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May 13 2022


All Day

2022 Institute for Social Healing Symposium: Responding to Trauma and Promoting Healing by Building Compassionate Systems and Communities




“A compassionate city is an uncomfortable city! A city that is uncomfortable when anyone is homeless or hungry. Uncomfortable if every child isn’t loved and given rich opportunities to grow and thrive. Uncomfortable when as a community we don’t treat our neighbors as we would wish to be treated.”—Karen Armstrong, Founder of the global movement, The Charter for Compassion

On May 13, 2022, the Institute for Social Healing, in partnership with Millersville University Department of Social Work, Lincoln University, and the Mid-Atlantic Council on Family Relations, will host our second annual symposium, in which we will bring together researchers, educators, policy makers, practitioners, community leaders and students for the presentation of research, sharing of ideas and holding space for open dialogue on topics related to the broad concept of social healing. The symposium is cost free, virtual and open to all who wish to attend. This year’s symposium will emphasize the role of compassionate communities and systems in effectively and ethically responding to trauma and promoting healing. Compassionate communities and systems are ones in which the people in them recognize the interconnectedness and complexities of the drivers of harm and paths towards well-being and actively work to ease suffering. They are ones that build effective structures and policies, communicate, collaborate, and coordinate efforts across organizations and sectors and center the voices of those most impacted by community issues.

As we move into the third year of the pandemic and the accompanying, collective hardships, many of our sources of resilience are depleted. The social safety nets and formal systems of support that our communities have relied upon for decades during times of crisis are stretched dangerously thin. To stem the metaphorical bleeding and move forward without leaving the most vulnerable among us behind requires system-wide recognition of the pain and problems we face, an understanding of the interconnectedness of our fates and a commitment to collaborative and innovative solutions. In other words, we are in need of infrastructures of compassion.

Symposium Objectives:

  • Describe the intersect between individual and family trauma and community/societal challenges and conflicts.
  • Describe the nature and identify examples of trauma-informed/sensitive and or healing-centered practices and policies.
  • Describe the role of social systems in promoting healing.
  • Identify and describe peace-building initiatives.
  • Discuss the application of individual-level trauma-related theories, such as poly-vagal theory, to organizations or communities



8:15–8:30 a.m. – Welcome & Introductions
8:30–10:15 a.m. – Presentations
10:15–10:30 a.m. – Break
10:30 a.m.–12 noon – Presentations
12 noon–12:30 p.m. – Lunch Break
12:30–1 p.m. – Keynote Speaker: Marinda Kathryn Harrell-Levy, Ph.D.
1–3 p.m. – Presentations
3–3:05 p.m. – Closing Remarks