Tag Archives: Elaine Zook Barge

Elaine Zook Barge

Director of Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) For the 20 years previous to coming to EMU, I worked with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in the U.S. and in Central America. From 1984-1998, I worked with MCC in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, all countries experiencing the trauma of war, poverty and violence. In ...More

Familiar Feeling + Fresh Rituals = Moving Experience

When Jarem Sawatsky wanted to bring trauma coursework to the Canadian School of Peacebuilding (CSOP), he turned to two experts he knew well: Vernon Jantzi, who had taught Sawatsky when he was a CJP student a dozen years earlier, and fellow CJP alumnus Elaine Zook Barge. As CJP’s lead instructors for Strategies for Trauma Awareness ...More

Alumni Relish Returning to SPI

Instead of returning for EMU’s “homecoming” celebration – always held over one weekend each October – degree-holding alumni of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) often show up for its annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI). And those SPI alumni who aren’t aiming to earn a degree? Some of them just keep coming back year ...More

Trauma Awareness Is Key Factor in Peacebuilding

As with so many aspects of U.S. society and culture, the disaster relief community has its clear “pre-” and “post-9/11” periods. Back in the pre-days, the mentality and capabilities of organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross revolved around the physical needs of disaster victims: food, shelter and clothing. Within days of entering post-era, it ...More

Resiliency After Trauma of War

After he got back from the war, Mark Lauro couldn’t pick up his young son without thinking about that night in Iraq. He was an Army National Guard sergeant with a company deployed in 2007 to provide security for military supply convoys. Lauro was in an armored vehicle running reconnaissance a few kilometers ahead of the ...More

Historical Harms Keep Hurting If They’re Not Addressed

Traumagenic. Don’t know the word? It’s a new adjective found throughout the manual Transforming Historical Harms by David Anderson Hooker and Amy Potter Czajkowski. Traumagenic refers to events or circumstances – like colonization, civil war, slavery, genocide, systemic discrimination – that cause traumatic reactions and impacts, typically embodied in generation after generation. The victims (and their ...More

Haitians Embrace Trauma-Resilience

With a history of violence linked to colonization, intense poverty and vulnerable geographic location, Haiti has long suffered from natural disasters, social conflict, and other traumatic events. That is one reason more than 12,000 Haitians have welcomed trainings, materials and principles of Wozo, a program derived from EMU’s Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR). “Wozo ...More

‘Good Intentions Aren’t Enough’ in International Aid

“There’s been a lot of documentation that interventions from the outside can do more harm than good,” says Lisa Schirch, the director of 3P Human Security and a research professor at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP). “Good intentions aren’t enough.” With that awareness in mind, many humanitarian and development organizations do trainings to ...More

STAR: Energy, Exhaustion, and Excitement

Energy, exhaustion and excitement filled my body, brain and spirit as I returned home last Friday afternoon after a week-long STAR II training on the campus at Eastern Mennonite University. The excitement was from finishing another successful training and hearing the action plans of the participants that morning outlining how they planned to use the ...More

The Power of STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience)

Of all the programs offered by EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP), the 8-year-old STAR program is emerging as the must-do one. Willroy Grant of Costa Rica returned to Eastern Mennonite University this September (’09) for a week-long STAR experience, even though he holds a master’s degree in conflict transformation from CJP and has ...More

Expanding Galaxy of STARs

Founded initially as a program to assist religious leaders and other caregivers in New York after 9/11, the demand for STAR is growing so fast, program director Elaine Zook Barge spends much of her time identifying and training new facilitators for STAR.