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Kimberly Bender

Kimberly Bender, PhD

Inducted in 2020

Current Position

Professor, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver


PhD, University of Texas at Austin

Kimberly Bender, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. In her work, she partners with young people facing adversity, and the community-based agencies that serve them, to make life more hopeful and society more just. The majority of her work partners engages young people experiencing homelessness to understand their needs, engage them in social change projects and develop skills that can prevent adverse experiences. Bender serves as co-PI on a six-state multi-site research project with youth experiencing homelessness through shelter, drop-in and transitional housing services to better understand risk and protective factors in this population. She also serves as principle investigator on a NIDA-funded randomized trial of a mindfulness-based cognitive intervention to prevent victimization and substance among youth residing in emergency shelters. More recently, Bender’s participatory research has shifted toward understanding mutual aid as a model of intervention with young people experiencing homelessness.

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