentucky-Ohio Borderlands while she also conducted family/local history workshops for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. At this time, Dr. Walters began researching the story of Margaret Garner and incorporating its empowering messages of self-authorship into her classes and presentations.

In the mid 2000s, she directed the Southern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center (sriAHEC) in the College of Nursing and was an Associate Dean for Diversity at the University of Rhode Island. The sriAHEC focused on the Pathways to Nursing program, which sought to diversify the health care workforce and alleviate health disparities. Her prior nursing training was ideal for this position and for creating and facilitating cultural competency sessions for students and faculty at URI.

Ultimately, Dr. Walters’s inquiry into the life of Margaret Garner led to the publication of Gendered Resistance: Women, Slavery & the Legacy of Margaret Garner co-edited with Mary E. Frederickson in 2013. In addition, she used essentially the same genealogical research tools and methods required for investigating one’s own ancestors, which was perfect preparation for her committed exploration into her family’s genealogy. Thus began her journey into her family’s past, which she now gladly shares in her workshops.


Cover of Gender Resistance -The Legacy of Margaret Garner

Gendered Resistance: Women, Slavery and the Legacy of Margaret Garner is a collection of essays that anthropologist, Delores M. Walters co-edited with historian, Mary E. Frederickson. Inspired by the searing story of Margaret Garner, an enslaved woman who in 1856 slit her daughter’s throat rather than see her returned to slavery after a brave escape attempt, the interdisciplinary essays focus on women who rejected oppression in historical, contemporary and global settings.

Each chapter, using Garner’s example – the real-life narrative behind Toni Morrison’s Beloved and the opera Margaret Garner — as a focal point, tells a powerful story of women of color who triumphed over economic oppression and sexual violence in such disparate locations as Yemen, Brazil, India, and the United States during the enslavement era. Embedded in these women’s stories are messages to motivate and empower individuals and communities today — across gender, racial, ethnic, class, age, sexual orientation, religious, and other differences.

Though focused on a woman who faced the horrendous decision of killing her baby daughter rather then “consign her to a life of perpetual bondage, rape and exploitation” – her story nevertheless leaves us with a message of empowerment, inspiration, self-authorship, and the possibility of achieving our human potential. Walters’s presentations are upbeat, triumphant despite its emanation from a tragic and painful origin. [Quote taken from Darlene Clark Hine’s Foreword in Gendered Resistance.]

  • Gendered Resistance details the strategies utilized by women of color in resisting subjugation in the past and present. These women’s resourcefulness, ingenuity and heart-rending determination provide insights on self-authorship to motivate and inspire individuals in societies today.
  • “The stories in Gendered Resistance serve to promote cultural/ historical knowledge and awareness, especially about women of African descent, but they also inspire those who are contemplating, or starting a career, in mid-career or advancing to elder status productivity.”
  • Translated into several artistic forms, including a novel, a movie, an opera, and a dance -- Margaret Garner’s story continues to resonate with contemporary lives. Her ability to overcome extreme degradation that threatened her children’s lives, allows us to better understand our own existence and perhaps even transform adversity into opportunity.

© Copyright 2015 - 2020 Dr. Delores M. Walters, Ph.D. - All Rights Reserved
Powered by IntegriVentures, LLC