Highlights

Abbreviated CV

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APA Division 56 Award

Along with Dr. Joan Cook, awarded the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 56 2020 Award for Media Contributions to the Field of Trauma Psychology.

"This award recognizes the creators of media presentations for lay audiences that educate the public in a scientifically sound manner about the psychology of trauma."

August 2020

NBC News

Interviewed for Danielle Campoamor's article in NBC News, Coronavirus Catcalling Is Real. Mask or No Mask, Harassment Is All About Power:

“'Street harassment, like all forms of sexual and gender violence, are fundamentally about power and reinforcing inequality,' Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez, a trauma psychologist and assistant professor in psychology at Wayne State University, said. 'Sexualizing a woman or girl in public through street harassment reduces her to an object for others' consumption. Meaning, she is stripped of her full humanity and instead reduced to simply a physical or sexual thing whose purpose is men's pleasure.'"

July 2020

Shape Magazine

Interviewed for Mallory Creveling's article in Shape Magazine, How to Tap Into Your 5 Senses to Find Peace and Be Present:

"'[Grounding techniques] help to remind you physically and physiologically of where you are,' says Jennifer M. Gómez, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of psychology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development at Wayne State University. 'It's like a release—a switch to turn off the light on all the stress and to be in a place of less chatter and anxiety.'...Gómez and Exelbert both say those who've experienced trauma, such as sexual assault or police violence or aggression, may benefit most from this grounding technique. That's why it could be especially helpful right now, for anyone who's witnessing police brutality and biases in real-time on TV, and it's causing them to re-live a past experience. 'There can be times where you have flashbacks, a sort of movie re-playing in your head of the same event, so even though the event stopped, you might re-experience it like it's new,' explains Gómez. 'Thinking about what you're seeing, hearing, or smelling gets you into the present,' and out of the re-play."

July 2020

Huffington Post

Interviewed for Jenna Birch's article in Huffington Post, What Not To Stay To Someone Who Has Experienced Racial Trauma:

"You can think of racial trauma as the psychological and physical impacts of racism, both interpersonal and structural, according to Jennifer M. Gómez, assistant professor of psychology at Wayne State University and a faculty member at the university’s Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development. Acts that can trigger racial trauma range from slurs and open discrimination to health care disparities and police profiling, Gómez said. Racial trauma has 'similar outcomes to domestic violence, like depression, anxiety, hypervigilance, PTSD, insomnia, physical health problems, the gamut,' she explained."

July 2020

The Hill

Encouraging Bravery & Fortitude in Dismantling the Insidious Stronghold of Racism was published in The Hill.

"The process of institutional courage needs to be intentional, deliberate, and iterative. We must acknowledge, address, and correct this oppression. We must systematically and critically take an inventory of discriminatory practices in policing, voting, education, housing, health care, and employment. And then we must act to change these practices individually, systemically, and culturally...And of course, while radical healing in communities of color can and should happen amidst oppression, we can't underestimate the value of actual change and actual equality in promoting healing for individuals, communities, and society. Thus, such institutional courage can mean that this societal moment, instead of being fleeting, is a turning point that leads us to the right side of justice and healing."--Dr. Joan Cook & Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

July 2020

Forbes Magazine

Interviewed for Jessica Gold's article in Forbes Magazine, Feeling Anxious About Wearing A Mask? Here Are 5 Ways To Overcome It:

"Dr. Gómez says for some people with a history of trauma, like sexual abuse in childhood or domestic violence, wearing a mask may remind them of the trauma. For example, for someone who during a sexual assault was unable to breathe because the perpetrator was covering their mouth and nose, when they put on a mask, it can bring up that same fear and fright, even if they are not consciously thinking about their sexual assault. According to Dr. Gómez, 'the body remembers such traumas implicitly. So, again, your body is overreacting because it thinks you're unsafe and it wants you to do something about it.' Your body is simply protecting you...Dr. Gómez adds 'being uncomfortable, scared, or triggered is nothing to be ashamed of. All we can ask for from ourselves is to try our best. And you, your safety, and the safety of others is worth your trying and re-trying to teach your body that the mask is safe to wear.'"

July 2020 

Blavity

Russell Simmons, Rape, & The Myth of 'Toxic Femininity': What Black Men Can Do To Be Part of the Solution was published in Blavity.

"This notion of Toxic Femininity makes Black women and girls responsible for Black men’s sexually abusive behavior. The truth, however, is more straightforward: Black men are responsible for their own behavior, with rape not being an inevitable by-product of Blackness or maleness. At the same time, Black women and girls are never responsible for Black men’s behavior — no matter what they say or don’t say, do or don’t do, wear or don’t wear. Black women and girls have been and continue to be sexually abused at alarmingly high rates because of people and cultural norms that perpetrate and condone such abuse — not because of anything they’re doing wrong....Many Black men do not sexually abuse anyone in any way and do not condone such behavior. What about all those Black men? What can they do?...Know that your capability of not sexually abusing anyone is the same capability that all Black men have — including those who rape. Do not provide excuses for Black men who rape."--Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez & Dr. Robyn L. Gobin.

June 2020

Newsweek

Interviewed for Joan Cook's article in Newsweek, The Black Lives Matter Protests Are Running on Much More Than Anger:

"The tragedies that we're witnessing are neither new nor isolated. And, of note, they haven't stopped, even though videos have made it possible for the world to be watching and condemning the government-sanctioned violence against black people in the U.S. The difference is this moral elevation, this action-oriented hope, that has resulted in so many of us coming together to fight for justice. And, at long last, for some of us to finally listen and bear witness to the anti-black hate and violence that so many of us for so many years have been sharing without being believed...What should be completely depressing engenders action-oriented hope...When truth of depravity is finally acknowledged, we discover avenues for enacting change on large and small scales. Witnessing those actions in ourselves and others gives us this moral elevation that makes life worthier of living."

June 2020

Forbes Magazine

Interviewed for Jessica Gold's article in Forbes Magazine, How To Protect Your Mental Health Even While Watching The News:

"Dr. Gómez notes that while we generally 'need' to be informed, we do not 'need' to have our sleep interrupted, to watch videos of violence and murder, or to only know of the bad things that are happening in the world. In fact, she believes we watch and keep watching, in some way looking for hope or positive news, especially currently. She adds, 'the need for hope is perhaps stronger than any other need we think we have for staying informed.'"

June 2020

InStyle Magazine

Interviewed for Kylie Gilbert's and Alexandra Whittaker's article in InStyle Magazine, How To Tell Your Boss You Need A Mental Health Day:

"Today, we again find ourselves living in a similar time of high-profile agony, from the million cuts of a work colleague remarking, in disbelief, that, as a Black person, you speak so well, to Black people getting beaten and killed in the streets and their homes with impunity...Though these realities are even older than the United States of America itself, the weight of the injustices, including deaths, can reach a level so toxic that taking care of our souls, spirits, psyches, minds, and bodies must take priority...We can fit a mental health day into a...piece that works for us."--Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

June 2020

InStyle Magazine

Interviewed for Kylie Gilbert's article in InStyle Magazine, How To Check In On Your Black Friends & Coworkers:

"The onslaught of media and videos showing threats, beatings, and murders can be overwhelmingly painful. Because racist violence is not new, some Black people have learned how to cover up their ongoing fears, stress, and mental health problems related to racism...Reaching out is about opening a door of communication. It is up to the other person if, when, and how they’d like to go through that door with you...Remember: racism divides us. Humble, genuine solidarity can reunite us.”--Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

June 2020

Center for Institutional Courage

Founded by nationally-renowned trauma researcher, Dr. Jennifer J. Freyd, the Center for Institutional Courage is a non-profit organization that uses research and community engagement to identify ways for organizations to engage in institutional courage, thus making them more
accountable, equitable, healthy places for everyone.

Jennifer M. Gómez is on the Board of Directors and is the Chair of the Research Committee.

March 2020

The Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) Grant

Along with fellow Co-PI, Samuele Zilioli, Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez received this $25,000 MCUAAAR Grant for their study, Cultural Betrayal Trauma as a Novel Social Determinant of Cardiovascular Disease among Urban African American Elders.

March 2020

The Conversation

Weinstein trial begs a question: Why is the pain of women and minorities often ignored? was published in The Conversation, which is a news outlet for researchers to translate their work for a non-academic audience of over 10 million users.

"Cultural betrayal trauma theory explains how marginalized women pay an additional price when they experience violence at the hands of marginalized men. This is within-group violence — for instance, when a black man sexually assaults a black woman or girl. Implicit with that kind of violence is a cultural betrayal. The supposed solidarity between survivor and perpetrator against forces of discrimination is shattered.To keep that perception intact, black women are expected to cover for black men who abuse them. So they suffer in silence – otherwise, the black community, already harmed by racism, is impugned."--Dr. Anne DePrince & Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

As of 22 June 2020, the article has over 6,900 readers.

February 2020

Michigan Humanities Council Grant

With the Michigan Opera Theatre as the PI, Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez was a special advisor on the $15,000 Michigan Humanities Council Grant, Taking the Stage—The Changing Voice of Opera & Dance.

As such, Dr. Gómez gave talks about how co-founder, Arthur Mitchell, and Dance Theatre of Harlem use the arts to promote equality to The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Detroit Public Schools.

2019-2020

The Conversation

The Unique Harm of Sexual Abuse in the Black Community was published in The Conversation, which is a news outlet for researchers to translate their work for a non-academic audience of over 10 million users.

"The body of research to date suggests that cultural betrayal may be a unique harm within violence in minority populations, including the black community. As such, the alleged sexual traumas perpetrated by R. Kelly and Clarence Thomas have a cultural betrayal that isn’t found in Woody Allen’s alleged abuse. Moreover, black men’s death threats against Tarana Burke are (intra)cultural pressure that is laced with misogynoir, or sexism in the black community."--Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

The research study featured in this article is Isn’t It All About Victimization? (Intra)cultural Pressure and Cultural Betrayal Trauma in Ethnic Minority College Women (Gómez, 2018).

Also published on the International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA) Blog and Blavity, featured on Today@Wayne, and re-published by over 15 other news outlets.

As of 1 August 2020, the article has over 630,000 readers.

May 2019

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine Sexual Harassment in Higher Ed Summit

Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez was an invited plenary panelist at the 1st Annual National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine Action Collaborative to Prevent & Address Sexual Harassment in Higher Ed Summit

Panel: Attending to How Sexual Harassment Manifests for Individuals with Marginalized Identities

19-20 November 2019

Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities

Open Call for this Special Issue of Journal of Trauma & Dissociation: Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities

Co-Editors: Jennifer M. Gómez, Ph.D., Robyn L. Gobin, Ph.D., & Melissa L. Barnes, M.S.

Goal: to understand the joint impact of discrimination and interpersonal trauma on minorities

Projected Publication: Spring 2021

Gender Discrimination: Professors Are/Not Professors

In an attempt to uphold gender discrimination, University of Oregon (UO) is insisting that professors do not hold the same job re the Freyd vs. UO lawsuit.

My response in The Register-Guard Oregon newspaper, with lots of links from the case:

"UO is actively promoting gender discrimination through its legal team’s argument that professors do not hold the same job. If upheld, this ruling has the potential to undermine equality for women and minority faculty at UO and across the nation for decades to come.

Though I can’t prevent UO from its behavior in this case, there are people at UO right now who can. From President Michael Schill to General Counsel Kevin Reed to the board of trustees. It’s not too late. UO could still choose to live up to its mission of equity and inclusion. If for no other reason, UO could remember that its reputation as a top public university is on the line. Gender equality matters at universities like UO.

The world is watching."--Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

Change.org Petition of Support for Dr. Freyd

7 November 2019

Project on Institutional Courage

Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez is the Chair of the Research Committee for Dr. Jennifer J. Freyd's Center for Institutional Courage.

This is our vision:

  • To create the world’s premier interdisciplinary research center on institutional courage
  • To create more open, honest, equitable institutions in which all people can thrive
  • To facilitate and promote breakthroughs of institutional courage around the world

January 2020

CNN Business

Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez was interviewed by Julia Carpenter for her CNN Business article, Serena Williams' Nike ad exposes the double standards women face at work.

"Women in the workplace are tasked with the additional work of managing these perceptions, Gómez says.

"So much time is spent worrying adapting your speech and figuring out what to say and how you can say it differently and that is taking away from time and energy and effort for your job," she says. "It's a job for you to figure out 'how can I say this in this meeting without people painting me in this emotion corner?' and I think the trap with that is that it's not in the woman's control."

25 February 2019

Who's Betraying Who? R. Kelly, Sexual Violence, & The Dismissal of Black Women & Girls

New piece:

"The second truth is where it seems we consistently get into trouble: The rape of Black women and girls does matter. . . As a Black female clinical psychologist, I have coined the term cultural betrayal to describe instances where violence happens within the Black community. . . Nevertheless, in these discussions of sexual violence, often what is termed “betrayal” is something quite different. . . We must ask ourselves why."--Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

As of 24 May 2019, this article has received over 700 views.

25 August 2019

Cultural Betrayal Trauma Video

In this short video, Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez discusses Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory and the article, Isn't It All About Victimization? (Intra)Cultural Pressure and Cultural Betrayal Trauma in Ethnic Minority College Women, which was published in Violence Against Women.

As of 14 June 2020, this video has been viewed 700 times

January 2019

National Academy of Sciences' 30th Annual U.S. Kavli Frontiers of Science

Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez received an invitation from National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to attend the NAS' 30th Annual U.S. Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium.

This symposium series is the NAS' premiere activity for distinguished young scientists.

Attendees are selected by a committee of Academy members from among young researchers who have already made recognized contributions to science, including recipients of major national fellowships and awards and who have been identified as future leaders in science.

From Today@Wayne Press Release:
“I’m not surprised that Jennifer was invited to this high-level scientific meeting given the quality of her scholarship and her passion for groundbreaking research,” said Ambika Mathur, associate provost for STWD and dean of the Graduate School. “Being part of the Kavli Symposium and her appointment as a Ford Fellow marks an important milestone in the PFT experience at Wayne State, and we are so proud of her impressive accomplishments."

December 2018

Open Essay on Gender Discrimination, Freyd's Lawsuit, & Recommendations for Universities

Open Essay: Gender Discrimination, Dr. Jennifer Freyd's Lawsuit, & Recommendations for Universities

"There are few emotions as potent as those caused by the pain of watching someone you respect, admire, and care for be discriminated against. Understanding how this discrimination, which feels so isolated and personal, actually is endemic of academia’s dirty little secret of systemic gender discrimination—contributing to the leaky pipeline for women—is more painful still."--Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

As of 25 August 2019, the open essay has been viewed over 700 times.

December 2018

Black Women & #MeToo

Op-ed comparing Ford/Kavanaugh with Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas: "Black Women & #MeToo: The Violence of Silencing" translates research on cultural betrayal trauma theory to the general public.

"Following a quarter of a century - from the testimonies of Anita Hill, J.D., to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford - the U.S. is still struggling: with both how not to violate women, as well as how not to silence them. More difficult still is attuning to the crosshairs that Black women additional face related to race, class, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, nation of origin, and the intersection of these and other identities. Through centralizing various forms of oppression in addressing sexual violence against Black women, I can only hope that in 2045 - 27 years from now, we are not still haunted with these same ghosts of violence, silencing, and denial of Black women’s experiences."--Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

December 2018

CNN Business

Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez was interviewed by Julia Carpenter for her CNN Business article, Minority employees are often asked to work double-duty.

This "double shift" is common in many workplaces. White, cisgender or straight colleagues may be fearful of accidentally saying the wrong thing. So instead, they task employees of different races, backgrounds or sexual orientations with the "diversity work" that otherwise wouldn't get done.

"I don't think people realize how much emotional time it takes and how much physical time it takes," says Jennifer Gómez, . . . Wayne State University. "I believe that oftentimes it's seen as 'It's not my issue. I'm a white person. Racism isn't my issue. It's not about me. It's about those people over there.' and really, diversity and equity is everyone's responsibility."

November 2018

Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Awarded the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine

From Wayne State University Graduate School article:

"Being a PFT fellow is truly a dream job for me as a junior researcher who wants to make my career at Wayne State,” says Gómez. The Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship will support her work in developing and validating a culturally sensitive measure of CBTT on black emergent adults. “Known as the Cultural Betrayal Multidimensional Inventory,” she explains, “this measure will engender needed research on mental health and personal growth in black people who experience both violence and discrimination.”

March 2018

United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs

With Help Not Handcuffs, Inc., presented Institutional Betrayal Against People Who Use Drugs as part of the panel, How The Treatment/Recovery Narrative Perpetuates Harm and Human Rights Violations at the 61st Session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria.

My portion of the full panel.

As of 25 August 2019, this video has been viewed over 100 times

March 2018

CNN Money

Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez was interviewed by Julia Carpenter for her CNN Money article, The 'Emotional Tax' Afflicting Women of Color at Work.

This is where offices and managers can step in to lift the burden, experts say. The first step is focusing on retention as well as recruitment.

"Don't just focus on getting people here, but listening when they are here," Gómez says. "Sometimes in the workplace it can be 'OK, we have two women of color on staff, they're gonna be in charge of the diversity committee and they're gonna fix it.' If we want to make this workplace one that isn't rife with racism, sexism, and sexual harassment, then it's all of our jobs."

March 2018

NIH NICHD Trainee Award

Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez was a Trainee Award for the 2018 Summer Training Institute for Research in Child Abuse and Neglect, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

January 2018

Spotlight

Featured in the Wayne State University Spotlight on Postdoctoral Scholar Series for Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory

December 2017

Feature

Work featured in article, "New Trauma Theory Examines Cultural Betrayal" in the Wayne State University Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute newsletter, Imprints.

"Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez, MPSI’s new post-doctoral fellow, has revealed yet another critical factor: cultural betrayal. . . 'If a Black woman is raped by a Black man, the racial loyalty is also disrupted. A member of her ‘group’ has turned on her,' Dr. Gómez said. These effects happen in ethnic minority groups, because years of racial oppression by 'outsiders' can foster deep loyalty between members. Members unite for support, validation and a sense of community. This circle of trust can be protective and secure. When within-group violence between members breaks this (intra)cultural trust, though, the effects of this cultural betrayal trauma can intensify. The victim may feel shunned by the group that used to protect her. She may have no safe haven, no one to trust."

November 2017

Top 10 Most Cited Article of 2016

Are Hallucinations Related to Betrayal Trauma Exposure? A Three-Study Exploration among the top 10 most cited articles of 2016 in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy

Authors: Jennifer M. Gómez, Laura A. Kaehler, & Jennifer J. Freyd

August 2017

Outstanding Dissertation in the Field of Trauma Psychology

Awarded by the American Psychological Association Division 56 to Jennifer M. Gómez for Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory.

June 2017

National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID): Diversity Scholars Network

Invited Member

"Members of the Network are identified for their commitment and contribution to diversity research and scholarship." - Diversity Scholars Network

March 2017

Best Article of 2016

"Shifting the focus: Nonpathologizing approaches to healing from betrayal trauma through an emphasis on relational care" won the Richard P. Kluft Award for Journal of Trauma & Dissociation 2016 Best Article!

Authors: Jennifer M. Gómez, Jenn Lewis, Laura K. Noll, Alec Smidt, & Pamela Birrell

"This article provides an excellent framework for understanding the complexities of working with survivors of trauma. It successfully describes the danger in pathologizing reactions to extreme stress and discusses an adaptive treatment model, relational cultural therapy, that emphasizes the importance of the relationship when working with survivors. The article incorporates both empirically supported treatment options as well as influences from all spheres of the socioecological model, including the importance of empowerment, in treating individuals who have experienced complex trauma." -JTD Selection Committee

As of 25 August 2019, the article has received over 6,750 views.

March 2017

Cited in Annual Report of the Director of Public Health

The above article was quoted in the Annual Report of the Director of Public Health, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Resilience and Trauma Informed Care: A Public Health Approach to Understanding and Responding to Adversity. (Scotland)

"There is a risk that professionals are seen as placing the ‘pathology of trauma within the individual - often an individual who has been deeply betrayed - instead of within the person(s) or environment(s) responsible for the betrayal’121. Gomez et al argue that ‘a nonpathologising model of trauma takes the stance that the abnormality is generally in the situation rather than the person. When the trauma is relational, it is the nature of the act that is unhealthy and not the individual who has experienced the act.’"--p. 52

Featured Work

My dissertation on cultural betrayal trauma theory is featured in The Association of Black Psychologists Student Circle Research webpage.

February 2017

Editorial on APA and the Hoffman Report

"Collusion, Torture, and Inequality: Understanding the Actions of the American Psychological Association as Institutional Betrayal" has been published in the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation.

Authors: Jennifer M. Gómez, Carly P. Smith, Robyn L. Gobin, Shin Shin Tang, & Jennifer J. Freyd

As of 25 August 2019, the article has received over 3,400 views.

July 2016

Feature Story

University of Oregon Graduate School ran a feature on my work with cultural betrayal trauma theory, entitled, "A Promising Scholar’s path from ballet to her own theory about culture and betrayal in trauma."

Excerpt:
"Gómez consulted Crenshaw’s Theory of Intersectionality, bell hooks Education as a Practice of Freedom, Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, and Freyd’s Betrayal Trauma Theory for her dissertation, which argues that within-group violence for minorities is uniquely harmful because of existing oppression . . . Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory . . . hypothesizes that the harm of traumas such as physical assault, sexual assault, child abuse, incest, and domestic violence can be exacerbated by a cultural betrayal implicit in within-group violence in minority populations and associated with diverse outcomes, such as PTSD, depression, and internalized prejudice."- University of Oregon Graduate School.

March 2016

Funding

Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

External Funding
Internal Funding

Resources