Joyce Burnet Bonafield-Pierce

Joyce Burnet Bonafield-Pierce, 1966

B.A., Denison University
M.S.W., Smith College
M.A.S., European Peace University
Ed.D., University of St. Thomas

Certified Mediator


Citation awarded on Saturday, June 4, 2016

Joyce Bonafield-Pierce has focused on women’s mental health as both a vocation and an avocation. In 1982, she created the Chrysalis Mental Health Clinic in Minneapolis, one of only two clinics in the Twin Cities that employed a feminist approach to women’s issues. In private psychotherapy practice from 1987- 2007, she developed several programs, including those for women recovering from depression; for blended and divorced families; financial skills for women; and conflict resolution skills. She also consulted with mental health centers and corporate groups on these issues.

Joyce is an international speaker on women’s realities, always looking for ways to further their education. Her leadership on women’s issues has taken her to Egypt, India, Taiwan, Tanzania, and in 1985, to Nairobi, Kenya, as a press member of the U.N. Decade for Women Conference, a gathering of more than 16,000 women.

She taught high school in Tanzania, as well as summer school programs for elementary students in Ghana. In 2010, she and her husband helped develop The Ghana Scholarship Fund, Inc., which annually sends 20 students to high school on full scholarship. To date, 110 students have received scholarships, and this fall, 13 of those graduates headed off to nine Ghanaian universities on scholarships. She aims to expand this program to more students and to award more women scholarships at the university level.

Currently a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Public Policy at University of St. Thomas, in Minnesota, Joyce is studying a program in Finland that strengthens the self-efficacy and career discernment of at-risk students. She anticipates this work will lend fresh insights into the achievement gap between white middle-class students and minority students in the greater Minnesota area. She also holds a M.S.W. degree from Smith College, and a M.A.S. degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from European Peace University, Austria.

Joyce and her husband, Lewis, live in Minneapolis and have four grown children and 12 grandchildren.