Tag Archives: Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience

What is happening at STAR?

Trainings: STAR has facilitated three Level I trainings so far in 2016, and we are gearing up for more STAR at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute. There is still space in some of the courses – for anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of conflict, reconciliation, social change, restorative justice, trauma and resilience and more, check ...More

Starting in schools: Paper Tigers and RJE Academy

The film Paper Tigers documents the journey of a school in Walla Walla, Washington (US), that introduced a trauma-informed approach to discipline and student support in a school environment full of drug abuse, fights, and poor academic performance. In just a few years, they achieved a 90% decrease in suspensions, a 75% decrease in fights, ...More

Starting with the body: Body-Mind Practices for Building Resilience

In our STAR Level I and Level II trainings, we explore the impacts of trauma and resilience on body, brain, beliefs and behavior. We integrate many learning modalities, from embodied exercises to art-making to practice in compassionate listening. In this course we will dig deeply into embodied practices both for the individual practitioner’s well-being and ...More

Teaching with her life – a tribute to Doreen Ruto

Doreen’s early life included schooling, becoming a teacher, entering marriage, and giving birth to two sons. In 1998, she lost her husband in the US embassy bombing in Nairobi. In subsequent years, she courageously continued her education, both in terms of participation in survivors’ groups and in formal education – ultimately coming to Eastern Mennonite ...More

Starting where we are: Trauma-informing SPI

Barry Hart and Mikhala Lantz-Simmons will co-facilitate SPI 2016 course Strategies for Trauma-Informed Organizations. With STAR and the Summer Peacebuilding Institute, they are inviting more people, policy and structure into trauma-informing our own SPI at EMU. Following the SPI 2015 course in Strategies for Trauma-Informed Organizations, Barry and Mikhala embarked on a process to apply ...More

STAR E-zine Featured Resources

Steve Haines’ Trauma Is Really Strange (2016): This graphic illustration booklet explores the impacts of trauma on body and brain, drawing on much of the research we explore in the STAR curriculum (from Bessel van der Kolk, Peter Levine, Judith Herman, Stephen Porges, and Charles Figley, among others). Haines and illustrator Sophie Standing provide accessible, ...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

Consultations Launched in Conjunction with SPI

In late May, 2014, 35 people from 11 countries gathered on campus to discuss their ongoing work with EMU’s Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program. It was the first in a new series of practitioner-focused consultations and conferences that will be held each year during the Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI). “We wanted to ...More

Playback Theater Shifts Painful Stories Toward Resiliency

When volunteers were solicited, nobody immediately stepped forward. It was a tough request: tell a painful personal story before an audience of maybe 40, many of them strangers to each other, and watch seven people trained in playback theater re-tell it through an impromptu performance. Yet Muhammad Afdillah – a visiting scholar with EMU’s Center ...More

Doing Interfaith Work in Nigeria

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 ...More