Joanne Pierce

Using a Racial Equity Lens to Improve Outcomes for All

Joanne Pierce is currently Deputy Public Health Director with the Durham County Department of Public Health, where she is responsible for administration of programs and services of the Community Health, Nutrition, and Dental Divisions as well as overseeing the Department’s Communications/Public Relations section. She serves as the Department’s internal and external resource to advancing health equity by integrating racial and social justice principles and practices in order to address health inequities in Durham.  She also facilitates cross-systems partner engagement for courageous learning about issues such as cultural competency using an equity lens. Joanne has had a very unique experience of leading two State Offices of Minority Health as Executive Director in North Carolina and Texas where she provided leadership to the state government public health system and health and human services commission to ensure that minority health priorities, policies, and initiatives were addressed in a systemic way and on a statewide basis. Joanne has also served in leadership positions with national nonprofit organizations such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as Texas Regional Program Manager, and the National Epilepsy Foundation as the Center for Disease and Prevention Program Manager, where she coordinated and implemented national initiatives with law enforcement, public health, and safety issues. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Howard University and Master’s degrees in Counseling and Public Health from Trinity University and Howard University.



Bridging Emotional Well-being and Sexual Health: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion as Tools to Build Resilience and Strengthen Emotional Well-being in Adolescence

Dr. Karen Bluth holds a faculty position in the Program on Integrative Medicine at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Dr. Bluth’s research focuses on the roles that self-compassion and mindfulness play in promoting well-being in youth. She is co-creator of Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens, and will be exploring the impact of this intervention with teens who have depressive symptoms through a NCCIH/NIH grant. Dr. Bluth is an Associate Editor of the academic journal Mindfulness, the author of the forthcoming book The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Criticism and Embrace Who You Are, and a contributing author of the forthcoming book Project You: More than 50 Ways to Calm Down, De-Stress, and Feel Great. As a mindfulness practitioner for almost 40 years, a mindfulness teacher, and a lifelong educator with 18 years of classroom experience, Dr. Bluth frequently gives talks, conducts workshops, and teaches classes in self-compassion and mindfulness in educational settings and in the community. She received her PhD in Child and Family Studies from The University of Tennessee.