April 25, 2005
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Joy DeGruy-Leary, professor at Portland State University, will give a talk titled “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: The Residual Impact of Trauma on African Descendants in the Americas” at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 29, in the Cole Assembly Room at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Amherst College Charles Drew House, the Black Student Union, the Association of Amherst Students, the Interdepartmental Fund, the Theme House Fund, the Office of the President and the Campus Center, the event and a reception to follow are free and open to the public.

Leary's ground-breaking social theory of “post-traumatic slave syndrome” looks beyond the continuing inequality and racism to the damage done to the victims of American chattel slavery and its traumatic impact upon present day black Americans. Leary's research also shows the effects of post-traumatic slave syndrome on the culture of white America.

Leary, who has 20 years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work, gives workshop attendees practical insights into various cultural and ethnic groups that form the basis of contemporary American society. Her workshops also go far beyond the topic of cultural sensitivity, providing specialized clinical work in the areas of mental health and ecological resilience. She has made presentations to Harvard University, Columbia University, Fisk University and the University of Chicago, as well as to many federal and state agencies.