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Black History Month Is Also About Acknowledging And Healing From Trauma

Brianna Laren

Black History Month isn’t only about highlighting Black pioneers or supporting Black owned businesses, it is also about acknowledging trauma and having uncomfortable conversations.

Dr. Joan Samuels-Dennis is one of the top experts on trauma recovery and she aims to make those uncomfortable conversations the norm to create a path towards healing. Dr. Joan defines trauma as “not so much about an event as it is about our response to that event. A traumatic moment is characterized by fear, overwhelm, panic and the sense that one is being unjustly punished.”

Trauma is deeply rooted in Black History and many people have’t acknowledged it let alone healed from it. Unfortunately it feels never-ending each time a new video is released of an unarmed black person being brutally killed by the police. Now more than ever experts like Dr. Joan Samuels-Dennis are needed.

Dr. Joan is extremely passionate about providing individuals and organizations impacted by traumatic life experiences and with a safe space to heal, grow, and reclaim their lives. Her long and impactful career began at Ryerson University in Toronto, where her passion for helping others led her to become a Registered Nurse. Soon after, she earned her Master’s degree in Community Health Nursing from D’Youville University in New York. She completed her Ph.D. in Nursing and Mental Health Promotion at Western University in London, Ontario.

In 2016, she founded Becoming Inc., an organization dedicated to tackle the effects of current and historical traumas on the mental health of the African Diaspora and other oppressed people across the globe. Dr. Joan’s work has shown that the best way to positively impact and protect your community is to transform your life, forgive, and heal your family and relationships.

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