Latrice Rollins

Latrice Rollins
Location: Atlanta, Georgia Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Behavioral and Mental Health, Community/Civic Engagement, Criminal Justice, Father Engagement, Health Care Access, Maternal and Infant Health, Public Policy, Public, Population and Community Health, Racial Justice, Social Sector/Non-Profit Populations Served: African-American/Black, Men's Health, Urban Communities
Assistant Professor/Director
Morehouse School of Medicine

Latrice Rollins’ vision for building a culture of health is to lead the creation and advancement of health equity for African American fathers. African American men have the worst health outcomes compared to any other population. They face numerous barriers to accessing needed health and human services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we also witnessed how African American men disproportionately face the obstacles of racism, discrimination, prejudice, and sexism.

Despite these challenges, African American fathers are the most engaged fathers among any other fathers. Father engagement has been associated with positive family and health outcomes, including protection from the adverse effects of poverty, school problems, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, crime, and preventable disease. However, many systems have been slow to engage them and recognize the many fathers who are involved in their children’s lives.

Over the past year, Latrice Rollins employed a community mobilization approach to mobilize fatherhood in metro Atlanta. The purpose of this initiative is to bring leaders from various sectors together to use the evidence and promote and support father engagement in metro Atlanta. Overall, the vision is to develop a system that serves fathers as well as it serves mothers and children. Strategies and action plans were developed and are being implemented to achieve the vision of this initiative. Partnerships with 11 sectors are needed to advance this work—social services, health, faith, law enforcement, media/entertainment, philanthropy, education, civic, community activism, business, and city/county government.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Implement a Father Friendliness Toolkit to Facilitate Adoption of Best Practices for Father Involvement
Despite evidence of the positive impact of father involvement on perinatal health disparities, involving fathers is one of the least explored and implemented aspects of maternal and child health services. Additionally, the health and social services system and providers are not equipped to involve fathers in a way that is supportive to the fathers themselves, which impacts their ability to support family wellbeing. “Father friendliness” is the degree to which an organization’s operations in four domains—leadership, organizational support, program development, and community engagement—encourage father involvement in the services it offers. A father-friendliness toolkit for organizations will create efficiencies for staff and facilitate widespread adoption of best practices and tools ensuring that fathers are better served. Partners of Strong Fathers, Strong Families Georgia, men’s health, fatherhood organizations, and Healthy Start grantees are committed partners.

Latrice Rollins is a dedicated, passionate social worker, author, researcher, educator, and master collaborator. Her broad range of work experiences include working with fathers and families as a state employee; conducting national evaluations of health and human service programs and making policy recommendations; conducting community-based participatory research; training practitioners, researchers, and students; and leading community initiatives. She is a change agent with a unique perspective on building a culture of health and advancing health equity.


Click here to watch Latrice’s Legacy Project video.