Educator visits Washburn to spark conversations of racial healing

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 4:12 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Internationally renowned researcher and educator Dr. Joy DeGruy visited Washburn University Wednesday, March 22 to share messages of racial healing as part of Washburn’s WUmester initiative.

Dr. DeGruy met with Washburn faculty for a workshop called, “Healing Racial Trauma on Campus: How to Eliminate Racism and Barriers to Higher Education”, focusing on current social issues with higher education related to racism and racial trauma and offering strategies to confront those challenges. A keynote address is planned for 6-8 p.m. at Washburn’s Memorial Union.

“History is fundamental in any society and any culture. What I do is look at the history and relationship specifically to the African American experience,” Dr. DeGruy said. “For me, my work is mainly focused on healing, but it’s very difficult to heal something you don’t know, you don’t understand or you don’t recognize as an injury, but because of many years of research, I was able to really trace the ideology of contemporary issues and behaviors with the past. So, I am joining those together in an effort to say, ‘How do we change the trajectory?’, so that we heal and prevent further injury.”

Dr. DeGruy has more than 30 years of experience in the social work field, including covering intergenerational and historical trauma, social justice, mental health, improvement strategies and evidence-based model development. He is an assistant professor at Portland State University’s School of Social Work and serves as president and CEO of Joy DeGruy Publications.

WUmester is an initiative program intended to promote university-wide conversations on a social justice topic each semester, working to engage the campus community in a cross-disciplinary learning experience on timely subjects.

Learn more about all WUmester activities HERE.