My teaching, writing, and leadership experiences represent my passion for social justice and my deep and abiding commitment to rigorous and responsible scholarly inquiry. At its best, a professor’s work can offer useful, illuminating, and vital contributions to discussions of the most important issues of the day.

Learn More About Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes


Thank you for visiting my website. Here you can find information about my research, leadership, media appearances, and community engagement.

As a servant-scholar, to borrow and expand upon Robert Greenleaf’s concept of the servant-leader, I humbly bring various skills and values to what I do: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and community building. As former Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University; an award-winning sociologist focusing on issues at the intersection of inequality and public policy; and a Trustee at Spelman College, I firmly believe in doing everything that I can to describe, analyze, and remedy past and present injustices that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential and positively shaping our communities.

I look forward to being in conversation with you.

Warmest regards,
Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes

"Watkins-Hayes is a major new talent whose work will draw attention from several different disciplines. Her perspective is distinctive, her writing is engaging, and her research breaks new ground in an important and well-tilled area...”

" insightful study of the interplay between the formal rules of the welfare bureaucracies and the discretionary power and practices of welfare caseworkers...."


Celeste Watkins-Hayes - Recent News

Dr. Watkins-Hayes recently led the search to find Spelman College's 10th president. In this cover story for Trusteeship Magazine, she reflects on the process that gleaned the right leader at the right time for Spelman, Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell. Celest Watkins-Hayes - The New Power Generation Article from Essence Magazine

Professor Watkins-Hayes was named the inaugural recipient of the Jacquelyn Johnson Jackson Early Career Award from the Association of Black Sociologists.

The Annual Review of Sociology recently published the latest academic article from Dr. Watkins-Hayes, "Intersectionality and the Sociology of HIV/AIDS: Past, Present, and Future Research Directions." read article

Celeste Watkins-Hayes has been named a Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellow with the The Op Ed Projectread article

Dr. Watkins-Hayes was recently inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Spelman College as an Alumna Initiate.

Check out some of Dr. Watkins-Hayes' recent work:

The Immorality of Evading the Nanny Tax.
The Atlantic, March 26, 2014 read article

Quoted, "Do Non-White Americans Pay A 'Respectability Tax'?
Marketplace, July 19, 2013. By Noel King.

Government Already Has Tools Available.
The New York Times, October 1, 2013 read article

The Supreme Court's Critical Call on Prostitution and HIV
The Atlantic, June 25, 2013 read article

Flying with a net, literal and figurative
Marketplace, March 26, 2013 read article

The Power of the Prenup: Let's Broaden This Discussion
The New York Times, March 21, 2013 read article

No More Working at Home: Is It the End of the Smart Mom?
Al Jazeera English, March 5, 2013 read article

Ending the AIDS Epidemic
Need to Know on PBS Commentary, November 26, 2012 read article

How Neighborhoods Can Help Poor Black Women Fight AIDS
Scholars Strategy Network Policy Brief, May 2012 read article