2019 Highlight: Dr. Joy DeGruy

While we’re excited for all that 2020 has in store for us, we’d be remiss if we didn’t share a final thought on one of our highlights of 2019. As is the case each year, 2019’s NAIS People of Color Conference left us deeply inspired, offering so much to reflect upon and put into action as we returned home to New York. 

This year’s theme, “1619. 2019. Before. Beyond. Amplifying Our Intelligence to Liberate, Co-Create, and Thrive”, served as an important backdrop–commemorating the beginning of American slavery 400 years ago, and pushing each of us to think about progress and potential for growth in our schools, education systems and society-at-large. 

On this topic, during her opening keynote address, Dr. Joy DeGruy spoke at length about Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, a term she has coined in reference to the multi-generational trauma that African-Americans experience as a result of the PTSD of enslaved Africans and their descendants. Her talk centered on over 12 years of research that went into writing her 2005 book and highlighted what she refers to as “America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing.” We were hardly alone in yearning to hear so much more from Dr. Joy. Though she spoke for nearly an hour, the entire conference (and Twitter-verse) was abuzz with people noting that they could listen to her all day.

If you, too, are intrigued and want to learn more, we strongly recommend visiting Dr. Joy’s website. Here you can learn more about her theoretical framework, find additional resources (including the African-American Male Youth Respect Scale) AND you can enroll in her 10-week accredited online class that begins in January 2020.

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