Dr. Joy DeGruy

Understanding Our Past: Healing Our Future
Tuesday, November 6 at 7 p.m.
Frauenthal Theater, Downtown Muskegon

The Community Foundation for Muskegon County is presenting acclaimed speaker, author, and educator, Dr. Joy DeGruy, Tuesday, November 6 at 7 p.m. in the Frauenthal Center. FREE and open to the community.

Tickets            Community           Learn More 

The Program

“Dr. Joy” is acclaimed as a dynamic and inspirational speaker on the topics of culture, race, race relations, and contemporary social issues. She’s a “tell-it-like-it-is” ambassador for healing and a voice for those who’ve struggled in search of the past and continue to struggle through the present. With over 20 years experience in the field of social work, Dr. DeGruy engages audiences with her wealth of knowledge, expertise, and powerful storytelling. She goes far beyond the surface, peeling back layers to expose what is at the core of racism and its damaging impact on all Americans.

She is the author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing,” and explores the multi-generational impact passed down from parents to children that helps perpetuate negative outcomes, racial inequities and it calls for personal, emotional, and community healing. It is an important issue that affects us all. 

Dr. Joy’s book will be on sale in the Frauenthal lobby and a book signing will follow her program.  Copies of Dr. Joy’s book are also available at the Muskegon Community College Bookstore.

Dr. Joy is sponsored by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County with support from Arconic, Muskegon  Area Intermediate School District, Muskegon Community College, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, Mercy Health, Muskegon Rotary Club, the McCarthy Family Peace & Justice Fund, and the Dr. Richard & Nancy Peters Fund.

YES, IT IS ELECTION DAY! Vote early and join us for Dr. Joy!!!


This a free, ticketed event. Tickets will be available at the Frauenthal Center Box Office beginning on October 4 at 11 a.m. Ticket quantity is limited to four per household. Ticket holders are asked to be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. At that time, open seats will be made available to those waiting without a ticket.

Tickets may be reserved by calling 231.727.8001 and will be held at the Box Office until 4 p.m. the day of the event.


We’re pleased to share related programming from our friends across the community. We encourage you to attend, participate, and enjoy as we work together to learn more about ourselves, each other, and our community.

SONS: Seeing the Modern African American Male (exhibit)
Muskegon Museum of Art
December 13, 2018 through March 10, 2019

Presented by the MMA in collaboration with photographer Jerry Taliaferro, this exhibition of photography features African-American men from the greater Muskegon community. SONS is a timely and relevant exhibition about how the African American male is perceived and how he perceives himself. Over eighty photographs of Muskegon men will comprise the exhibition. The men have been selected by a committee of their peers to represent a broad array of backgrounds, professions, and socioeconomic status. Photography and video are used in this project to mimic the process of prejudging people we encounter and reconciling these pre-judgements with realities. A feature-length film has been produced as part of the exhibition project and will debut at the Frauenthal Center on Monday, December 17.

  • Opening Reception and Lecture: Thursday, December 13, Muskegon Museum of Art
  • MMA Free Day with Special Programming: Saturday, December 14, Muskegon Museum of Art
  • Black Man Documentary Film Premier: Monday, December 17, Frauenthal Center

Ad Man: Joseph Grey II (exhibit)
Muskegon Museum of Art
December 13, 2018 through March 10, 2019

Joseph E. Grey II is an artist, designer, art director, and writer and was one of the earliest African Americans to work professionally in the advertising business in New York City. Now retired, he achieved an award-winning career working with such notable clients as RCA, Elizabeth Arden, Noxzema, Esso (Exxon), General Motors, and Cover Girl. He began working as a freelance illustrator and designer in the 1950s and, by the close of his career, Grey was a trailblazing professional whose work helped to break down racial barriers. Throughout his career, he also pursued a body of independent works as an artist. The show features numerous examples of his work as a professional illustrator and creative director, highlighting his pioneering presence in the advertising world, as well as his own artwork.

Black Man: A Documentary
Frauenthal Theater
December 17, 2018  Time TBA

This feature-length film has been produced as part of the Muskegon Museum of Art’s exhibition “SONS” and features African-American men from across the greater Muskegon community. Additional information coming soon.

Learn More

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

Cracking the Codes: Video with Dr. Joy DeGruy

Talking with Dr. Joy about Racial Prejudice

Dr. Joy DeGruy Curriculum Vitae

Published Works


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