About the Author

W. Azul La Luz, Ph.D. Dr. Wilfredo Azul La Luz Baez (who likes to be called just “Azul”) was born in Puerto Rico but was raised in New York City’s Spanish Harlem. His Ph.D. is in Medical Sociology, Race & Ethnic Studies, and Criminology from the Department of Sociology at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, though he also took courses at the Medical School.

Azul specializes in mental health research with an emphasis on the social determinants of health, heroin addiction, and comorbidity in minority populations. His dissertation focused on evidence of mental health pathology and intergenerational patterns of heroin use in the Latinas and Latinos in Northern Central New Mexico, with the accentuation of accidental drug overdose deaths as suicides. He introduced two new medical-sociological concepts in his dissertation, Street-Level Trauma, and Cultural-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Azul earned two master’s degrees from Western Illinois University at Macomb, Illinois: One in Sociology (crime and gender), and the second in Geography (Rural and Urban Planning). Azul is also a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Instructor.

After all these academic achievements, Azul says he is most grateful and proud that he earned a GED: It was the launching pad that allowed him to travel the extremely long distance from the streets of Harlem — where he was a heroin addict, gang member, and ultimately left Harlem to served a 12-year prison sentence — to the halls of academia.

Additionally, Azul is a professional artist of the “Outside Artist School.” https://nuevalight-enterprises.com/artwork/ who has drawn and painted since the age of seven by teaching himself (and others) how to do so without the benefit of structured coursework.