Violence and trauma are all around us—fatal shootings by police, sexual violence, family separations, addiction, abuse, displacement of refugees. Often, these situations give rise to individual healing journeys and collective efforts to create change. But the pain and loss embedded in them also has a damaging effect long after the events have passed.
We invite many difficult experiences into our classrooms, historically intimate and distant, often through written and visual text depicting traumatic events and experiences. At the same time, we have many students bringing a history of trauma into the classroom, fighting a variety of battles which have been woven into their lives from childhood. Exploring the impact of this emotional and intellectual terrain, and on whom, is increasingly rooted in our pedagogy, and yet also entangled in dilemmas and sharp concerns.
How can we respond to suffering without further harming? How do we identify symptoms of trauma that we might be dimly aware of? What considerations should we hold as we plan courses, assignments, and classroom activities? What pedagogies can we develop to meet the effects of trauma? What do we mean when we use terms such as ‘safe’, ‘comfortable’, and ‘harmful’? We all have different experiences of trauma which can also lead us to interpret shared experiences differently and can be contentious; but how is such contention also fruitful terrain? Why is trauma-informed education an equity issue?
Join us for a panel discussion and open dialogue with colleagues from across campus. Complimentary lunch provided with RSVP.
- Zeus Leonardo, Associate Dean and Professor, Graduate School of Education
- Elida Bautista, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Haas School of Business
- Elisa Huerta, Director, Multicultural Community Center