Arizona community comes together for conference on trauma healing

5th annual Trauma Sensitive Schools Symposium to be held virtually June 8

Image of a seedling growing at different phases

Worldwide people have experienced the effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in collective trauma to our physical and mental safety. Individuals on the front lines, specifically educators and school communities, have been tasked to manage these traumas while still being expected to achieve and reach certain benchmarks.

It’s a lot to handle.

This year’s Trauma Sensitive Schools Symposium, titled “Healing Collective Trauma: Together Moving Forward,” is dedicated to exploring new ways of being for our communities, and how to heal from the many collective traumas experienced. It will be held virtually on Tuesday, June 8.

The symposium is part of a collaboration between the Phoenix Children’s and Arizona State University's T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics that works to ensure research is quickly translated into practice to improve the well-being of students and educators.

However, the process works both ways, says Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, an ASU associate professor and co-organizer.

“Arizona educators are ahead of science in regards to understanding how to create safe, supportive relationships and spaces," she said. "In working together, we can more quickly identify and test innovative strategies and ensure that these get disseminated broadly.”

portraits of a Black man and a white woman

Rick Griffin and Sarah Lindstrom Johnson

Presenters include a range of researchers and community experts who will share valuable insights with actionable steps attendees can take to help their communities navigate trauma.

The conference will begin with mindful activities and networking.

Rick Griffin, director of training and curriculum development for the Community Resilience Initiative, and Lindstrom Johnson will give keynote presentations.

Then attendees will join breakout sessions featuring the following presenters:


Natalia Chimbo-Andrade

Natalia Chimbo-Andrade
Director of community education and outreach for Community Bridges Inc.

"Resilience: Strength Over Stress"

This breakout addresses contributing factors of stress with teens, the role of social media and what it can lead to when not properly managed. The course teaches resilience-building and adaptation in the face of adversity and toxic stress, and their significant impacts on the mind and body.

Participants will learn techniques in mindfulness practices, the cultivation of positivity, and how to implement therapeutic life style choices for teens.


Lori Madrid

Lori Madrid
Licensed clinical social worker and CEO of Everybody Matters Inc.

"It’s Not Just Self-care; It’s Professional Sustainability"

In recent years, much has been reported on the rising levels of stress among those who work with high-needs children.

This breakout will review research related to compassion fatigue, secondary PTSD and vicarious trauma. More importantly, strategies for self-regulation and professional sustainability will be discussed.

Sanghoon and Shoman

Sanghoon Yoo and Shomari Jackson

Sanghoon Yoo
Founder of The Faithful City

Shomari Jackson
Project coordinator at Southwest Behavioral and Health Services

"Building Healthy Living Community by Trauma-Informed School Systematic Development"

This breakout demonstrates an ongoing community transformation model by a committed and strategic collaboration with all sectors of the community. The breakout leaders have been working together in the South Mountain area of Phoenix to build a healthy, trauma-informed and safely connected community.

The breakout offers a comprehensive model of this community initiative with detailed steps, lessons and tool kits.


Richard Crews

Richard Crews
Founder and principal of the Radicle Solutions Group

"Healing in the Fire: Creating Communities That Heal Instead of Hurt Institutions"

This breakout will focus on how institutions can co-create space within their communities that foster healing and create an environment where students, educators, institutions and communities thrive together.

Register for the symposium at Eventbrite

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