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.

This presentation is SOLD OUT. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. If you have tickets, please be seated by 6:45 p.m. If the Frauenthal Box Office is holding your tickets at Will Call, they must be picked up before 6:45 p.m. After that time, people waiting without tickets will be invited to fill in any empty seats.

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, Molina Healthcare, 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!!!


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.

Community Conversation about Criminal Justice
December 6, 6:30 p.m., Hilt Building, Downtown Muskegon
Do you want to be part of making change for our community? Interested in learning more about the Michigan criminal justice system and what is happening here in Muskegon County? Free, all are welcome. Light refreshments will be provided. Let us know you’re attending! Respond online at https://bit.ly/2AF1clY. Hosted by Mediation and Restorative Services.

Black Man: A Documentary
Frauenthal Theater
December 17, 2018  Time 6:00 p.m.

Produced by Jon Covington, this feature-length film is part of the Muskegon Museum of Art’s exhibition “SONS” and features 32 African-American men from across the greater Muskegon community of all occupations and experiences. Their stories are compelling, powerful, and universal. This screening is free and open to the public. No tickets required.

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.

Community Gathering Initiative
Embracing Discomfort and Advancing the Conversation, January 17, 2019, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Hosted by HealthWest and funded by a Community Foundation grant, this series of community gatherings prompts questions of deep level thinking in terms of race, equity, inclusion, and diversity to encourage community members to speak their truth, and to encourage those around to listen to other’s truths. These gatherings are free and open to the public and include dinner. Advance registration requested.

Upcoming dates: January 17, February 21, April 18, June 20, August 15 and October 17, 2019. Locations to be announced. Sign up for the January 17, 2019 gathering at januarycommunitygatheringinitiative.eventbrite.com.  

23rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast
Friday, January 18, 2019
7:30 a.m. Muskegon Community College Collegiate Hall

This year’s keynote speaker will be Anne Bailey, author of The Weeping Time: Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History. Dr. Bailey’s book is for sale in the MCC Bookstore starting December 3.  She will be available for a book signing following her keynote address. Tickets for the breakfast are $25 each or $250 for a reserved table of eight. Tickets are available at the MCC Bookstore starting December 3.  Call 231-777-0569 for event details.

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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