Utilizing Family Skills as a Protective Shield for Families Living Through War, Displacement and Other Challenging Contexts

Aala El Khani Featured

Parenting can be challenging at the best of times, let alone parenting children through war or refugee contexts. Global conflicts entail many changes for children and their families, with the potential for acute and longer-term impact on well-being and mental health. What can we do to help? Effective parenting can act as a protective shield against the difficulties that children face in challenging times. Providing interventions that focus on building strengths in parenting practices can be protective and predict more positive outcomes for children. In this talk, a wide range of open access family skills resources will be shared. As all families can experience highly stressful times, whether it is illness, relationship breakdown or living through a global pandemic, these resources have universal importance and applicability. This talk will reflect on the diverse public health implications of availing family skills resources for the prevention of drug use, mental health, violence and several adverse health and social consequences.

We Are the Medicine: Possibilities for Flourishing Through Difficult Times

Christina Bethell Featured

This session will present new research and approaches to promote child and family well-being using a positive approach to health that fosters self, family and community-led healing of the trauma and adversity concentrated in many of our families and communities today.  The opportunity is enormous to build on strengths, work together to identify priorities, and partner in flourishing. Mindsets that prioritize possibilities, foster a sense of mattering, and support mindfulness and relational skills-building are essential to shift the narrative from trauma and toxic stress to the possibilities for relational health and flourishing for all children and families.

The Promise of the Healing-Centered Paradigm in Education

Acosta Headshot Featured

Drawing on extensive doctoral research and professional practice, this lecture invites participants into an exploration of how practitioners and scholars have deliberately integrated the notion of healing into K-12 curricula and professional education. The evolution of restorative justice, social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and trauma-informed teaching reveals a kind of momentum that situates the emergence of the restorative and healing-centered paradigm in educational discourse, practice and research. With the many challenges and crises unfolding before us–ecological disequilibrium, political polarization, socio-economic inequality and health disparities–people who are interested in educating others are challenged with how to take care of themselves, those who they teach and the communities within which they work. Also, the COVID-19 global pandemic has exacerbated the preexisting conditions that communities, especially those who are most vulnerable, have to contend with. This lecture provides a foundation for thinking, researching and integrating healing-centered education into one’s professional teaching philosophy and practice.

…But Now I See: Using the Lens of Racial Literacy to Understand Racial Trauma and Promote Justice and Healing

Shawn Jones Featured

Despite its tragic arc, the so-called “double pandemic” has served as an awakening to the realities of racial injustice across a number of systems. On one front, the pandemic of COVID-19 disproportionately impacted Black adults and youth, both physically and psychologically. Meanwhile, we have borne witness to another pandemic, dating back to 1619, which has been a reminder that racism is “alive and sick”. Justice and healing in the face of the insidiousness of racism in its myriad forms require recognizing how it expresses across the lifespan. In this presentation, I will discuss racial literacy as a tool for recognizing racial trauma across a number of systems and life stages. Collectively, we will reflect on how racial seeing and racial noticing are important elements in our mission towards social justice.

Child and Family Well-Being As We Emerge From COVID-19: A Multi-Disciplinary Conversation About How to Support Children and Families After the Pandemic

Panel Featured

A conversation with experts from the Evans School of Public Policy, School of Medicine, College of Education, and the Department of Psychology about how children and families are doing currently in the (aftermath or waning days) of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what is needed going forward to address the impact of the pandemic on children’s health, social-emotional well-being, and academic outcomes.

The Roots of Helping, Sharing, and Caring

Ross Featured

How do human beings become caring beings? This presentation offers answers from research with young children, whose sensitivity to other people’s feelings increasingly drives their helpful assistance even as their understanding of ingroup-outgroup discrimination is growing. We also consider the social experiences that influence the tension between social exclusion and shared understanding in early childhood.