HEALING | WHOLE PERSON CARE
PREVENTION AND EARLY INTERVENTION
Trauma has sometimes been defined solely in reference to circumstances that are outside of normal human experiences. This definition does not fully encompass the experiences of the boys and men of color who are the focus of this project. For them, traumatic experiences may become an almost routine part of everyday existence. Besides violence, assault, and other traumatic events, African-American and Latinx males often experience more subtle and insidious forms of trauma than other groups.
Their exposure to discrimination, racism, oppression, and poverty is pervasive. When experienced chronically, these events have a cumulative impact that can be fundamentally life-altering. Such traumas are directly related to chronic fear and anxiety, with serious long-term effects on health and other life outcomes.
Violence, when it claims the life of a young person, causes a devastating loss for individuals, families, and communities, as well as a loss of potential for society overall. Young people with nonfatal violent injuries can suffer lifelong physical disabilities and pain which can limit their potential as learners, workers, and citizens. Less often recognized are the psychological wounds left by trauma which cause victims deep and daily distress, often in the form of post-traumatic stress or depression.
This work focuses on boys and men of color who have experienced and are still experiencing such forms of structural and systemic trauma. We explore ACEs, individual trauma, community trauma, and culturally-appropriate pathways to healing.