Online – Grief and Loss in Black Families: Losing a Father Due to Police Violence

Black families and men face disproportionate rates of police harm and violence. Data from the Department of Justice reports that Black people are being killed by police on average two times per week [1]. Also, Black people are five times more likely to have a police-related injury compared to White people [2]. Additionally, Black men face substantial rates of police brutality in the United States; meaning they are more likely to be victims of police brutality. Thus, Black families are more likely to experience grief and loss due to police violence compared to other families.
This interactive, virtual presentation will explore grief processes for Black families experiencing police violence. Participants will examine the development of the police in the United States; and the individual, relational, and contextual factors that influence the appearance of grief and loss in Black families. This presentation will integrate spirituality into strategies for processing the death of Black fathers. Implications for clinicians and mental health practitioners will serve as strategies to work with Black families dealing with grief and loss due to police violence.
During this presentation, participants will learn and understand:
– The history and relevant statistics of police violence for Black families and men.
– The individual, relational, and contextual factors impacting grief and loss for Black families and men.
– Ways to practically apply strategies and suggestions on how to engage in discussions with their clients about spirituality, and grief and loss from police violence.
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Presenters: Joslyn Armstrong, PhD; Shar’Dane D. Harris, PhD
Registration Rates:
– Noncredit: $30, includes 2 CEUs. Alumni save 20%
– Northwest Association for Death Education and Bereavement Support Members: Free. 2 CEUs available for $20.
– L&C Students, Faculty, Adjuncts and Staff, School-Based Mentors and Clinical Supervisors: Free
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About the Presenters:
Joslyn Armstrong, PhD, received her doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Florida State University. She is an assistant professor in the Marriage, Couple, & Family Therapy program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School in Portland, Oregon. She teaches courses in Research Methods, Sex Abuse, IPV, and Sex therapy. Dr. Armstrong’s research interests include examining Black father-child relationship quality, father identity, child outcomes, and racial discrimination.
Shar’Dane D. Harris, PhD, received her doctorate in the Marriage and Family Therapy from Florida State University. She is the Program Director and therapist for Be Well Therapy, PLLC. Dr. Harris creates and implements programs centered on the mental and emotional wellness of individuals, couples, and families in the community. Her clinical work is informed by evidenced-based research coupled with her own research. Dr. Harris’s research interests focus on Black fatherhood (e.g., identity, perceptions, involvement, parenting practices), father-child relationships, and mental health outcomes and coping strategies for underserved populations. Ultimately Dr. Harris aspires to utilize her clinical, professional, and research expertise to assist underserved communities in attaining and maintaining holistic wellness.

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