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Meet 2023 Commencement Speaker, Della V. Mosley, PhD

Della Mosley PhD

Palo Alto University (PAU) is proud to announce that Della V. Mosley, PhD, will deliver the commencement address to the class of 2023 on Saturday, June 17.

“I’m really looking forward to PAU’s commencement,” says Dr. Della. “It’s an honor to speak to graduates at such a sacred time in their lives. I can’t wait to be in community with the PAU Family.”

Dr. Della is a counseling psychologist, Black feminist, scholar, and activist committed to Black liberation. From 2018 to 2021, she was a tenure-track assistant professor of psychology at the University of Florida where she co-founded the nationwide organization Academics for Black Survival and Wellness. During this time, she also founded the Wellness, Equity, Love, Liberation, and Sexuality (WELLS) Healing and Research Collective, which is now The WELLS Healing Center in Durham, North Carolina. She is also the co-founder and director of research and consultation at the Radical Healing Collaborative.

In her research and clinical practice, Dr. Della is an expert on Black wellness and healing racial trauma. She uses practical, evidence-based, and culturally mindful solutions to fight anti-Black racism and facilitate the healing and liberation of Black people. With a background in school counseling, she has also focused her scholarship and research on the wellness of queer, transgender, and gender-expansive people of color.

“I take a Black feminist approach, which means I focus on the needs of Black womxn,” says Dr. Della. “If Black womxn were free, everyone would be free, because we would destroy all systems of oppression that harm all of us. Black feminist frameworks are continually the guiding light of my work.”

Dr. Della is also a Wellness, Equity, and Liberation Consultant who works with organizations to dismantle oppression and promote holistic wellness. She also offers training and mentorship to Black and BIPOC students in graduate programs across the country.

“Many students are interested in doing liberation-focused healing work, but not many have access to a Black feminist mentor, so I want to offer that,” says Dr. Della. “I love spending time with students, teaching them liberation principles to facilitate social change, and training them in entrepreneurial skills as they start their careers. This work fuels me.”

Originally from Rockford, Illinois, she completed her master’s degree in school counseling from Johns Hopkins University and her doctorate degree from the University of Kentucky. She is also a nationally-known speaker, offering inspiring talks to organizations and universities across the country, including a TEDx talk. In her inspiring talks, Dr. Della combines facts and data with vulnerable shares from her personal life. She addresses current-day holistic wellness needs while inviting the audience to dream about an ideal future.

“The main message I have for PAU’s class of 2023 is to recognize the power they already have,” says Dr. Della, pondering what she will include in her address. “We are all worthy of wellness, and we need each other to be well. As healers, we need to be oriented toward both personal and community wellness, simultaneously. We can still focus on individual wellness, but for it to be sustainable, it has to be a collective process.”