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Joan Blakey, PhD, LMSW
Joan Blakey, PhD, LMSW
Areas of Expertise:
- Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies, Sociology, and Youth Studies from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
- Master’s degree in Social Work with Child Welfare Concentration from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
- Ph.D. in Social Work from University of Chicago
Dr. Joan Blakey is a tenured Associate Professor and researcher at the Tulane School of Social Work. She received her doctorate from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Administration (Crowne Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice). She also attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she received both her Bachelor of Science degree in African American Studies, Sociology, and Youth Studies and Masters of Social Work degree.
Dr. Blakey’s current research agenda and consulting work with universities/colleges, public school systems, for-profit and non-profit organizations focuses on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. She also focuses on anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice within the social work profession. As an equity consultant, she assesses organizational practices, policies, and procedures and provides expert guidance, direction, and advice on how organizations move from equity talk to equity walk. As part of her consulting work. she develops work plans, organizes training, and identifies strategies to improve racial climates. She also has extensive experience facilitating conversations with universities, schools, and school district administrators and staff to dismantle racism, including navigating and challenging power dynamics and inequity.
Her commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) is informed by being a Black woman in the academy. She has witnessed how inequitable, racist, oppressive environments harm the people they intend to serve, in many cases creating irreparable damage. These experiences are why she has dedicated her research and career to helping organizations become equitable, inclusive, diverse environments where all people feel valued, can thrive, excel, feel a sense of belonging regardless of race or any other identity.
In 2014, Dr. Blakey began working with school districts nationally. A school district in Wisconsin hired Dr. Blakey and two of her colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to identify the factors contributing to the achievement gap between African American and white students. The superintendent indicated that: “The impetus behind this research was to understand the lived experiences of African American students within the school district. As a result of a widening opportunity gap between African American and white students, which is reflected in testing scores and other academic achievement metrics, a group of concerned community members initiated discussions that led to this study. The study's objective was for the school community to learn from African American students' experiences in order to enact change.” This research project involved conducting focus groups and individual interviews with students, parents, administrators, and staff.
Additionally, Dr. Joan Blakey also consults with school districts regarding the high prevalence of trauma among African American children and how trauma affects children's ability to succeed. Her work with school districts has involved training all administrators, teachers, and staff, reviewing policies, procedures, and practices that influence students’ academic achievement and providing recommendations and coaching strategies using a trauma-informed lens that the school could implement.
Dr. Blakey is in the process of becoming a core trainer with the People’ s Institute for Survival and Beyond. Additionally, she conducts racial identity processing groups (RIPG) with students, professionals, and community members. RIPG provides a racial experience that exposes individuals to the knowledge, skills, and the space to question their socialized beliefs about race and inequity. RIPG is based on the idea that racism is pervasive. There is a lot of misinformation around race and racism, which creates a blind spot to the dangers of racism and its adverse impact on everyone. The unawareness surrounding race limits our ability as a human species to solve many problems in our environment that racism has caused. While communities impacted by racism should create solutions to advance equity, creating a shared humanity is the foundation for RIPG work.
Selected Funding and Research Projects
Principal Investigator, “Racial Identity Processing Groups...The What, The Why, The How of Race: The Cloak of Many Colors,” 2020 – PRESENT. TransSpire LLC.
Co-Principal Investigator, “African American Graduate Students, Black Lives Matter and COVID : Video Diaries regarding the effects of an epipandemic.” 2020 – PRESENT. Samantha Francois, Co-Principal Investigator.
Principal Investigator, “Black Lives Matter and Schools of Social Work: Equity Talk vs. Equity Walk.” 2020 – PRESENT.
Qualitative Data Specialist, “National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation,” 2014 – 2019. The Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families ($25,000,000; UWM Portion: 1,800,000). Nancy Rolock & Rowena Fong, Co-Principal Investigators.
Co-Principal Investigator, “Understanding Achievement Gap among African American Students’ Experience in the Shorewood School District,” 2018 – 2019. Shorewood School District ($61,662) Emmanuel Ngui (Public Health), & Gary Williams (Education), Co-Principal Investigators.
Co-Principal Investigator, “Improving the Transition from Jail to the Community for Impoverished Women,” 2016 – 2018. UWM Social Compact Grant: Addressing Poverty in Milwaukee ($25,000) Susan Rose & Tom Lebel (Criminal Justice), Co-Principal Investigators.
Co-Principal Investigator, “Jockey’s Home to Stay Backpack Evaluation, ”2015. The Coalition for Children, Youth & Families ($24,969). Nancy Rolock, Co-Principal Investigator.
Co-Principal Investigator, “Intensive Child-Focused Adoptive Parent Recruitment,” 2014 – 2016. The Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families ($500,000. UWM Portion: 110,000). Nancy Rolock, Co-Principal Investigator.
Hepworth, Rooney, Dewberry Rooney, Strom-Gottfried, Vang, Blakey, Schwalbe, & Carey. (11th Edition). Direct social work practice: Theory and skills. San Francisco, CA: Cengage Learning Inc. (Released Fall 2022).
Stevenson, R. & Blakey, J.M. (Accepted 6/26/21). Social work in the shadow of death: Divesting from antiblackness and social. Advances in Social Work.
Blakey, J.M. & Glaude, M. (Accepted 9/28/20) Complex Trauma Among African American Mothers in Child Protective Services. Manuscript submitted for publication. Traumatology.
Walton, QL., Campbell, R.D., & Blakey, J. M. (Accepted 9/28/20). Black Women and COVID-19: The Need for Targeted Mental Health Research and Practice. Qualitative Social Work.
Blakey, J.M., Gunn, A., & Canada, K. (2020). Supporting the end of prostitution permanently (SEPP) prostitution court: examining inter-professional collaboration within alternative criminal justice settings, Journal of Interprofessional Care, 35:2, 266-274. https://doi.org/10.1080/13561820.2020.1751095.
Blakey, J. M., & Grocher, K. B. (2020). “Keeping It Real”: The relational effects of trauma among African American women and their substance abuse treatment counselors. Journal of interpersonal violence, 35(17-18), 3405-3436. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260517708403.
Blakey, J. M., Glaude, M, & Jennings, S.W. (2019). Factors that lead to disclosure among children participating in a school- based child abuse prevention program. Child Abuse and Neglect. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.104092.
Blakey, J.M. & Gunn, A. (2018). The Ickness factor: Stigma as a barrier to exiting Prostitution. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 58(8), 538-561. https://doi.org/10.1080/10509674.2018.1549177.
Blakey, J.M., & Mueller, D.J., Richie, M. (2017). Strengths and challenges of a prostitution court model. Justice System Journal, 38(4), 364-379. https://doi.org/10.1080/0098261X.2017.1327335.
Blakey, J.M. (2020). Fundamental Principles of Trauma Interventions. Social worker’s desk reference.
Blakey, J.M. & Fong, R. (2020) Child sex trafficking among child welfare involved individuals. In McRoy, Fong & Rolock. Current child welfare issues.
Blakey, J.M. (2017). Trauma informed work with involuntary clients. In R. H. Rooney (2nd Ed.), Strategies for Work with Involuntary Clients. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Dewberry-Rooney, G. & Blakey, J.M. (2017). Oppression and involuntary clients. In R. H. Rooney (2nd Ed.), Strategies for Work with Involuntary Clients. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
For more publications, see Dr. Blakey's CV or her ResearchGate page.
Faculty Author Spotlight. (2020). Tulane University Libraries.
The impact of age in post permanency discontinuity. (2018). CBX - Children’s Bureau Express.
UWM Research Examines Prostitution and Sex Trafficking WUWM. (2016). Milwaukee Public Radio.
UWM Report, To Exit Prostitution, Courts and Safety are Key. (2016). University of Wisconsin-Milwuakee
The Power of Choice. (2015) TEDxUWMilwaukee.
Community Involvement / Board Positions
- Black Administrators, Researchers, & Scholars (BARS), Board of Directors Member
- Minority Fellowship Program (Social Work), Mentor
- Minority Fellowship Program (Psychology), Mentor
- Council on Social Work Education, Board of Directors Member
- CCAPS Mentoring Program, University of Minnesota, Alumni Career Mentor
- Society of Social Work Research Cluster Research on Social Work Education, Co-Chair
- Council on Social Work Education, Criminal and Juvenile Justice APM Track Chair
- Traumatology Journal, Editorial Board Member
- Journal Reviewer of
- Social Service Review
- Journal of Human Trafficking
- Criminal Justice Policy Review
- Children and Youth Services Review
- Journal of Public Child Welfare
- Australian Social Work Review
- People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, Trainee
- TransSpire LLC, Racial Processing Group Facilitator
- Campaign for Equity New Orleans Health Sector, Member