Historical Trauma and Eating Disorders: What’s The Connection

By: Gloria Lucas (she/her) Nalgona Positivity Pride

Join us for a thought-provoking presentation that reframes eating disorders through a social justice lens, focusing on the experiences of people of color and indigenous communities.

2 Part Webinar Series

October 25th & 26th 2023

4:30 pm PST/ 7:30 pm EST

Online Webinar


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This educational session will vividly illustrate the inherent limitations of Western psychology and emphasize the absolute necessity of embracing alternative worldviews in the domains of confrontation, healing, and prevention.

Eating disorders have frequently been portrayed as primarily afflicting white, middle-class individuals. Nevertheless, data reveals that eating disorders affect Black, indigenous, and communities of color at comparable, if not higher, rates. This prevailing narrative has, regrettably, resulted in people of color and indigenous populations grappling with undiagnosed conditions, restricted access to treatment, and culturally insensitive approaches. We invite you to participate in an enlightening presentation that reexamines the landscape of eating disorders through the prism of social justice, with a specific emphasis on the experiences of people of color and indigenous communities.


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Wednesday, October 25th

Part 1: Settler Colonialism and Historical Trauma Exposed: Tracing the Threads of Disruption, Dispossession, and Violence

Within every colonial power resides a creation myth, and in this session, we will embark on a voyage to unravel and deconstruct the Eurocentric perspective that has dominated the history of the Americas. Our journey commences with an examination of the delusions and turbulent legacy of Christopher Columbus. We will navigate the intricate layers through which coloniality infiltrates knowledge, territory, and systems. Although grasping the full scope of colonialism's relentlessness may seem daunting, we will delve into its various insidious manifestations across time, including military conquest, biological warfare, health disparities, cultural and educational shaping, human enslavement, family disruption, land dispossession, environmental devastation, Christianization, and the enduring legacy of gender and sexual violence. Additionally, we will examine the enduring consequences of intergenerational compounded traumas, evident in historical trauma, such as depression, dysfunctional family dynamics, psychic numbness, anger, voicelessness, the transformation of victims into oppressors, disconnection from the natural world, and more. This journey seeks to unveil the hidden wounds and scars that continue to influence our world today.

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Part 2: Unraveling White Colonial Influence on Size, Beauty, and Food and Applying Balm to Intergenerational Wounds

Repetitively, grassroots activists in the realm of eating disorders have emphasized that the origins of these disorders extend beyond mere alterations in brain pathways; they are profoundly rooted in culture influenced by history and systems of oppression. In this session, we will delve into the Christian and anti-Black origins of the fear and aversion to fatness and individuals with larger bodies. Additionally, we will uncover the deeply entrenched, yet in some ways covert, white colonial underpinnings of beauty standards that permeate every aspect of our physical selves. We shall also scrutinize the appropriation of African physical attributes in non-Black bodies, a commodification that not only fails to dismantle anti-Black sentiments but exacerbates the dehumanization of Black people. Our journey will take us through the disruption colonialism wrought upon Native food systems and cuisines, unraveling the spiritual and ecological imbalances it left in its wake. Lastly, we will weave these threads together to illuminate how eating disorders can be creative yet maladaptive coping mechanisms in the face of intergenerational spiritual and psychological turmoil. Furthermore, we will discuss how individuals affected by historical trauma can gently address these issues and how providers can mitigate harm in their approaches to serving and supporting those grappling with eating disorders. This session will underscore the inherent limitations of Western psychology derived from colonial origins, revealing how it falls short in addressing the needs of the most marginalized groups. Embracing alternative worldviews in the realm of confrontation, healing, and prevention is not only essential but imperative.

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Thursday, October 26th

"The dominant models for treatment are silent (and clueless) about the impacts of historical and current violence and stigma in causing and maintaining suffering in eating disorders. Gloria is one of the lights in our communities who are bringing the deeper understandings of what needs to change for people to be able to thrive."

-Deb Burgard, PhD, FAED

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Frequently Asked Questions


  • Closed captions will be included in the RECORDING only.
  • American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is available upon request. Pls submit request 3 days before.
  • Email us at npppride@gmail.com for any other special accommodations.

Will Recording Be Made Available?

A recording of the webinar will be provided ONLY to registered participants, ensuring that you can revisit and share this valuable knowledge.

Who Should Attend?

This webinar is open to community members and individual providers seeking to broaden their understanding of eating disorders from a non-Eurocentric perspective. Group rates are available; please contact us at npppride@gmail.com for more information.

Will this be offered again?

This opportunity comes around just once a year, so make sure you don't miss it.

Do you provide CEUs?

At the moment we do not. This information is rooted in our community and ancestral traditions, and these interconnected subjects are not easily found.

Do you provide scholarships?

Yes we do. Click here.


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Gloria Lucas (she/her)

Gloria Lucas, a descendant of Nahuatl people from Michoacán and of unknown Jalisco indigenous heritage, hails from Southern California. Her personal journey began with the early onset of an eating disorder (ED), but her inability to resonate with conventional ED narratives inspired her to share her unique story with the world. This calling led her to establish Nalgona Positivity Pride. Gloria's background encompasses grassroots feminist organizing, sexual health education, and HIV/AIDS services. With unwavering support from her hometown in the Inland Empire (IE), her family, and cherished friends, she has grown to impact the lives of countless individuals grappling with body image and ED challenges.

Her areas of expertise include eating disorder harm reduction, addressing historical trauma, and embracing indigenous matriarchal epistemologies. Gloria's impactful work has garnered recognition from various media outlets, including NPR, Teen Vogue, MTV, HuffPost, and Los Angeles Times. She is not only the driving force behind "Seeds from The Flesh" but also the visionary founder of "Mujeres Market." Currently residing in Orange County, Gloria Lucas continues her inspiring journey of empowerment and healing.

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Join Us

Sliding Scale: $25-$75

A sliding scale typically refers to a flexible pricing or fee structure. It allows individuals to pay for services or products based on their income or financial situation. In a sliding scale system, the cost or fee is not fixed; instead, it "slides" or adjusts according to the individual's ability to pay. People with higher incomes may pay more, while those with lower incomes pay less, ensuring that the service or product remains accessible to a broader range of people, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Thank you for supporting our labor.

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Scholarships Available

Visit our application website to apply. Would love to have you there.


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