Felicia Mitchell

Academic Fellow 2021
Assistant Professor
ASU School of Social Work

Downtown Phoenix Campus


Felicia M. Mitchell joined the School of Social Work at Arizona State University in August 2016. Mitchell is committed to social justice for all oppressed and marginalized peoples and advocates for the advancement of environmental and health equity in communities of color. Her primary research interests focus on social determinants of health (which includes environmental determinants) and their impact on Indigenous health and well-being. In support of Social Work's Grand Challenge to Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment (http://envchange.org/), Mitchell's work seeks to promote public and policy responsiveness to the social and anthropological dimensions of environmental change and environmental racism. Mitchell uses Photovoice, a community-based participatory research method, to partner with communities and organizations around group-identified health and ecological concerns.

Mitchell's secondary line of scholarship focuses on advancing social work education through critical reflection and engagement that seeks to dismantle anti-Black sentiments and settler-colonial standards in academia. Using a critical lens, she examines teaching and curriculum standards to increase accurate representations of historically underrepresented populations in the classroom and advocates for the eradication of oppressive social work education and research practices.

Mitchell's article, “Engaging in Indigenous CBPR within Academia: A Critical Narrative,” was selected as the winner of the 2018 Affilia Award for Distinguished Feminist Scholarship and Praxis in Social Work.


Ph.D. Social Welfare, University of Kansas

M.S.W. Social Work, Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis

B.S.W. Social Welfare, University of Kansas


(Order of authorship represents relative contributions; *denotes graduate student co-author)

*Maglalang, D., Sangalang, C., Mitchell, F. M, Lechuga-Peña, S., & Nakaoka, S. (accepted). Back to the future: Reflecting on 50 years of ethnic studies to inform new directions for social work research, policy, and practice. Journal of Social Work Education.

Mitchell, F. M. (2020). American Indian water insecurity in the era of COVID-19. Journal of Indigenous Social Development, 9(3), 67-75, https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/jisd/article/view/71067

Mitchell, F. M., Sangalang, C., Lechuga-Peña, S., Lopez, K., & Beccera, D. (2020). Health Inequities in Historical Context: A Critical Race Theory analysis of diabetes among African Americans and American Indians. Race and Social Problems,12(4), 289-299, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-020-09301-4

Mitchell, F. M., Billiot, S., & Lechuga- Peña, S. (2020). Utilizing Photovoice to support Indigenous accounts of environmental change and injustice. Genealogy, 4(2), 51, https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4020051

Lechuga-Peña, S., Brown, S., Mitchell, F. M., Becerra, D., & Brisson, D. (2020). Improving parent-child bonds: Effects of the Your Family, Your Neighborhood intervention. Children and Youth Services Review, 119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105690

Jackson, K. F., Mitchell, F. M., Snyder, C. R., & Samuels, G. E. M. (2020). Salience of Ethnic Minority Grandparents in the Ethnic-Racial Socialization and Identity Development of Multiracial Grandchildren. Identity, 20(2), 73-91, https://doi.org/10.1080/15283488.2020.1728535

Billiot, S., Beltran, R., *Brown, D., Mitchell, F. M., & *Fernandez, A. (2019). Indigenous perspectives for strengthening social responses to global environmental changes: A response to the social work Grand Challenge on Environmental Change. Journal of Community Practice, 27(3-4), 296-316, 10.1080/10705422.2019.1658677

Billiot, S., & Mitchell, F. M. (2019). Conceptual interdisciplinary model of exposure to environmental changes to address Indigenous health and well-being. Public Health, 176, 142-148, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2018.08.011

Lechuga-Peña, S., Becerra, D., Mitchell, F.M., Lopez, K., & Sangalang, C (2019). Subsidized housing and low-income mother's school-based parent involvement: Findings from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study wave five. Children Youth Care Forum, 48, 323-338, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-018-9481-y

Mitchell, F. M. (2019). Water (in)security and American Indian health: Social and environmental justice implications for research, policy, and practice. Public Health, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2018.10.010

Sangalang, C., Becerra, D., Mitchell, F. M., Lechuga-Peña, S., Lopez, K., & Kim, I. (2019). Trauma, migration status, and mental health: A comparative analysis of refugees and immigrants in the United States. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 21, 909-919, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-018-0826-2

+Mitchell, F. M. (2018). Engaging in Indigenous CBPR within academia: A critical narrative. Affilia, 33(3), 379–394, https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109918762570

+Winner of 2018 Affilia Award for Distinguished Feminist Scholarship and Praxis in Social Work

Mitchell, F. M. (2018). “Water is Life”: Using Photovoice to document American Indian perspectives of water and health. Social Work Research, 42(2), 277-289, https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/svy025

Mitchell, F. M. (2016). Creating space for the ‘uncomfortable’: Discussions about race and police brutality in a BSW classroom. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 21(3), 4-9.

Mitchell, F. M. (2016). Water is life: A community-based participatory study of the significance of water and its relationship to the health and well-being of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (Order No. 10240244)

Mitchell, F. M. (2015). Racial and ethnic health disparities in an era of health care reform. Health & Social Work, 40(3), e66-e74, https://doi.org/10.1093/hsw/hlv038

Johnson-Motoyama, M., Petr, C. G., & Mitchell, F. M. (2014). Factors associated with success in doctoral social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 50(3), 548-558, https://doi.org/10.1080/10437797.2014.916955

Mitchell, F. M. (2012). Reframing diabetes in American Indian communities: A social determinants of health perspective. Health & Social Work, 37(2), 71-79, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hsw/hls013

BOOK CHAPTERS/EDITED VOLUMES (Order of authorship represents relative contributions; *denotes graduate student co-author)

Mitchell, F., *Castillo, C., Matsuoka, M., & Raphael, C. (Forthcoming). Transforming academia for community-engaged research. In C. Raphael & Martha Matsuoka, Community-engaged research for environmental justice. Berkeley, CA: University of California - Luminos Press.

Forbes, R., Krings, A., Minnick, D., Mitchell, F. M., Teixeira, S., & Billiot, S. (Under review). Creating social responses to a changing environment. In Spencer, M., and Teasley, M.L. (Eds.), Eliminating Racism: The 13th Grand Challenge for Social Work. Oxford University Press.

Kemp, S., Palinkas, L. A., Mason, L. R., Mitchell, F. M., Billiot, S., & Krings, A. (Under Review). Creating social responses to a changing environment. In Fong, R., Lubben, J., & Barth, R. P. (Eds.), Grand Challenges for Social Work and Society (2nd edition). Oxford University Press.

Mitchell, F. M. (2019). Racial and ethnic health disparities in an era of health care reform (Invited reprint). In Bent-Goodley, T.B., Williams, J.H., Teasley, M.L., and Gorin, S. (Eds.), Grand Challenges for Society: Evidence-Based Social Work Practice. NASW Press.

Expertise Areas

Health and Environmental Equity for Communities of Color

Chronic Health Disparities; Environmental Change Impacts on Health; Water Insecurity

Photovoice & Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR)

Racial & Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion in Social Work Education and Research