Denise Boston


Racial-Trauma Informed Arts Practices: At the Intersection of Race, Space, and Place

This pre-conference workshop is for school-based expressive arts practitioners and community-focused arts educators ready to explore the connections between racial trauma and self-empowerment. This workshop is designed to cultivate responses to complex questions, including: How do we, as therapists and educators, develop creative practices of continuous self-reflection and self-examination, related to our work with children, youth, and families experiencing race-based trauma? How can we come alongside school communities who are educating students witnessing or experiencing racial discrimination, racial harassment, or intergenerational trauma? How can we partner with our students’ families differently, so they can support their child in school, even when their own school may be perpetrators of racial trauma? Through a review of racial trauma research, short lecture, role play, narrative, and group dynamics, participants will be guided in how to apply culturally responsive approaches with students, teachers, and parents to their own site or mental health practice. This workshop concludes with discussion of barriers and opportunities for implementing culturally-responsive practices in school communities.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
1. Define Implicit Bias and hidden wounds of racial trauma and its impact on cross-cultural relationships.
2. Understand the layers of complexity in helping children and youth of color with racial and intergenerational trauma histories.
3. Gain knowledge of outcome research and program design in offering art-based therapy through a cultural responsive lens.
4. Increase knowledge of strategies to address and incorporate conversations about racial trauma.
5. Prepare own action plan for how to implement strategies in own setting.


DeniseBostonDenise Boston, Ph.D., RDT, is Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). Denise’s research focuses on health equity and cultural responsiveness in clinical practice. She teaches courses at CIIS in counseling psychology. Denise is also a NTU psychotherapy training specialist, with a focus on African-centered and EXA healing practices. She has presented and lectured both nationally and internationally. Dr. Boston earned her B.F.A. in Theatre from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, an M.A. in counseling psychology from Goddard College, and Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Walden University.