A new video series led by Katie Mansfield, lead trainer for the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience program, features short conversations with STAR trainers, practitioners, and former participants.

STAR video series: How to get ‘unstuck’ from trauma responses

Across video conference screens, Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience Lead Trainer Katie Mansfield and Kirby Broadnax MA ’20 sit down together. Their topic of discussion: learning from our pain. 

“For me, there’s not a moment or a particular event that I think about, but just a continual deepening of my understanding of the ways that structural traumas like racism and sexism in particular, have impacted, continue to impact my life and my body,” Broadnax says. “So working to understand how internalized oppression is a trauma response, and how to dismantle that within myself.”

“Thank you for naming those painful realities,” says Mansfield. “What are some of the things that help you build resilience for facing those things?”

“I really love music, and so I often turn to music to accompany me through the variety of feelings that I experience. And I also like to sing, and singing helps me move energy through my body in a way that feels really helpful,” Broadnax replies. 

Broadnax then leads the pair in an energy meditation. This short, six-minute interaction – listening to and sharing about healing journeys, and finding ways to physically practice trauma resilience – is part of the Care Together video series published by the STAR program.

In each of the 11 short videos, Mansfield sits down with a different STAR trainer, practitioner, or former participant to share that healing space. STAR Director Hannah Kelley says the video series began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and we started working from home, we knew we had something to offer the world. The pandemic, its implications, and the inequities that it unmasked were traumagenic for many people,” Kelley says. “We wanted to provide a way for people to recognize trauma responses and understand all of those responses as natural and normal. In addition, we wanted to focus on resilience and practices that foster resilience.”

Each Care Together guest brings a different practice to the table to help those watching get “unstuck” from our trauma responses, Kelley explains. 

The featured guests in the series are:

  • Joy Krieder, independent trauma consultant, in “Creating and Breathing Resilience,”
  • Meenakshi Chhabra, professor at Lesley University, in “Opening our Bodies to Healing Historical Trauma,”
  • Marisabel Kubiak Sanchez, chief executive officer of a public health consulting firm, in “Starting with Health and Wellness to Help Others,”
  • Professor Emeritus Vernon Jantzi, in “Moving and Stretching in the Face of Violence,”
  • Letitia Bates ’16, a certified life coach, in “Healing the Pain of the Past,” [read more about Letitia]
  • Crixell Shell, assistant executive director of the Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute, in “Unpacking Experiences of Systemic Racism,” [read more about the institute’s work]
  • Tyler Goss MA ’19, in “Acknowledging that All Trauma is Significant,”
  • Katia Ornelas MA ’13, founder of Ornelas Konsultant, in “Sharing our Healing Journey,”
  • Kirby Broadnax MA ’20, in “Learning from Our Pain,”
  • David Nyiringabo MA ’20, in “Believing in the Therapy of Laughing, Singing, and Dancing,” and
  • Kajungu Mturi MA ’18, in “Using Power for Justice & Peace.”