Joy Angela DeGruy, PhD is an American Academic known nationally and internationally as a researcher, educator, author and presenter. Dr. 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. 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. With over thirty years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work, she gives a practical insight into various cultural and ethnic groups that form the basis of contemporary American society. She authored the book entitled Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Enduring Legacy of Injury and Healing, which addresses the residual impacts of trauma on African Descendants in the Americas. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present, and opens up the discussion of how we can use the strengths we have gained to heal.
Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD is a senior fellow at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the Cardiovascular Research Institute in the Morehouse School of Medicine, and she is a past president of the American Public Health Association (2015-16). Dr. Jones is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation. She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to high quality health care, but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism). As a methodologist, she has developed new methods for comparing full distributions of data, rather than simply comparing means or proportions, in order to investigate population-level risk factors and propose population-level interventions. As a social epidemiologist, her work on "race"-associated differences in health-outcomes goes beyond documenting those differences to vigorously investigating the structural causes of the differences. As a teacher, her allegories on "race" and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss. She hopes through her work to initiate a national conversation on racism that will eventually lead to a National Campaign Against Racism.
Ivan J. Juzang, MBA is the Founder and President of MEE (Motivational Educational Entertainment) Productions Inc., a cutting-edge urban communications, research and marketing firm based in Philadelphia. Mr. Juzang is a Member of the African American Advisory Council at Nielsen Media Research, Inc. Over the past 24 years, Mr. Juzang has become a leading expert in the field of social marketing and behavior change communications, producing and implementing results-oriented intervention campaigns that address health, educational and social disparities that impact low-income, underserved communities. He conducts qualitative audience research that provides an "insider's view" of the challenging daily realities of urban living, and combines it with creative, "outside the box" media production and "grassroots" community mobilization strategies. Mr. Juzang received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, and his MBA from The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.
Helga Luest, MA is a senior manager of communications with Abt Associates, leading efforts with HHS, DOJ, Ed, and EPA. She is the project director for the National Bullying Prevention Initiative and StopBullying.gov, a partnership of many federal agencies. Helga has worked in public interest public relations and health communications, providing strategic counsel and communications support over the past 25 years. She was a television news producer earlier in her career. In 2018, she ran for Maryland State Delegate and, although not advancing from the primary election, Helga remains very engaged in community efforts and advocates to address climate change and promote trauma informed approaches. Helga is an expert on behavioral health issues, violence and bullying prevention, child abuse and neglect, family and domestic violence, and trauma-informed support. She received her certification in climate change and health from Yale and was trained by former Vice President Al Gore to join the international Climate Reality Leadership Corps. In 2016 Helga was appointed to the Maryland Governor's Family Violence Council, she has served the U.S. Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus Advisory Group since 2009, and currently supports the development of the U.S. Congressional Trauma-Informed Care Caucus. In 2011, she was awarded the Congressional Unsung Hero Award for her effective advocacy work on violence prevention and response.
Helga's passion for this work stems from her work with survivors to turn the dark cloud of violence into positive social change - something she learned in her own experience as a survivor of attempted murder and domestic abuse. The criminal justice process became a Forensic Files episode, as her case was one of the first in the United States to be tried with dental pathology as critical evidence. Outside of work, Helga facilitates a community art collaboration that is proving to build personal and community resilience. Luest is a distance runner who is training for her 16th marathon. She is the mother of teenage twins, has two rescued dogs, and resides in Rockville, MD.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, M.Div. is a celebrated spiritual writer and sought-after speaker. A native of North Carolina, he is a graduate of Eastern University and Duke Divinity School.
In 2003, Jonathan and his wife Leah founded the Rutba House, a house of hospitality where the formerly homeless share community with the formerly housed. Jonathan directs the School for Conversion, a popular education center that works to make "surprising friendships possible." He is also an Associate Minister at the historically black St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church. Jonathan is a co-complier of the celebrated Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, and the author of several books on Christian spirituality, including Reconstructing the Gospel, Strangers at My Door, The Awakening of Hope, The Wisdom of Stability, and The New Monasticism. He is also co-author, with Reverend Dr. William Barber II, of The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement.
Marleen Wong, PhD, LCSW is the Senior Vice Dean and Stein/Goldberg Sachs Endowed Professor of Mental Health. She also serves as Director of Field Education; Executive Director, Telehealth Clinic; and Clinical Advisor, Family Nurse Practitioner Program. Formerly the director of mental health services, crisis intervention and suicide prevention at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), she is identified by the White House under the past three administrations as one of the "pre-eminent experts in school crisis and recovery" and an "architect of school safety programs" by the Wall Street Journal.
Dr. Wong is a frequent consultant to the US Department of Education and the Department of Defense (Educational Directorate/Pentagon and DoDEA/Department of Defense Dependent Schools). She has helped develop recovery programs for schools and train educators impacted by violence, school shootings, terrorism, and natural disasters in the United States, Canada, Israel, Kobe, Japan, Sichuan Province, China and the Republic of the Philippines. Dr. Wong served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Board on Neuroscience and Behavioral Health, to focus on assessing national priorities and approaches to public health and medical practice, public policy, research, education, and training. She also worked on the IOM Committee, which produced the publication: "Preparing for the Psychological Consequences of Terrorism" and is one of the original developers of the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) and Psychological First Aid: Listen, Protect Connect, Model and Teach. She was an invited speaker and panelist at several White House Summits on School Safety and most recently at the White House Summit on Rethinking Discipline and Trauma Informed Approaches in Schools. In 2018, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Chapter of NASW and in 2019; she was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.
Dr. Ram Bhagat
STAR Master Trainer, Educator, Artist, Peace Maker
Dr. Faye Belgrave
Professor of Psychology and the Founding Director of the Center for Cultural Experiences in Prevention at Virginia Commonwealth University
Dr. Candice Benn
Registered Yoga Instructor
Philip "Muzi" Branch
Director of Cultural Programs for the VCU Health Systems
Chair, Petersburg Wellness Consortium
Robert "Keith" Cartwright
Behavioral Health Wellness Consultant, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Dr. Shakiera Causey
Professor, Human Development & Family Studies, & Research Assistant, African American Families Strengths & Strategies at UNC at Greensboro, NC
Community Engagement Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Director of Community Relations for James House
Rev. LaCette Cross
Pastor of Restoration Fellowship RVA, and Director of Volunteers and Outreach for Side by Side
Outreach Coordinator, Voices For Virginia's Children
Father Willis Foster
Canon, Saint Stephens Episcopal Church
Policy Analyst, Voices For Virginia's Children
Georgi Anne Ginder
Health & Wellness Counselor, Virginia Commonwealth University Health, Arts in Healthcare
Danita Rountree Green
Co-Chief Executive Officer, Coming To The Table
Dr. Ellis Henderson
CEO, The Way4Life Family Services, Inc
CEO, Sound Mind Consulting, LLC
Dr. Lauranett Lee
Visiting Lecturer, Jepson School of Leadership Studies Adjunct Assistant Professor, SPCS, Liberal Arts
Executive Director, Side By Side
Research Consultant & Fellow, Side By Side
Counselor, Family Lifeline
Program Supervisor, Child Savers
Dr. Paula Parker
Presbyterian Minister and Senior Program Developer of Roots Matter, LLC
Dr. Lauren Powell
Director, Office on Health Equity, Virginia Department of Health
Co-Chief Executive Officer, Coming To The Table
Dr. Raymond Tademy
Educational Consultant, Richmond, Virginia
Dr. Nancy Welch
District Director, Virginia Department of Health