Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is a Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University.  She is the 2015 awardee for the California Psychological Association Distinguished Scientist Award for her research addressing trauma and oppression.  She is also a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Women and a former American Psychological Association representative to the United Nations.  She received the Early Career Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Service award.  Dr. Bryant-Davis is director of the Culture and Trauma Research Lab at Pepperdine University which focuses on the cultural context of recovery from interpersonal traumas such as child abuse, sexual assault, intimate partner abuse, racism, and human trafficking.  She is published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, author of the book Thriving in the wake of trauma: A multicultural guide and co-editor of the books Surviving Sexual Violence: A handbook of recovery and empowerment and Foundations of Resilience: Religion and Spirituality in Diverse Women’s Lives.  A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Bryant-Davis earned her doctorate from Duke University and completed her post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical Center.  Her research focus areas include trauma psychology, ethnic minority women, oppression, coping, and spirituality.  She is a contributing author to APA’s resolution against racism, xenophobia, and intolerance.

Dr. Bryant-Davis also served as the Principal Investigator for the Gilead Sciences/NAACP project on HIV prevention within the Black church.  Within this role she collected the first national qualitative and quantitative study of African American ministers on HIV prevention.  This project resulted in the creation of a website and free manual which was co-authored by Dr. Bryant-Davis.  It can be found at

This is an updated version of the human trafficking film produced by the Society for the Psychology of Women. It provides an understanding of human trafficking and modern day slavery from a psychology perspective. From the voices of psychologists and survivors, the viewer will discover the definition, rates, risk factors, effects, and solutions for this human rights crisis.

For a list of selected presentations and publications from Dr. Bryant-Davis please see her attached Curriculum Vitae.

Dr. Bryant-Davis is a past Associate Editor of APA’s premiere trauma journal, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.  She has also served as a reviewer for Psychology of Women Quarterly, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, The Counseling Psychologist, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, The American Psychologist, and Journal of Marital and Family Counseling.  For her scholarship and service, she was awarded the Sarah Allen Research and Status of Black Women Award.  Dr. Bryant-Davis’ book Thriving in the Wake of Trauma: A multicultural guide is an award winning and critically acclaimed resource for scholars and survivors of psychological trauma. This text was awarded the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles Award, 2006 and received glowing reviews in the journals: Sex Roles, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, and Multicultural Review.

ESSENCE magazine named her among women who are shaping the world.

Research Assistants:


Adriana Alejandre


Tyonna Adams