DEI Week: Racial Trauma

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Title: Racial Trauma: Understanding and Dismantling the Psychological and Physiological Effects of Racism in America – Keynote Address
Facilitator: Lavonya Bennett (she/her)

Dr. LaVonya Bennett is a counseling psychologist whose areas of research center intersectionality, identity, and trauma/anxiety among marginalized and oppressed communities. Clinically, Dr. Bennett’s areas of emphasis include affirmative therapies for LGBTQ+ individuals, interventions for race-based traumatic stress, anxiety, and trauma. Dr. Bennett’s dedication to dismantling systems of oppression is evidenced in her community activism, research, clinical expertise, and countless awards focused on deconstructing the effects of disenfranchisement of minoritized communities.

Race-based traumatic stress is a specific form of trauma with well-documented effects on the mental health of People of Color. In fact, research has drawn parallels between the experiences of soldiers returning from war with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color who live in systemically racist societies. This talk will describe the intricacies of racial trauma, identify how it may present across various communities of color, and explore strategies for navigating the symptomology of racial trauma.

The last 15-30 minutes of this event will be reserved for questions and answers with the facilitator, who is an expert psychologist, advocate, and facilitator with extensive experience in higher education, anti-racism, and trauma among other topics.

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