Anti-Blackness and Poverty: The dangerous impact on Black women’s physical and mental health in the USA

Friday, March 13th 2020

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


According to 2018 USA Census Data, 1 in every 5 of the 42.8 million Americans who identify as black live below the poverty line compared to less than one in every 10 White Americans. Blacks have the second-highest poverty rate in the USA after Native Americans. The same statistic also reveals that women are also far more likely than men to live below the poverty line. It does not take much to see how the compounding effect of being black and a woman heightens the likelihood of one living in poverty.

This workshop will explore and discuss the historical relationship between anti-blackness and poverty in the USA. Additionally, participants will learn about the contemporary effects of poverty and anti-blackness on Black women in the USA and the importance of utilizing sensitive and effective methods when working with this community.

  • Understand the impact of systemic and institutional oppression on poverty
  • Understand why Black women living in poverty are particularly vulnerable
  • Identify and challenge beliefs and language around poverty
  • Provide transformational tools to create more effective service for Black women living in poverty

This program has been approved for 2 credit hours by the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors

Please visit this page to acquire CEUs.



Dominique Vedrine, Ph.D., LMFT

Dr. Dominique Vedrine is a researcher practitioner who has harmonized her roles as educator, researcher, therapist, diversity facilitator and perpetual learner to provide a healing presence in the collaborative work she does with individuals, families, organizations and educational institutions. Dr. Vedrine earned her Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy from University of San Diego and her Ph.D. in Couple & Family Therapy from Drexel University. She has over 15 years of teaching experience wherein she taught several undergraduate and graduate classes on subject matters including: Rethinking cultural competency; Personal & Professional Development in Helping Professions; The Systemic Understanding of Group Dynamics & Counseling the Black Family, respectively at the University of South Carolina Upstate, Greenville Technical College and Converse College in South Carolina.

Dr. Vedrine is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with over 20 years’ experience, providing therapy to individuals and families across the nation. She is a former forensic evaluator, behavioral health clinician, parent educator, and crisis interventionist. Dr. Vedrine also serves as Interim Board Chair with Speaking Down Barriers, serving as a transformative facilitator and consultant wherein she co-facilitates and helps develop curriculum content for community dialogues and education programs addressing issues of racism, social power and privilege. Dr. Vedrine was formerly with USC Upstate’s Child Protection Training Center as their DSS Project Coordinator wherein she partnered with internal stakeholders and liaise with experts to create training modules for Spartanburg County Department of Social Services caseworkers and preservice professionals in the education and the allied health professions.

As founder of Vedrine’s Healing Services-a multi-service company, Dr. Vedrine provides outpatient therapy as well as professional development trainings for community-based and faith-based organizations. Currently, Dr. Vedrine provides homebased therapy to young mothers experiencing post-partum depression through the Community Doula program Birthmatters in Spartanburg, SC.

Dr. Vedrine is originally from Brooklyn, New York and lives in Simpsonville, SC in a multigenerational home with her mother and three children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, painting, shopping and her favorite hobby of all, eating delicious foods.


Crystal Tennille Irby

Crystal Tennille Irby is a spoken word poetry grand slam champion, published writer, director and identifies as a #BlackMamaCreative, an artist creating work across multiple artist disciplines centering Black women and mothering, absent of the white gaze. She is the current co-host and executive producer of ​Dem Black Mamas,​ a podcast that delves into the unique experience of Black mothers raising free children in an unfree world. Crystal is a TEDxGreenville presenter, a Water Hole Poetry Fellow and the founder and Director of Writers Well Youth Fellowship Retreat, a retreat for Black girls ages 14-19 focused on writing and performance. Her recent credits include, ​Untitled Reconstruction Project​, which she directed and co-produced and Untamed Womb: Reclaiming Wonder Through Healing, Liberation & Creativity​, a Project Row Houses installation which she co-curated. Crystal has presented at numerous conferences including Black Maternal Health Conference & Training Institute; Let’s Talk About Sex, & HIV Prevention & Education Summit. In addition to her creative endeavors, Crystal has over 15 years of experience working to dismantle systemic and institutional racism. She works as a community doula helping Black birth persons stay connected to their body and as a facilitator for Speaking Down Barriers pushing the communities forward by helping Black people heal from race and gender trauma.

Crystal was a member of the international poetry collective, Colors of the Diaspora, which was comprised of female artists from the U.S. and South Africa. She traveled to South Africa and performed in the premiere of the original multi-lingual theater piece, ​Colors of the Diaspora​, at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. She was a contributing writer for ​For Harriet​. Her work has also been published in anthologies, including ​Ecological Solidarities: Mobilizing Faith & Justice for an Entangled World​ (2019) and ​Hub For the Holidays ​(2013). She served on the board of Hub City Writers Project a non-profit press, which publishes well-crafted, high-quality works by new and established authors, with an emphasis on the Southern experience. Crystal obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Media Production and a minor in Black Studies from Florida State University.

Crystal is the mother of 4 children and shares her life with her husband and partner RaaShad.

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