Annual Black Health Summit in San Francisco To Feature Dr. Joy DeGruy, June 1-3


Joy DeGruy will be the keynote speaker at the Rafiki Coalition’s health summit.

The annual Black Health and Healing Summit will take place the first weekend in June (1-3) in San Francisco and is expected to attract hundreds of health care professionals and community activists seeking to learn more about Black health inequities and strategies for improvement as participants also experience the ground-breaking work of Dr. Joy DeGruy, the author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.”

“The theory of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome suggests that centuries of slavery, followed by systemic racism and oppression, have resulted in multigenerational adaptive behaviors – some of which have been positive and reflective of resilience, and others that are detrimental and destructive,” says DeGruy who holds degrees in Social Work and Clinical Psychology.

Her workshops aim to guide participants toward unlocking their own truths by critically evaluating history. “Healing begins by simply telling the truth,” says DeGruy, who will focus her remarks and workshop sessions around the West African concept of Sankofa—learning from the past to build for the future.

The three-day health summit is organized and presented by the Rafiki Coalition for Health and Wellness and will be held at the Rafiki Wellness Center, 601 Cesar Chavez Street in San Francisco. Early registration is encouraged for this free community event. A pre-conference drumming ceremony begins on Thursday, June 1, at 3 p.m.; the keynote addresses and conference workshops will take place on Friday and Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. Lunch is included.

Other conference highlights include sessions on “The State of Black Health in San Francisco,” a panel discussion which will underscore specific details and statistics around the health inequity facing Black people in San Francisco, and “Hands, Spirits, and Minds: Multiple Perspectives on Wellness and Healing,” a panel discussion about the benefits of complementary medicine in the Black community.

The Summit will also feature local performers and artists, as well as others from New York City, New Orleans and Portland. Participants will be able to experience free therapeutic massages, acupuncture and chiropractic services. A vendor fair and farmers market will also be operating on Saturday, the final day of the Summit.


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