Lisa attributes her strong interest in culturally diverse populations and her commitment to social justice to growing up in the heart of New York City. As a child, she daily rode the subway and made friends with people from all over the globe and from every social class. The idealism of her youth has not waned a bit, but rather has been enhanced by great teachers and mentors, research, and continued opportunities to work among interesting people in the United States and Latin America, especially.
Lisa has dedicated more than 15 years to making the social service, mental health, and criminal justice systems more responsive to culturally diverse people impacted by child abuse and violence against women. Her new book, Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families, just won honorable mention in a national book award for addressing bigotry and human rights. Dr. Fontes has worked as a family, individual, and group therapist in a variety of settings and with people from diverse backgrounds. She has conducted research in Santiago, Chile, and with Puerto Ricans, African Americans, and European Americans in the U.S. She earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Master's from Columbia School of Journalism.