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Dr. Joy Angela DeGruy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication, a Master's degree in Social Work (MSW), a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology, and a PhD in Social Work Research. Dr. DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher and educator.  For over two decades, she served as an Assistant Professor at Portland State University’s School of Social Work and now serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Joy DeGruy Publications Inc. (JPD).


Dr. DeGruy’s research focuses on the intersection of racism, trauma, violence and American chattel slavery. She has over thirty years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work. She conducts workshops and trainings in the areas of intergenerational/historical trauma, mental health, social justice, improvement strategies and evidence based model development. 

Dr. DeGruy has published numerous refereed journal articles and book chapters and authored her seminal book entitled “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury & Healing”. She has also developed an assessment scale for measuring respect with regard to African American male youth. 

Dr. DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher and educator. Through lectures, workshops, seminars and special guest appearances, Dr. Joy has shined a light on the critical issues affecting society.  Dr. Joy’s seminars have been lauded as the most dynamic and inspirational currently being presented on the topics of culture, race relations and contemporary social issues.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

Dr. Joy DeGruy authored the book entitled Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, (revised 2017) which addresses the residual impacts of trauma on African Descendants in the Americas. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS) lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present, and opens up the discussion of how we can eliminate non-productive attitudes, beliefs and behaviors developed to cope and survive the traumatic periods of capture, transport, enslavement, Jim Crow and current day racial terrorism. The focus of the book is to learn and build upon the strengths we have gained from the past in order to heal from injuries both past and present.


"Your book is transformational. It's waking me up. I understand  more than I did before. You are truly blessed."
Actress Viola Davis

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