Growing up with an incarcerated father and a mother who struggled with mental illness and substance abuse, Deran gained knowledge and experience of discrimination, poverty, and social services at a very early age. It was no shock that she later decided to pursue a career as a helping professional.
After obtaining her Bachelors degree in Social Psychology, Deran moved to pursue a Masters in Public Administration and Masters in Social Work. While obtaining her Masters in Social Work at the University of Texas, she was blessed with an amazing opportunity to visit Ghana West Africa twice, first as a graduate assistant and second during a final field placement/internship.
During her six month stay in Ghana, Deran created a Guidance & Counseling Center at a High School in a neighborhood that has been historically identified as a population of lower socioeconomic status. During her work there, she also created a scholarship program titled “Choices” and conducted a cultural identity field trip for students to learn about African and African American History first hand. Although the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade has significant roots in Ghana, most citizens are not afforded the privilege to visit these historical sites due to financial difficulties and hardships. During this trip, fifteen students were able to visit the Cape Coast Slave Castle and the One Africa History Museum. Her passion for culture and diversity lead her to further explore issues of social justice and social psychology. Her current professional areas of expertise include International Social Work, Cultural trauma, as well as Diversity, Equity & Inclusion education/consultation.
Deran created Black Therapists Rock to organize black mental health professionals towards ACTION in decreasing the stigma and barriers to psychological and social well being among marginalized communities.
Deran currently works/resides near Washington, DC with her nine year old son. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her son to explore cultural practices and traditions around the world. She has visited over 38 countries (including Vietnam, China, Japan, Singapore, Dubai and Oman, all with her little Nomad Jr.).