'Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome' author to speak here next Tuesday

Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome author to speak here next Tuesday

Dr. Joy DeGruy-Leary, author of The Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, will discuss her book and research in a lecture from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the auditorium of O'Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

The lecture, free and open to the public, will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a book-signing.

Dr. Joy Leary

The lecture is the second of a three-part series of programs at St. Thomas that have focused on Lear's book and research on the post-traumatic slave syndrome theory. The series is designed to encourage participants to reflect on implications of the legacy of hate, and to suggest ways to move toward healing. 

Leary's book was read and discussed by a group of St. Thomas students, staff and faculty during January. A wrap-up, community dialogue will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in the third-floor lounge (Room 304), of Murray-Herrick Campus Center.

For more information about the Feb. 19 lecture or Feb. 21 discussion, call Denise Dieffenbach in the Office of Multicultural Student Services, (651) 962-6460, or visit the Multicultural Student Services Web site.

The series is sponsored by the university's Office of Multicultural Student Services. Co-sponsors are the University Lectures Committee, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty Development, Human Resources, Dean of Students, Office of Institutional Diversity, Luann Dummer Center for Women, and the departments of Psychology, History, Sociology and Criminal Justice. 

The theory of post-traumatic slave syndrome suggests that centuries of slavery followed by systemic racism and oppression have resulted in multigenerational adaptive behaviors. Some of these behaviors have been positive and reflective of resilience, while other behaviors are detrimental and destructive.

In her lecture, Leary will discuss how varying levels of both clinically induced and socially learned stress-related issues are passed along through generations as a result of slavery.

Leary is on the faculty of Portland State University in Oregon. She holds a master's in social work and in psychology, and a doctorate in social work research.