DR. ADIA McCLELLAN WINFREY
Adia McClellan Winfrey, also known as Dr. Dia, is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, published author, curriculum developer, and mentor to youth around the country. Described as “brilliant” by best-selling author Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, she has been an advocate for emotional wellness, social justice, and Hip Hop culture for over 20 years. At age 16, she received the honor of Olympic Torchbearer for her activism in these areas. In 2018, Dr. Dia was a U.S. Congressional candidate (AL-03), and was among the 70 Black women who ran for office in Alabama. Although she did not win her Democratice primary, her #AEIOU (Agriculture, Education, Innnovation, Opportunity, Unity) platform and infusion of Hip Hop into her campaign resonated with thousands nationally.
Dr. Dia earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Wilberforce University and Doctorate of Clinical Psychology degree from Wright State University School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral dissertation, Healing Young People thru Empowerment (H.Y.P.E.) was the first to integrate Hip Hop culture and psychological theories, and was the foundation of her first book Healing Young People thru Empowerment (H.Y.P.E.): A Hip-Hop Therapy Program for Black Adolescent Boys (African-American Images, 2009). Dr. Dia was awarded the distinction of Outstanding Alumni of the Year for her advancements in the field of psychology, just three years after earning her doctorate degree.
Dr. Dia’s work with H.Y.P.E. is described as “innovative and effective.” Professionals globally are using the curriculum, and Dr. Dia has spoken before international audiences about the positive power of Hip Hop. She has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR), in JET Magazine, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, and the Michael Baisden Show, among other television, radio, and web-based media.
A Hip Hop activist and community organizer, Dr. Dia has worked to improve mental health and build hopefulness within communities through multi-generational events and unique partnerships. In 2011, she founded The HYPE Movement, the community outreach branch of her company Elevating Us. The H.Y.P.E. Movement has served over 2,000 youth in Stone Mountain, GA and has spearheaded a number of community projects in Talladega, AL. Grammy Award winning recording artist Killer Mike stated, “Activists need to get active. Like Dr. Dia, find something that you’re passionate about within your field of Hip Hop.”
In 2009, Dr. Dia founded The H.Y.P.E. Communicator e-newsletter, connecting leaders in mental health, the arts, Hip Hop scholarship, and education. An emcee since childhood, Dr. Dia publicly emerged as a rap lyricist in March 2011. She launched her radio show, Sessions with Dr. Dia in March 2014 on Atlanta’s WAEC LOVE 860AM.
In 2014, Dr. Dia moved back to her family's hometown of Talladega, Alabama to bring her Hip Hop Empowerment Model to the community.
Dr. Dia is the mother of four children, Donovan, Daymion, Ameerah, and Aidan.