The Effects Of Historical Trauma On Mental Health And Race Relations

The Effects Of Historical Trauma On Mental Health And Race Relations


Barry University School of Social Work is offering a three-hour virtual workshop that will describe the theoretical, research, and practice principles for helping others build resilience in turbulent situations brought on by historical and intergenerational trauma perpetrated on African-descended people in the United States. Social workers often fail to give sufficient attention to the environmental stressors that affect mental health and social functioning. In micro and macro social work with African-descended people, it is important to recognize and incorporate an understanding of the group’s sociohistorical context and the effects it can have on individual and family functioning. This webinar will examine the ways in which separation and loss during the periods of slavery, “Jim Crow,” and the post-civil rights eras have similarly and differentially influenced the functioning of African-descended individuals and families and elucidate skills for assessment and intervention.

  1. Participants will be able to identify factors in the trauma histories of African-descended people that affect the mental health of those with the group identity.
  2. Participants will be able to appraise the ways in which African-descended individuals might be impacted by intergenerational trauma.
  3. Participants will be able to apply knowledge of how the pervasive nature of historical trauma and systemic racism by the dominant U.S. population affects behaviors of African-descended individuals they work with in their practice.
  4. Participants will be able to describe practice interventions that can be effective in ameliorating the negative effects of intergenerational trauma and systemic racism on communities.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Walter Pierce is a retired Associate Professor of Social Work at Barry University, where he taught in the social policy and practice sequences for 28 years. At the time of his retirement, he served as Director of the PhD program. Prior to joining Barry’s faculty, Dr. Pierce served in several senior management positions in the State of Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, now known as the Department of Children and Families, including State Program Director for Children and Youth in Tallahassee and District IX Administrator in West Palm Beach. His publications and research interests focused on race and ethnicity as well as child welfare history. Dr. Pierce continues to serve as an adjunct professor with Barry University School of Social Work.

Maggie Nicolas is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 15 years of clinical and administrative experience working with diverse populations, including children, families, and older adults in various mental health settings, including hospitals, outpatient settings, community centers, and residential facilities. Maggie is also a doctoral student at Barry University School of Social Work and is the recipient of both the Rothman Memorial Scholarship and the Doctoral Fellowship Award. Maggie’s practice and research interests include mental illness, historical trauma, intergenerational resilience, health disparities among women of color, minority retention in higher education, and the elderly population. She currently serves as a program director of a psychiatric residential facility for the elderly in South Florida, and she is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Dr. Tisa McGhee is an Associate Professor in Barry University’s School of Social Work with over 20 years’ experience in the field of social welfare. Her research is community-based practice with a focus on both macro and clinical social work. She teaches Social Work Practice, Research, Policy, and Trauma courses. Her professional interests have included her work in urban communities and organizations. At the core of all of her work, she emphasizes building community using engaging and empowering techniques. Dr. McGhee’s degrees include both a BA and MA in Psychology, MSW, and PhD with a concentration in macro-organizational capacity in Social Work.

Schedule & Pricing

  • October 16, 2020 | 1:00-4:30 pm
  • Half-Day Webinar: $60 per person

CEU'S Available

  • 3 hrs of CEUs for LCSW, LMFT, LMHC