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Social Justice Efforts

Racial Trauma

Focusing on racial trauma and distress, Dr. Hardy offers a unique synthesis of practical experience and academic resources. She has given numerous talks on the subject, focusing on historical mediators of racial distress, the effects of cumulative racial trauma, and the role of professional ethics in helping communities that have been traumatized and denied their civil rights.

She is available for guest appearances and interviews, and she has already shared her expertise with a variety of audiences at conferences, webinars, and radio shows. She is passionate about connecting with people, helping them make sense of and process their experiences, and fighting for change. An example of her work from the Center for Financial Social Work is provided below.



Racial Equity in Schools

Dr. Hardy and Dr. Summer Woodside, LCSW created the five-module (15-hour) workshop, Promoting Racial Equity in Schools, to train school social workers and other support staff on the subject of promoting racial equity in academic settings. Following the training, participants displayed improved abilities in: 

  1. Understand the need and obligations for school social workers to facilitate racial equity in schools,

  2. Analyze educational data through a lens of “racial equity,”

  3. Conceptualize school social workers and fellow support personnel as essential in addressing racial inequities in schools, and

  4. Collaborate with school professionals of various disciplines to practice and implement evidence-based approaches to facilitating racial equity in schools.

The training program consists of five learning modules, practice activities, and debriefing sessions with instructors. There are three hours of content in each module. Please read the peer-reviewed article written by Dr. Hardy and Dr. Woodside to get more information about the results of this training program. 

  • Woodside, S., & Hardy, V. (2020). Facilitating Racial Equity: Evaluating a Leadership Workshop Series for School Social Workers. International Journal of School Social Work, 5(1). ​

Maternal Health Equity

For the grant-funded Health Equity Project, which aims to create educational opportunities for educators and healthcare professionals about implicit bias, structural racism, and maternal health equity, Dr. Hardy has served as the principal investigator.  In this grant project, Dr. Hardy's responsibilities included coordinating a 15-hour continuing education webinar series for service providers, co-creating an online training series titled, Facilitating Health Equity Practices in Health Care and School Settings, promoting project sustainability efforts by enlisting community partners, and taking part in ongoing speaking engagements. 

To learn more about this project, please visit Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC and UNCP Awarded $500,000 Grant to Address Racial Disparities in Maternal, Infant Health

Human Trafficking 

As a professional consultant, Dr. Hardy works with nonprofit organizations like Doing It For The Kingdom in Fayetteville, NC, which focuses on offering services to combat human trafficking. Visit Dr. Hardy's co-authored publications to find out more about child sex trafficking.

  • Hardy, V., Locklear, A., & Crable, A. (2020). Commercial sexual exploitation of adolescents: Gender-Specific and trauma-informed care implications. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, 17(1).  

  • Hardy, V., Compton, K., & McPhatter, V. (2013). Domestic minor sex trafficking: Practice implications for clinical professionals. AFFILIA: Social Work Journal for Women, 28(1).


Dr. Hardy has been educating community members, parents, and local organizations about child sex trafficking for a number of years. An example of her work through The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Annual Human Trafficking Conference is provided below (Time marker 2:34:17).










In addition to authoring publications and public speaking, Dr. Hardy also created a graduate-level course on human trafficking in the United States for social work students. The goal of this course is to give students the fundamental skills they need to:

  • Understand and examine the structural elements that support and contribute to human trafficking.

  • Analyze and put into practice theoretical ideas as they relate to victimization and trauma-focused interventions.

  • Create an anti-human trafficking intervention that takes into account the various systems that have an impact on this issue of human rights in the US.

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