One woman has empowered marginalized communities since early in her career as an audiologist. Through her experiences with people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, Dr. Brenda Lloyd-Jones learned the reality of intersectional identities, social injustice, and equity. She also saw barriers to resources and opportunities.
Realizing that empowerment and advocacy were critical to the fight for social justice, Dr. Lloyd-Jones pursued higher education. She attended The University of Tulsa, achieving a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Leadership. While in school, Dr. Brenda Joy focused her studies on cultural flourishing and economic disadvantages among marginalized communities. She embodies black excellence and is proud that her research reflects the demographic and socioeconomic shifts across the country, as well as current social movements.
Dr. Brenda Joy – A profile of black excellence
Today, Dr. Brenda Joy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Relations at the University of Oklahoma — as well as the host of Therapy Thursday, a News on 6 show, where she fields viewers’ questions on topics from neighbor troubles to finding love online. Dr. Lloyd-Jones is also the founder of The Mother’s Group, a non-profit organization aimed at enriching the lives of children through cultural awareness and education. Her Santa Community Project initiative includes holiday family photos with an African-American Santa — a reflection of her research.
“The photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus are more than just pictures. They provide comfort during painful times, a feeling of stability during turbulent times, and a sense of belonging during times of separation,” she noted in an interview with The Black Wall St. Times.
Dr. Brenda Joy rarely slows down, continuing to advocate and empower students across Tulsa. “Someone once shared that he wanted to read a particular book, but he couldn’t find it,” she says of a former student. “I advised him to write it himself, and 18 months later, he brought the published book back to me.” A graduate of Leadership Tulsa, she is the recipient of several local philanthropic awards, including The Pinnacle Award for Public Service; the 2011 President’s Leadership Award from the University of Oklahoma; and the 2018 Paragon Award for Community Leadership from Leadership Tulsa.
No plans to stop
Still, Dr. Brenda Joy’s most important role is empowering others, through her motivational speeches and presentations on leadership, mentorship, and advocacy. “I help people acknowledge their own brilliant ideas and then persuade them to put their ideas into action,” she says. Although she is slow to take credit for her work in communities, Dr. Lloyd-Jones has no plans to stop moving forward. She continues to mentor women.
She also continues to teach graduate-level classes across the globe on creative problem-solving, and author books on leadership. “I feel most fulfilled when helping individuals and organizations in my community recognize opportunities, realize dreams, and reach goals,” she said.