Dr. Amber Deneén Gray is a southern California native who earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and psychology and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from California State University, San Bernardino. In 2020, Amber completed a doctorate in behavioral health at Arizona State University, where she was initiated. She is currently pursuing a second Ph.D. through the psychology, public policy, and law doctoral program at Alliant International University.
As a survivor of violence, Amber works to help those in crisis make wise and healthy decisions for their future. In 2017, she founded Gray’s Trauma-Informed Care Services, which provides trauma-informed education to medical providers, teaching them how to care for victims of violent crime. She also co-founded Freedom Train Project to help survivors of coercion recreate their lives and begin their journey of healing. She currently serves as the President of the American Association of Doctors of Behavioral Health (AADBH).
Amber volunteers with AmeriCorps and various domestic violence shelters in her spare time. Her efforts have been recognized with several awards, including the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and The Points of Light Inspiration Honor Roll.
Let’s get to know Amber!
Why did you accept the invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi?
Members of my family had never been in an honor society. I was the first person in my family to achieve high honors and the second person to get a degree beyond a high school diploma. I knew having such a prestigious organization in my educational history was important.
Who is your favorite band?
My favorite bands are the Go-Go’s, Jonatha Brooke, Kate Walsh, and Sara Bareilles. Music is essential for life. Artists who have the skill to make your soul feel with poignant and meaningful lyrics while also entertaining you and capturing the zeitgeist of an era are incredible musicians and individuals.
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies include fishing, boating, beaching, chess, writing, miniature golf, and collecting comic books, trading cards, and collectibles.
If you could go back in time, what would you want to see or be a part of?
I’d want to hear Albert Einstein talk about the theory of relativity or be a part of the landing on the moon.
Where does your passion for finding solutions to domestic violence stem from?
As a survivor, I know what families need to be safe, grow, and prosper. I want families to live without fear and children to grow up with less trauma and stress. I’ve dedicated my life to helping victims of violence because I care.
What has been your most significant success in life?
I am the only person in my family to receive a doctorate and start my own business. I also created a prevention model and successfully used it with actual victims of violence. Finally, I was a collaborative author for the book Women and Violence: Global Lives in Focus.
Do you have any pets?
I have a Beagle named Lacy, one of my best friends and my heart and soul. I also have a guinea pig named Percival who thinks he is the king of all things living. Finally, I have a parakeet named Caycee who thinks she is a small, winged human. I love all my fur babies.
What is your favorite book?
I love Homer’s The Odyssey. It is my favorite because it embodies so many crucial themes of family, longing, wondering, sacrifice, finding oneself, and coming into one’s own. I believe everyone has an odyssey they must go through that will transform them to their greatest potential.
What is something that makes you feel like a kid again?
My children make me feel like a kid again. My sons remind me how to play, see the happier side of life, and appreciate the small things.
What is one thing you could not go a day without?
While my partner, kids, and pets are not things, I could not go a day without at least hearing from them. They are my world.
To learn more about Amber and connect, visit her profile within our online member community here.
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