Project Leader

 
 Project Leader: Everett Worthington

Project Leader: Everett Worthington

Everett Worthington, Ph.D., is Commonwealth Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU; the largest state university in Virginia). He is also a licensed clinical psychologist in Virginia. He has published 35 books and about 400 articles and scholarly chapters, mostly on forgiveness, marriage, and family topics. He is regularly in the media.

He is a past-president of the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 36 (Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality), and a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and two divisions of the APA. He won VCU’s annual top award for teaching, research, and service—VCU’s Award for Excellence—in 2009 and several top awards from other organizations. He was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Pepperdine University in 2014.

He became interested in forgiveness through his practice in couple counseling, and he began conducting research on forgiveness in 1990 after writing about its clinical uses in the 1980s. In the past 30 years, he has studied forgiveness, justice, faith, and a variety of virtues under the general rubric of positive psychology. He became interested in their relationship after his mother’s murder and brother’s subsequent suicide. Free resources on promoting forgiveness are available on his personal website.

From 1998 to 2005, he directed A Campaign for Forgiveness Research, a non-profit organization that supports research into forgiving. He worked to build a field of studying forgiveness scientifically. The Campaign is now under a new director who is focusing on dissemination of the findings.

Everett has studied a variety of other topics relevant to positive psychology, the branch of psychology dealing with virtue for self and other. These include altruism, love, humility, marriage enrichment, and religion and spirituality. He attributes much of his success to the many wonderful students and colleagues he has had the privilege of working with.

 

Regional Directors


West Africa: Annabella Opare-Henaku

Annabella Opare-Henaku is currently a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of Ghana. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University (USA), and has completed an APA-approved doctoral clinical internship in professional psychology at Texas A&M University’s Student Counselling Services. She obtained a Masters in Philosophy degree in Health Promotion from the University of Bergen in Norway. 

Her research interests are related to the intersections of psychology, culture, and development in contemporary West Africa, with an emphasis on culture and mental illness in African settings. She has published widely on a variety of issues relating to forgiveness, race-related stress, internalized colonialism, culture and emotion, and adjustment to change. She aspires to become a productive researcher and scholar and make contributions that will inform relevant theory development and social policy.

Forgiveness has been said to be the mainstay on which successful relationships are built. It is thus very vital in our day-to-day interactions crossing racial, social, religious, and economic boundaries. She thus finds it a privilege to be able to contribute to the inception and development of the forgiveness research project in West Africa. 

 

South Africa: Richard Cowden

Richard Cowden holds an M.A. in Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University near Nashville, Tennessee, and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

His research interests include sports, performance, and positive psychology, especially constructs that are associated with performance excellence (e.g., mental toughness, flow, thriving). His interest in forgiveness research and the current project relate to cultural distinctions in forgiveness and apology and the outcomes and consequences of self-forgiveness.

 

Project Participants


West Africa

Alhassan Sulemana Anamzoya
University of Ghana
Legon, Ghana

Anakwah Nkansah
University of Ghana
Legon, Ghana

Antoinette Cecelia Tsiboe-Darko
University of Ghana
Legon, Ghana

Bright Akpalu
University of Health and Allied Sciences
Volta Region, Ghana

Charlotte O. Kwakye-Nuako
Methodist University College
Accra, Ghana

Chinyere Okonkwo
Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital
Lagos, Nigeria

Ernestina Dankyi
University of Ghana
Legon, Ghana

Joana Salifu Yendork
University of Ghana
Legon, Ghana

Joyce Komesuor
University of Health and Allied Sciences
Volta Region, Ghana

Judith Osai-Larbi
University of Ghana
Legon, Ghana

Mabel Oti-Boadi
University of Ghana
Legon, Ghana

Mary Ampomah
Ghana Institute of Clinical Genetics
Accra, Ghana

Michael Tetteh Anim
University of Cape Coast
Cape Coast, Ghana

Nana Ama Takyibea Owusu Adu
Regent University College of Science and Technology
Accra, Ghana

Njungwa  Zinkeng Martina Kwcbonti
University of Buea
Kumba, Cameroon

Omoruyi Osunde
University of Benin
Benin City, Nigeria

Sheri Nsamenang
Cherokee Health Systems
Knoxville, TN, USA

Sitsofe Gbobgo
University of Health and Allied Sciences
Volta Region, Ghana

Taiwo Ajayi
CREATE Ghana
Accra, Ghana

 

 


 

 

South Africa

Aden Dejene Tolla
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban, South Africa

Anthony Coetzer-Liversage
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA, USA

Eshia Moodley-Govender
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban, South Africa

Gillian Struwig
UNISA
South Africa

Kemist Shumba
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban, South Africa

Mitzpa Ngubeni
University of Witwatersrand
Johannesburg, South Africa

Prudence Mdletshe
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban, South Africa

Ruth Connelly
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Shakira Choonara
University of the Witwatersrand
Johannesburg, South Africa

Shawn Joynt
University of Pretoria
Pretoria, South Africa

Solomon Oupa Makola
Central University of Technology, Free State
South Africa

Thapelo Mokushane
Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Truth and Reconciliation Commission, South Africa

Thathu Mokeona
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban, South Africa

Thobeka Nkomo
University of Witwatersrand
Johannesburg, South Africa