Education & Events

Transforming Ghosts Into Ancestors: The Psychological Case for Reparations to Descendants of American Slavery

Transforming Ghosts Into Ancestors: The Psychological Case for Reparations to Descendants of American Slavery Date: 2024-03-30 09:00 to 13:00
30 days remaining

Transforming Ghosts Into Ancestors: The Psychological Case for Reparations to Descendants of American Slavery

Saturday, March 30, 2024 9:00am to 1:00pm
Rainier Arts Center
3515 South Alaska St
Seattle, WA 98118
Sponsored by: 

Please note this event is in person only, and will not be live streamed or recorded. We hope you will join us!

Dr. Bryan Nichols and Dr. Medria Connolly discuss the psychological case for reparations for slavery and its afterlives. Their presentations explore how we, as citizens and therapists, both unconsciously replicate and can resist replicating harmful, unequal relations. They will explore how the ghosts of moral injury deriving from American slavery manifest today, and what the historical and contemporary resistances to imagining and/or supporting reparations to African-Americans have been. Then, inviting the audience into a larger conversation, we will think together about how to address the places in our different subjective and communal worlds where harm has been done—and engage together on how to make repair.  Additionally, WA State Representative Jamila Taylor, sponsor of WA's Covenant Homeownership Act, will join as a discussant.


Dr. Medria Connolly is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica, California. In addition to her private practice, Dr. Connolly worked for many years as a consultant to a Los Angeles-based treatment program for adolescents in the juvenile justice system and in a high school-based health clinic in Watts. Her long-time work in these community contributed to her recognition that individual, family and small group interventions are too limited in scope to alter the structural inequities confronting historically victimized groups, especially African Americans. This recognition led to the embrace of a prospective national intervention, i.e., reparations, to address the underlying psychosocial challenges and promote racial healing. Dr. Connolly also trained in the Tavistock model of group relations work and works as an organizational consultant to facilitate leadership, team building, communication and collaboration within diverse groups.

Dr. Bryan Nichols is a Los Angeles based Clinical Psychologist with a practice focusing on teens, families, adults & couples. He was also a long-time consultant with a Community Based
Organization where he was the Supervising Psychologist for an L. A. City gang prevention and intervention program. His work in both his practice and the community has led to the recent development of societal, “macro level” ideas about how to remediate persistent issues of bias that infect and undermine interracial relationships and the multi-disciplinary collaborations required to effectively implement community based psycho-educational interventions.





Representative Jamila Taylor (D)  is an attorney, youth advocate and small business owner with a passion for community service and a commitment to serving the public good. After moving to King County in 2007, Rep Taylor worked as the central area network coordinator for the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, where she oversaw community interventions and supported young people facing family, peer or gang conflict; court involvement; school suspension or expulsion; homelessness or other risk factors for youth violence. She launched a legal practice and nonprofit consulting business in 2014, before later joining Northwest Justice Project in 2017. As NJP’s statewide advocacy counsel, she managed a network of attorneys representing domestic violence survivors and other crime victims. She currently works for Purpose. Dignity. Action. (PDA – formerly known as the Public Defender Association) providing civil legal aid to individuals emerging from homelessness. A Federal Way resident, Rep Taylor was elected to the Legislature in 2020. She serves as Chair of the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee and serves on the Housing Committee and the Human Services, Youth, and Early Learning Committee. She chairs the Developmental Advocacy Caucus and is the First Vice Chair of the Members of Color Caucus. Rep Taylor is also the immediate past chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. 




Learning Objectives:

  1. I can describe ways in which the ghosts of moral injury deriving from American Slavery manifest today.
  2. I can describe historical and contemporary resistances to imagining and/or supporting reparations to African Americans.
  3. I can name at least two psychologically informed strategies for working through resistances to reparations for African Americans.  

Participants: This event is open to both mental health practitioners and the general public. We invite anyone to join us who has an interest in exploring the steps we can take to repair racial injustice in our country. Mental health practitioners not needing Continuing Education credit are invited to register at the General Public rate of $25.

Pricing: NWAPS Members (with CE’s): $75 / Non-NWAPS Mental Health Professionals (with CE’s): $100 / General Community - (without CE’s): $25

Refund Policy: Refunds less a $35 handling fee will be given up until three weeks before the presentation. 

This program, when participated in its entirety, is available for 4 continuing education credits.  Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This presentation also meets the requirements of WAC 246-809-620 (definition of recognized categories of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists and social workers).

Contact Person: 
Erin Wright
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