Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR)

STAR is a research-supported trauma awareness and resilience training program that began in 2001. STAR brings together theory and practices from neurobiology, conflict transformation, human security, spirituality, and restorative justice to address the needs of trauma-impacted individuals and communities.

STAR is for individuals and organizations whose work brings them in contact with populations dealing with current or historic trauma: mental health, medical and legal professionals, clergy, educators, peacebuilders, humanitarian, human rights and development workers — all those who need to be trauma-informed in order to do trauma-sensitive programming.

Learn more about STAR
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STAR training options

  • STAR Level I: This five-day training is the foundation to STAR and introduces the theory, processes and tools for addressing trauma, breaking cycles of violence and building resilience. Click here for level one registration. CEU credits are available.
  • STAR Level II: This five-day training is for participants who wish to deepen their knowledge and skills of STAR frameworks and processes and equipped to present STAR presentations or workshops. The training also provides materials and information on applying STAR to particular audiences such as youth, those who have suffered historical harms, returning veterans, etc. Click here for level two registration. CEU credits are available.
  • Certification Track: the STAR Certification program is a network of quality STAR trainers and practitioners throughout the US and abroad that are connected to the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. In addition to being STAR practitioners, certified trainers work collaboratively with STAR to lead trainings, and conduct research that produces knowledge on best practices for building peace through breaking cycles of violence.
  • Organizations: STAR works with organizations to identify the best way to meet their needs and integrate a trauma lens into their projects. Services include developing trauma-sensitive programming, training staff and affected civil society leaders directly, or designing a customized program to fit specific needs. Click here for more information on STAR services for organizations.

Upcoming STAR EMU workshops and trainings

Certified Trainers offer trainings at additional locations host trainings.

Customized Services

  • STAR presentations (1-2 hours), workshops, and full-length trainings (4-5 days)
  • Technical support for organizations including consulting, program design, and customized training programs
  • us to receive further information on our services

Program News

  • At a known sanctuary where several migrant trails intersect on their way towards Tucson and beyond, migrants have constructed a shrine to commemorate loved ones lost along the way. This photo was taken by senior nursing student Zach Coverdale during one of his trips into the desert to provide food, water and care to those in need.

    Arizona Samaritans help life-threatened migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border

    January 22nd, 2015

    Since 2003, over 2,000 desperate people have died trying to cross the harsh Sonoran Desert between Mexico and the southwest United States. This continuous death toll prompted the foundation of Tucson Samaritans, a humanitarian group which has drawn in Isabel Allen, an alumnus of EMU’s STAR program, and senior nursing student Zach Coverdale. Allen is …More

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    CJP grad doing interfaith work in Nigeria

    December 23rd, 2014

    Within North American educational institutions affiliated with one of the three “historic peace churches” – Mennonite, Brethren and Quaker – only Eastern Mennonite University offers a graduate program pertaining to peace. Which is why aspiring peacebuilders from other Christian denominations often make their way to EMU. It’s why Jay Wittmeyer, now executive director of global mission and …More

  • RS42336_VeteransforPeace-graphic

    Sunday school materials connect veterans, peace churches

    December 22nd, 2014

    Developers of a new Sunday school curriculum say it goes down a seldom-walked path — where pacifists accompany veterans toward peace. Released on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, the free six-week course focuses on biblical reflections and insights about trauma with significant input from a third source.“Returning Veterans, Returning Hope: Seeking Peace Together” was created by …More

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