When They DON’T See Us: A Global Summit on the Embodiment of Racism, Violence and Trauma

Friday, November 1st - Saturday, November 2nd
Heights Room, Corcoran Commons

When They DON’T See Us: A Global Summit on the Embodiment of Racism, Violence and Trauma

Increasing attention has been given to the relationship between violence and racism over the last several years.  From calls of police accountability in the deaths of unarmed Black men and women, to the rise in hate crimes against immigrants and Muslims in the U.S., to the recent violent gathering of hate groups in Charlottesville, race remains a serious topic of concern for violence researchers. Research on violence has typically been studied from two perspectives:  the cultural/collective and the individual.  While the former focuses on how orchestrated violence is culturally traumatic to a society or group, the latter highlights the structural factors that influence the ways in which individuals cope with such violence. Though the two issues are intertwined, the theoretical, empirical and practical implications are seldom examined concurrently.  Utilizing interdisciplinary and social justice approaches, this conference aims to bridge this divide through a holistic approach to the production, prevention, and survivorship of violence.  Specifically, this two-day conference will focus on the issue of how to conceptualize and address the harm caused to a traumatized group and/or individual and how that community’s and/or individual’s vision for how that harm should be addressed.

Image of Flyer
Tanya Sharpe

Tanya L. Sharpe, University of Toronto

Associate Professor, Factor-Inwentash Endowed Chair in Social Work in the Global Community

Dr. Sharpe has extensive training and interdisciplinary practice experience related to social work and public health approaches to addressing community violence and victimization. For over a decade she has examined the sociocultural factors that influence the coping strategies of African American family members of homicide victims for the purpose of developing culturally appropriate interventions that can best assist them in their management of grief and bereavement. As a result, she has developed a comprehensive Model of Coping for African American Survivors of Homicide Victims (MCAASHV) that has informed culturally appropriate interventions and best practices that support African American survivors of homicide victims throughout their process of grief and bereavement. In addition, Dr. Sharpe has also developed the Inventory of Coping for African American Survivors of Homicide Victims (ICAASHV), a measure theoretically driven by the MCAASHV. The ICAASHV considers the transactional nature of the lived experiences of African Americans, which are shaped by cultural beliefs and practices as well as the intersection of societal experiences that dictate the identification and utilization of coping strategies used to manage homicide-related grief.

With her team, Dr. Sharpe intends to utilize her track record of community engagement with diverse communities, and expand upon her seminal research findings by advancing our understanding and delivery of services to African, and Caribbean survivors of homicide victims throughout our global community.

In addition to her research on family members of homicide victims, Dr. Sharpe’s other areas of expertise include:

     •Mass Violence and Disaster Research
     •Qualitative Research Methods 
     •Suicide Prevention and Education Research
     •Community Organizing and Program Development

 


Long Walk Home

Salamishah Tillet, Rutgers University – Newark

Henry Rutgers Professor of African American and African Studies and Creative Writing
Faculty Director of the New Arts Justice Initiative at Express Newark
Associate Director of the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience

Scheherazade Tillet

Executive Director, A Long Walk Home

Salamishah Tillet’s work is driven by her belief that art is a powerful catalyst for social change.  One of most important cultural critics of our time, Tillet uses her platform in multiple media outlets, including The New York TimesThe Atlanticand The Guardian, to expose racism and misogyny while advancing the #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements. 

Two decades ago, she turned to her craft to heal herself after a sexual assault – and wound up healing national audiences in the process. Her journal and portraits taken by her sister, Scheherazade Tillet, a Mason Gross School of the Arts graduate, became the basis for “Story of a Rape Survivor (SOARS),” a multimedia experience featuring musicians, dancers and stage performers. The sisters toured colleges across the country in the early 2000s with “SOARS,” working to create empathy for survivors and rally against rape culture.

“We used storytelling, art and dance to explore this difficult subject and found it to be effective not just for victims, but bystanders and allies as well,” Tillet said.

Building on “SOARS” success, the Tillet sisters cofounded the Chicago-based nonprofit A Long Walk Home in 2003, where they use art to empower young people to end violence against girls and women. The national platform has received numerous accolades, including from feminist icon Gloria Steinem, who described it as “a gift” that “beautifully blends art, policy and grassroots organizing to empower our most vulnerable and voiceless Americans.”

 

Nadine M Finigan-Carr

Nadine M Finigan-Carr

Nadine M Finigan-Carr, Ph.D., is a prevention research scientist focused on the application of behavioral and social science perspectives to research on contemporary health problems, especially those that disproportionately affect people of color. She is a nationally recognized expert on domestic minor human trafficking and sexual exploitation. She is Assistant Director of the Ruth Young Center for Families and Children at the University of Maryland: School of Social Work where she leads the Prevention of Adolescent Risks Initiative. She is PI of projects at both state and federal levels designed to intervene with system involved youth. Dr Finigan-Carr is the author of Linking Health and Education for African American Students’ Success (Routledge Press).


Jocelyn R. Smith Lee

Jocelyn R. Smith Lee

Dr. Jocelyn R. Smith Lee is an Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Dr. Smith Lee’s community engaged program of research investigates trauma, violence, loss, and healing among Black boys, men, and their families. Rooted in Baltimore, MD and growing in Greensboro, NC, this research examines racial disparities in violent injury and works to understand how losing loved ones to homicide shapes the health, well-being, development, and family relationships of Black males and their social networks. At UNCG, she is the founder and director of the Centering Black Voices research lab whose vision is to affirm the humanity of Black boys, men, and families by creating supportive spaces were Black communities can leverage research to transform pain into collective growth, healing, justice, and advancement. Dr. Smith Lee completed her undergraduate studies at Hampton University, her graduate work in Family Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Smith Lee’s interdisciplinary research has been published in top-tier journals and presented at national conferences and invited talks. A homicide survivor herself, Jocelyn is deeply committed to this healing work.


Joseph B. Richardson, Jr.

Joseph B. Richardson, Jr.

Dr. Joseph B. Richardson, Jr., is the Joel and Kim Feller Professor in the Departments of African-American Studies and Anthropology (Medical) at the University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Richardson holds a Secondary Appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Division of Preventive Medicine, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Richardson’s research focuses on gun violence, conflict, violent injury and trauma among Black males. Dr. Richardson is the Founder and former Co-Director of the Capital Region Violence Intervention Program (CAP-VIP), a hospital-based violence intervention program, at the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center. He is currently the Executive Director of the Translational Research and Applied Violence Intervention Lab (TRAVAIL) an interdisciplinary violence and conflict research lab at the University of Maryland College Park, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. His selected publications and features have appeared in the Journal of Surgical Research, VICE News and the Huffington Post. Dr. Richardson is currently producing a digital storytelling project titled Life After the Gunshot funded by the Center for Victim Research, Researcher 2 Practitioner Fellowship, to explore the lives of male survivors of nonfatal firearm violence with histories of criminal justice involvement.


Susan Marine

Susan Marine

Susan Marine, Ph.D.(she/her) is Associate Professor and Program Director in the Higher Education Master’s Program at Merrimack College. She was the founding director of the Harvard University Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and served in various advocacy roles on four different college campuses during her career in student affairs. Susan's research and advocacy focuses on using queer/critical ontologies methods to build gender expansive campuses, including ending sexual violence in LGBTQ student communities and fostering the full participation and flourishing of trans students. She serves as a consultant to community organizations working to end violence, serves on the Take Back the Night Foundation Board of Directors, and is the author of Stonewall’s Legacy: Bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender students in higher education (Jossey-Bass) and the forthcoming book, Collaborating for change: Transforming cultures to end gender-based violence in higher education (Oxford UP).


Dr. Tameka L. Gillum

Dr. Tameka L. Gillum

Dr. Tameka L. Gillum is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Russell Sage College. Dr. Gillum has over 20 years of research experience in exploring and addressing intimate partner violence/dating violence (IPV/DV) within racial/ethnic minority and sexual minority populations, development of culturally specific prevention and intervention efforts, health clinic based IPV interventions and the mental health effects of IPV/DV victimization. Among other accomplishments, this work earned her the Outstanding Research Award from the national Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC), for which she subsequently served on the steering committee for 5 years. Dr. Gillum is a community psychologist who conducts community based research. Her most recent research involves investigating IPV in Kenya, East Africa and among African immigrants in the U.S.


Notisha Massaquoi

Notisha Massaquoi

Notisha Massaquoi is originally from Sierra Leone and is a highly respected expert in designing programs and increasing access to primary healthcare for Black women. She has worked extensively in the area of violence against women serving on the Ontario Premiers’ Expert Roundtable  on Gender Based Violence.  During her lengthy career she has also facilitated the development of several health organizations for Black communities in Canada including Africans in Partnership Against AIDS and the African Resource Centre.  She has spent the past 2 decades as an executive leader in the community health sector leading the only community health centre in Canada which specifically provides primary healthcare for racialized women. Her research and numerous publications have focused on the use of health equity data to improve health outcomes for Black women as well as the impact of racism on the health and wellbeing of Black communities.  She is the co-editor of the anthology, Theorizing Empowerment: Canadian Perspectives on Black Feminist Thought and currently is a lecturer at the Ryerson University Faculty of Social Work. Notisha has recently been the named the recipient of the 2019 Black Health Alliance Legacy Award.


Charly Robles

Charly Robles (they/them) is a recent graduate from Fisher College, with a major in Criminal Justice and minor in Computer Forensics. They currently serve as the Community Organizer for The Network/La Red, working with community to uplift survivor stories and spread awareness of LGBQ/T partner abuse. Charly is passionate about social justice and advocacy in marginalized communities, and over the last 8 months has worked tirelessly to gather responses from queer people throughout MA about their experience with partner abuse. They hope to shed light on the limitations queer communities face when seeking services, and the resiliency those communities consistently demonstrate in the face of adversity.


Llewellyn J. Cornelius

Llewellyn J. Cornelius

Llewellyn J. Cornelius is the Donald Lee Hollowell Distinguished Professor of Social Justice and Civil Rights studies and the University of Georgia. He has more than 22 years of experience in community-based participatory research and more than 37 years of experience in psychosocial research, as well as survey and evaluation research. He has worked in tandem with researchers, administrators and consumers in the design, implementation and evaluation of interventions that focused on improving the health and well-being of under-resourced communities.

He has trained more than 150 professionals in designing and conducting outcomes research, coached 36 mid-career social workers in leadership development, mentored 40 doctoral students, trained 10 post MD/PhD early career minority researchers as part of the Association of American Medical Colleges Minority Health Services Research Program and taught more than 2,200 MSW students in the second largest MSW program in the United States.

In addition to teaching survey research, he has been involved in the design and implementation of a multitude of studies, including the fielding of a statewide survey which examined the cultural competency of mental health providers; the evaluation of global community based HIV prevention and treatment efforts and the development and implementation of surveys which assessed the use of technology in social work. Cornelius’ prevention research focuses on developing community-responsive, culturally appropriate educational, attitudinal and behavioral change interventions as well as examining the barriers to the successful adoption of interventions by individuals, practitioners and communities.

Cornelius has been recognized as the fifth most-cited African American scholar in social work in a study published in the journal Research on Social Work Practice. In May of 2014 Oxford University Press published A Social Justice Approach for Survey Design and Analysis, which he co-authored with Donna Harrington. His book, Designing and Conducting Health Surveys: A Comprehensive Guide, has been cited more than 1,700 times since it was published in 2006. He has recently (2019) co-authored a bio of a Latina health care professional leader (Dr. Debbie Salas Lopez) that is in press entitled The Girl From the Bronx that defied the odds: A true story of struggle, resiliency and courage.


Demetrius Keller

Demetrius Keller

Demetrius Keller is a current graduate student in the School of Social Work at the University of Georgia. Demetrius holds a bachelor’s in social work from Bowie State University. Demetrius is a current graduate assistant for the Center of Social Justice, Civil and Human Rights at the University of Georgia School of Social Work. Demetrius research and interest are geared towards the liberation of African American children and anyone that is suffering from systematic oppression, such as the school to prison pipeline and global issues. During, his undergraduate career, Demetrius, worked with a plethora of organizations catered towards the cultivation of youth development as well as a mentor for several scholars on campus. He also, worked alongside Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated to engaged in presentations at Cheltenham Youth Detention Center. Lastly, he was program director for a renowned organization, The Maryland Center, a nonprofit delivering capstone programs in STEM for High School age children. Demetrius has one mission to change the world.


Avital Wulz

Avital Wulz

Avital Wulz is a current graduate student in Public Health and Social Work at the University of Georgia. Avital holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Georgia and MS in Positive Psychology from Life University. Avital is the current Associate Producer for the Voices for Social Justice podcast and the graduate assistant for the Center for Social Justice, Civil and Human Right at the University of Georgia’s School of Social Work. Her research and practice interests focuses on developing interdisciplinary, human-rights, and trauma-informed approaches to addressing systemic issues, including mass incarceration. Before graduate school, Avital was the Research and Program Coordinator at the Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics at Life University. In this role, she assisted on the development team for the Associates of Arts degree program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Georgia, called The Chillon Project. Additionally, Avital wrote an extensive literature review on higher education in prison and currently is a co-investigator for the research study evaluating the social, emotional, and physical effects of higher education in a carceral setting.


C. Shawn McGuffey

C. Shawn McGuffey

C. Shawn McGuffey, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of African & African Diaspora Studies at Boston College.  A native of Lexington, Kentucky, his professional work primarily highlights how race, gender, sexuality and social class both constrain and create the choices survivors pursue in the aftermath of trauma.  Two of his current projects focus on sexual trauma.  One examines how gender, sexuality, and race shape parental responses to child sexual abuse; and the other investigates the social psychology of sexual assault survivors in the U.S., Ghana, South Africa, and Rwanda.  Dr. McGuffey is the recipient of three American Sociological Association awards:  the 2006 Sally Hacker Award for research excellence, a 2009 “Best Research Article Award,” and a 2016 “Distinguished Article Award.”  In 2016 he also received the Kimberlé Crenshaw Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. 


Ernesto "Eroc" Arroyo-Montano

Ernesto "Eroc" Arroyo-Montano 

Ernesto "Eroc" Arroyo-Montano is a proud father of three wonderful children, an emcee, circle-keeper, artist, cultural organizer, educator, curandero-in-training and aspiring elder. He is a queer Boricua raised in Boston, MA, and a founding member of the radical, award-winning Hip Hop group, Foundation Movement, with whom he has been blessed to facilitate workshops and perform around the globe. This has included Tanzania (where they performed at Black August), Kenya, Cuba (where they were honored to meet Assata Shakur), Palestine (where they performed at refugee camps), South Africa, and Japan (where they participated in a 72 day peace walk from Hiroshima to Tokyo). All of these experiences have and continue to deeply transform him.  

Healing and Transformative Justice, Arts & Activism, and Popular Education remain his passions, purpose and priority in his community liberation movement work, which he is able to develop, practice and facilitate in my current role as Director of Cultural Organizing at the grassroots economic justice organization, 'United for a Fair Economy'.


Sadada jackson

Sadada Jackson

Sadada Jackson, M.T.S., M.Ed., RYT, is a student of practice who lives in her body and vacations in her mind. She holds a B.A. in Theatre with a minor in English, and an M. Ed. in Secondary Education both are from UMass Boston, and an M.T.S in Indigenous Traditions from Harvard University.  Presently, she works as a freelance educator. She works with leaders and educators in the fields and practices of education, training, and healing. A facilitator, coach, and speaker she works with leaders, educators, and healers to support them in embodying and curating ethical practices, structures, and relationships in their work. Her goal in doing this work is to end relational and structural violence done on marginalized bodies within educational and healing arts/practices. She is Natick Nipmuc.


Cole Rodriguez

Cole Rodriguez

Cole Rodriguez is an internationally recognized spoken word artist, originating from Boston, MA.  As a six-year participant in the National Poetry Slam, Cole has competed against the top-ranked poets in the United States.  As a mother, teacher, artist and friend, Cole has used her poetic work to create community, inspire activism and speak truth to power.

Passionate about youth development, Cole works with universities, high schools and in therapeutic settings to facilitate spaces wherein poetry can be de-constructed, celebrated and created.  Bridging the gap between theory and practice, she has worked with institutions including Harvard University, Berklee College of Music, Boston College, Salem State University and Bermuda College, as well as a host of alternative and public schools, to incorporate activism and poetic voice into the classroom.

As a performance poet, she has captured audience's attention as an acclaimed slam winner at Cambridge’s Lizard Lounge, Roxbury’s House Slam and Manhattan’s Nuyorican Café.  This lover of rhyme continues to perform throughout the US and abroad.

Cole Rodriguez is an avid music appreciator, an occasional Celtics fan and a beast in the kitchen.


Wanda M. Akin

Wanda M. Akin

Wanda M. Akin was formerly the Managing Attorney for Chubb & Son, Inc.’s, New Jersey House Counsel firm, Scanlon & Akin, and a Senior Trial Attorney and Of Counsel to Podvey, Sachs, Meanor, Catenacci, Hildner & Cocoziello (Podvey Meanor). She now maintains her private practice in Newark, NJ and is an Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University School of Law and at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy & International Relations. Notably, Akin taught in the Seton Hall Law/American University at Cairo, Egypt. Her 36 years of experience as a trial lawyer span a wide variety of controversies including criminal defense (in US and International Courts), complex product liability, property claims, catastrophic personal injury, employment/labor, trademark and copyright, and other complex litigation. She is a member of the List of Counsel, qualified to represent accused and victims before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and represents victims of the Darfur Crisis at the ICC in the Darfur Situation as well as in the case against Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir. Akin was a member for 15 years of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Committee on the Rules of Evidence, was a Trustee of the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, a Master in the Seton Hall Law School Alumni Association Inn of Court and a Presidential Appointee to the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Committee on Judicial Administration. She was awarded the 2009 NAACP Newark Unit Freedom Fund Award for her work as co-founder of the nonprofit for the promotion of international justice & human rights, the International Justice Project. Ms. Akin is a periodic commentator on Court TV, MSNBC, Inside The Law (PBS); NJN (New Jersey Network);UPN 9 News and CN8 It’s Your Call. She has appeared on the TODAY SHOW, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, Entertainment Tonight and New York’s News Channel 4.


Raymond M. Brown

Raymond M. Brown

Raymond M. Brown is a partner at Scarinci Hollenbeck in Lyndhurst, NJ, concentrating his legal practice in white collar criminal defense, international human rights issues, internal investigations and complex commercial litigation. He has practiced international law criminal law (ICL) while teaching, writing, lecturing, and serving as an international legal journalist. Mr. Brown is a member of List Counsel at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and is Legal Representative for Victims in the case of OTP v Bashir and in the Darfur Situation. Mr. Brown served as Defense Counsel at the Special Court for Sierra Leone and has dealt with complex extradition issues in U.S. courts. Additionally, he has conducted investigations throughout the U.S. as well as in Kenya, elsewhere in East Africa, Liberia, El Salvador, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, the Bahamas, Colombia, and Sierra Leone. Mr. Brown has taught ICL in the Seton Hall/American University Program at Cairo, Egypt, at Seton Hall University School of Law and Seton Hall’s Diplomacy School. He has frequently lectured to criminal and civil lawyers, law enforcement personnel and judges, students, civil society elements and others on inter alia trial practice, human rights and international law. In July 2005, Mr. Brown spoke on the “American Perspective on Nuremberg” in Courtroom 600 of the Justice Palace in Nuremberg, Germany on the 60th Anniversary of the proceedings before the International Military Tribunal. He is a member of the New Jersey and New York Bars and has qualified as List Counsel before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where he has been a Legal Representative for Victims in the Darfur Situation. 


Raymond M. Brown

Sa'ed Atshan

Dr. Sa'ed Atshan is Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College. He previously served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He earned a Joint PhD in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies and an MA in Social Anthropology from Harvard University, and a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from the Harvard Kennedy School. He received his BA from Swarthmore in 2006. His research interests are at the intersection of peace and conflict studies, the anthropology of policy, critical development studies, and gender and sexuality studies. He has two forthcoming books with Stanford University Press: Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique and Paradoxes of Humanitarianism: The Social Life of Aid in the Palestinian Territories (Anthropology of Policy Series). He also has co-authored, with Katharina Galor, The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, and Palestinians, to be published with Duke University Press in 2020. Atshan has been awarded multiple fellowships from a wide range of organizations. He has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, the UN High Commission on Refugees, Human Rights Watch, the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department, and the Government of Dubai. He is also a Palestinian, Quaker, and LGBTQ human rights activist.


Chaplain Clementina Chéry

Clementina Chéry

Chaplain Clementina Chéry is the founder, President, and CEO of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. The Peace Institute is a center of healing, teaching, and learning for families and communities impacted by murder, grief, trauma, and loss. Chaplain Chéry and her family founded the Peace Institute in 1994 after her fifteen-year old son Louis D. Brown was murdered in the crossfire of a shootout. With over two decades of experience as a survivor serving families impacted by murder, Chaplain Chéry has developed the best practices in the field of homicide response. Her professional goal is to transform society’s response to homicide so that all families are treated with dignity and compassion, regardless of the circumstances. Her spiritual goal is to become a minister of God’s Peace that is rotted in love, unity faith, hope, courage, justice and in forgiveness. The Peace of God that surpasses human understanding.

Chaplain Chery was named a 2017 Barr Foundation Fellow, one of twelve non-profit leaders selected to participate in the two year fellowship. The Barr Fellowship, designed to advance three important goals -  recognize and support leadership, strengthen organizational capacity, and build civic leadership - comes at a critical time for Ms. Chery and for the Peace Institute.  Participation as a Barr Fellow provided Chaplain Chery with time for personal reflection, renewal and professional development.

The Social Innovation Forum in recognition of the Institute’s groundbreaking solutions to social problems selected Chaplain Chéry and the Peace Institute as 2016 Social Innovators.  Chaplain Chéry is using her platform as a Social Innovator to launch the Peace Institute’s Training, Technical Assistance and Consulting Services (TTAC). TTAC provides tools, training, evaluation, and consulting services to stakeholders across the country in the survivor-centered, trauma-informed, offender sensitive methodology that Chaplain Chéry developed.

Chaplain Chéry has developed groundbreaking publications for families of murder victims and the providers who serve them, including “Always in My Heart: A Workbook for Grieving Children” (2011) and the Survivors Burial and Resource Guide (2013). The Survivors Burial and Resource Guide is the only tool available that offers step-by-step guidance to families of murder victims so that they can lay their loved one to rest with respect and dignity while managing the crisis and chaos after a homicide happens.  Chaplain Chéry is also coauthor of an article entitled “Homicide Survivors: Research and Practice Implications” published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2005.

Chaplain Chéry has extensive experience training public health professionals and law enforcement officials to better serve families impacted by murder and interrupt cycles of retaliatory violence. She has trained doctors, social workers, psychologists, street workers, religious leaders, homicide detectives, and other providers at city and state agencies, hospitals, and community-based organizations. Chaplain Chéry has presented at the National Organization for Victims Assistance conference. Chaplain Chéry worked closely with the Boston Police Department to establish the Family Resource Officer position on the force to better serve families of homicide victims. The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute has received the Senator Charles E. Shannon Community Safety Initiative grant awarded annually by the Boston Police Department every year since 2009. Through this partnership, Chaplain Chéry has provided training and technical assistance to the Boston Police Department and fellow Shannon grantees.

Chaplain Chéry also founded the Serving Survivors of Homicide Victims Providers Network to share the Peace Institute’s expertise with fellow providers, foster collaboration between providers across Massachusetts, and improve service coordination and delivery to families impacted by murder.

Chaplain Chéry has received countless awards in recognition of her courageous leadership and tireless peacemaking work. Most recently, Chéry was named one of Boston’s 100 most influential leaders of color in 2016 by Collette Phillips Communications, Inc.  She was also given the 2016 Impact Award by Phillips Brooks House Association at Harvard University. In 2014, Salem State University Awarded Chaplain Chéry the Champion of Peace Award.  She was named Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers in 2011. Chaplain Chéry holds honorary Doctorate Degrees from Regis College in Weston and Mount Ida College in Newton and in 2017 she received an honorary Dr. Of Ministry from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. She was ordained as a senior chaplain with the International Fellowship of Chaplain, Inc. in February of 2012.  He greatest accomplishments I the mother of Louis, Alexandra and Allen and the grandmother of her 6 year young grandson Alexander.


Monica Cannon-Grant

Monica Cannon-Grant

Monica Cannon-Grant is a resident of Boston Massachusetts. She has resided in the Roxbury area for 16 years. More recently a Candidate for State Representative for the 7th Suffolk District. She is a Community Liaison in her neighborhood of Warren Gardens. She has hosted an Annual Back to School Block Party for Peace for the past 9 years. She was a member of the Peace Collaborative where she was the Director of Promotions and has helped host their 100 Slices bake sale and Annual Got Peace Basketball Tournament. She is the Executive Director of The Tito Jackson Community Fund where she has organized his Annual turkey where they gave away 4,000 turkeys last year. She has also organized his Annual Turkey Fry where they have served at least 800 people. Monica sits on the Advisory Board for an organization named Community Call. She was Co-Chair of The Parent Council at The Lilla G. Frederick Pilot School and She has Coordinated New Mission High School’s First Football Banquet. Monica Former member of the Citywide parent council and Former Chair of the Young Adult Committee for the NAACP and current member. Monica believes in the Motto “Our Community Our Responsibility” which is why she is the Founder of the Violence In Boston Inc movement highlighting disparities around violence in communities of color. She also was the Lead organizer in the Fight Supremacy March to counter-protest the “Boston Free Speech Rally”.


Simone John

Simone John

Simone John is a poet, educator, and facilitator based in Boston, MA. Her debut collection, TESTIFY, was published by Octopus Books in 2017. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College with an emphasis on documentary poetics. Simone performs and produces exhibits through UnBound Bodies, a multidisciplinary QTBIPOC arts collective. She is Associate Director of Organizational Equity Practice at Trinity Boston Connects and Chief Creative Officer of Hive Soul Yoga, a community wellness business. Find her online at simonejohn.com and on twitter @simoneivory.

Jocelyn R. Smith Lee, Ph.D. & Erica Payton Foh, Ph.D., MPH, CHES

University of North Carolina, Greensboro

A Community Based Participatory Approach to Addressing Homicide in the Lives of Black Boys, Men, and Families

Assessing the intersecting causes and rippling consequences of violence in the lives of Black boys, men, and their families is critical to identifying comprehensive strategies to heal the pain of violent injury and homicide bereavement. More Black males die annually from homicide in the United States than males of other racial-ethnic groups (CDC, 2014). The health disparity of homicide, and the trauma and grief it produces, are maintained by structural racism which increases the propensity for community violence in economically disadvantaged and urban contexts where Black families are overrepresented (Peterson & Krivo, 1999). Conceptualizing and facilitating healing from homicide will require systemic strategies; yet, the predominant approach to violence prevention and healing is largely directed at the microlevel. Our project offers a framework for assessing the complex contributors to and consequences of community violence for the mental health, well-being, and healing of Black male survivors of violence. We used Action-Oriented Community Diagnosis (Eng et al., 2013), a four-phased Community Based Participatory Approach, to examine the racial disparity of homicide in Greensboro, NC. In Phase 1, we partnered with a community leader to build connections, credibility, and trust. In Phase 2, GIS mapping and windshield surveys revealed geospatial concentrations of violence and socioecological contributors. Currently in Phase 3: In-depth interviews and focus groups with community leaders, middle and high school Black boys and their families, are revealing the multifaceted causes and consequences of exposures to violent injury and death for Black families and their resilience. In Phase 4, we will disseminate these findings through a community forum and invite community members to rank their priority concerns and inform next action steps. Collectively, study findings will advance local understandings of the intersectional drivers of violence and set the agenda for community-driven research, policy, and praxis aimed toward healing the hurt of homicide.


Sadada Jackson

Somatic Pedagogy and Praxis: From Violence to Stillness and Care in Education

How can our teaching and learning praxis minimize violence? Using the OurLandOurLanguage exhibit as a case of study, I will verbalize my process, my thinking, and my emotions I had in working on this project. listen:OurLandOurLanguage OurLandOurLanguage OurLandOurLanguage OurLandOurLanguage exhibit is on display at the Tozzer Library at Harvard. The exhibit is for speakers, students, and/or scholars of North American Indigenous Languages to engage and inquire and be in bidirectional communication with and about our languages as they are printed in Tozzer Libraries’ Special Collections. Through my process of “thinking aloud”, participants will begin to understand how somatic pedagogy and praxis can be employed to: center racially marginalized bodies, minimize violence, process trauma, and cultivate stillness and care. I will also share and facilitate a somatic practice with the audience and ask them to reflect on their experience.


Susan Marine

Partner violence in LGBQ/T communities is under-researched, but appears to be a frequent occurrence with lifelong impact for survivors (e.g., Cannon, 2015; Goodmark, 2013; Taylor & Herman, 2015; Walker, 2015). Survivors experience trauma, that can be compounded by negative interactions with community and institutional resources that are not culturally competent (Catton, Cattaneo, & Gebhard, 2016). This is especially true among LGBQ/T survivors of color (e.g., Coker, Goodmark, Olivo, 2015; Mendez, 1996; Seelman, 2015), a concern which merits both increased attention and action to address. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the extant research related to LGBQ/T people of color who survive partner abuse and sexual assault, including their concerns and unique experiences as they seek to heal from trauma. We will also share some preliminary data from a recent large-scale survey of Massachusetts LGBQ/T communities pertaining to their experiences with harm in relationship, and with seeking resources for help. These data indicate the need to continue to work on building meaningful, culturally responsive networks and resource channels, to empower communities to respond effectively to partner abuse, and to continue our work to educate and empower LGBQ/T folks across the lifespan to build and sustain safe communities. We will also reserve time to discuss solutions and action steps.


Notisha Massaquoi

Sticks in a Bundle are Unbreakable: Black- led Organizational Responses to Racism, Violence and Trauma

Black led organizations serving Black communities cannot avoid service delivery within the context of racism, violence and trauma. The threat and reality of racism, violence and trauma is intertwined in our everyday lives and therefore becomes the everyday work of organizations serving Black communities. In fact it is our ability to incorporate our personal experiences, professional knowledge, education and our inability to divorce ourselves from the service user who looks like us, sounds like us and relates to us in ways that mainstream services cannot accommodate that creates a unique environment and perspective from which to address issues, concerns and strategies against violence experienced by Black community members. Despite this overwhelming context in terms of what needs to be done, Black led organizations also have the added responsibility to create a sense of hope for both Black service users and Black service providers. I will be exploring these ideas from the context of a Black led health service organization in Canada which has been a leader not only the pursuit of violence prevention and reduction but also in addressing violence as a social determinant of health for Black communities. I will share our efforts to develop effective strategies and programs to minimize the impact of racism, violence and trauma on our service users and support the notion of unbreakable Black communities.


Jocelyn R. Smith Lee, Ph.D. & Erica Payton Foh, Ph.D., MPH, CHES

University of North Carolina, Greensboro

A Community Based Participatory Approach to Addressing Homicide in the Lives of Black Boys, Men, and Families

Assessing the intersecting causes and rippling consequences of violence in the lives of Black boys, men, and their families is critical to identifying comprehensive strategies to heal the pain of violent injury and homicide bereavement. More Black males die annually from homicide in the United States than males of other racial-ethnic groups (CDC, 2014). The health disparity of homicide, and the trauma and grief it produces, are maintained by structural racism which increases the propensity for community violence in economically disadvantaged and urban contexts where Black families are overrepresented (Peterson & Krivo, 1999). Conceptualizing and facilitating healing from homicide will require systemic strategies; yet, the predominant approach to violence prevention and healing is largely directed at the microlevel. Our project offers a framework for assessing the complex contributors to and consequences of community violence for the mental health, well-being, and healing of Black male survivors of violence. We used Action-Oriented Community Diagnosis (Eng et al., 2013), a four-phased Community Based Participatory Approach, to examine the racial disparity of homicide in Greensboro, NC. In Phase 1, we partnered with a community leader to build connections, credibility, and trust. In Phase 2, GIS mapping and windshield surveys revealed geospatial concentrations of violence and socioecological contributors. Currently in Phase 3: In-depth interviews and focus groups with community leaders, middle and high school Black boys and their families, are revealing the multifaceted causes and consequences of exposures to violent injury and death for Black families and their resilience. In Phase 4, we will disseminate these findings through a community forum and invite community members to rank their priority concerns and inform next action steps. Collectively, study findings will advance local understandings of the intersectional drivers of violence and set the agenda for community-driven research, policy, and praxis aimed toward healing the hurt of homicide.


Joseph B. Richardson, Jr., PhD

University of Maryland

While there exists a robust literature on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder (ASD), this research has primarily focused on former or current military personnel (Bell and Nye 2007; Erbes et al. 2007; Kang et al. 2003) and victims of sexual assault (Campbell et al. 2009; Najavits et al. 1997; Wolfe et al. 1989). However, there is scant literature on traumatic stress among vulnerable populations of low-income young Black male survivors of violent firearm-related injuries. Gun violence is the leading cause of death and disability among young Black men. Black males are disproportionately over-represented among victims of intentional non-fatal gun injuries. This group is 15 times more likely than white males to be shot and injured in assaults involving. While gun violence has recently garnered significant attention as a public health epidemic, firearm-related violence has been a persistent public health crisis for urban Black males for well over three decades. One large scale study on nonfatal firearm violence (NFFV) trends in Chicago found significant racial differences in nonfatal hospitalizations between the period of 2005-2016 (Fitzpatrick, Castro, Sebro, Gulmatico, Shields & Homan 2018). The findings from this study suggest that NFFV continues to be problem in Chicago, particularly for young, Black men. The incidence of gun violence among this population has not changed significantly between 2005 and 2016. Few studies have assessed non-fatal firearm violence and traumatic stress among young Black men. We know little qualitatively and contextually about the ways firearm-related violent injury produces traumatic stress among this population. To our knowledge only one study has qualitatively explored the relationship between nonfatal firearm-related violent injury and traumatic stress among Black males (Rich & Grey 2005). My presentation illuminates the utility of the biopsychosocial model as a multidisciplinary framework for understanding the biologic, behavioral and social aspects of gun violence as a disease (Hargarten, Lerner, Gorelick, Brasel, deRoon-Cassini & Kolhbeck 2018). By applying the biopsychosocial disease model to nonfatal firearm violence, it is possible to explore the psychological impact of violent firearm-related injury on young Black males and provides an opportunity to address scientifically inaccurate assumptions about gun violence and trauma among this population. This presentation provides a contextual discussion of traumatic stress among young Black male survivors of violent firearm-related injury treated at the busiest urban Level II trauma center in Maryland.


Avital Rachel Wulz, Demetrius Blake Keller and Llewellyn J. Cornelius

University of Georgia

Restorative Justice is needed now more than ever to stem secondary slavery amongst African Americans.

This presentation shall contextualize the story of African Americans that have set the stage for the growth in the prison population. In particular, slavery, Jim Crow, and the new slavery- the school to prison pipeline. It shall highlight ways in which the prison use low wage labor to perpetuate the economic dependency on prison labor. It will focus on the ways in which communities are advocating for policy and program change to reduce the numbers of African Americans that end up in prison. It will also focus on the barriers to community re-entry for formerly incarcerated persons. The restorative justice framework will be used to reflect the need of the community for equity and fairness in the treatment of African Americans. Discussions regarding the restorative justice framework will focus both on interpersonal approaches to restorative justice (that is among individuals and small groups), as well as structural approaches (that policy advocacy and societal transformation).


Tameka L. Gillum

Intimate Partner Violence in Kenya: A Qualitative Investigation

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a major public health problem and global human rights violation. The devastating effects of IPV on individuals, families and communities are well documented. This is a complex social issue deeply rooted in the interaction of social, cultural, political, economic and biological factors. As such, perceptions, prevalence and manifestations of IPV differ from one society to another. Qualitative studies that explore the cultural context of an affected population and how they interpret the phenomenon provide us optimal potential for understanding the issue and designing culturally appropriate prevention efforts. Results of a qualitative investigation of Kenyan women’s perceptions and experiences of IPV will be presented. The study involved community-based focus group discussions with survivors and female community members. Sentiments expressed by these survivors and community members provide powerful insight into experiences of violence including the risk factors, consequences, how the community responds and how survivors cope with the violence they experience. Emergent themes inform us as we think about IPV prevention efforts and restorative justice within this cultural context.


Sa'ed Atshan

Swarthmore College

Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique

Sa'ed Atshan will be presenting on his forthcoming book, Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique:

From Ramallah to New York, Tel Aviv to Porto Alegre, people around the world celebrate a formidable, transnational Palestinian LGBTQ social movement. Solidarity with Palestinians has become a salient domain of global queer politics. Yet LGBTQ Palestinians, even as they fight patriarchy and imperialism, are themselves subjected to an "empire of critique" from Palestinian institutions, Western academics, journalists and filmmakers, and even fellow activists. Such global criticism has limited growth and led to an emphasis within the movement on anti-imperialism over the struggle against homophobia.

With this book, Sa'ed Atshan asks how transnational progressive social movements can balance struggles for liberation along more than one axis. He explores critical junctures in the history of Palestinian LGBTQ activism, revealing the queer Palestinian spirit of agency, defiance, and creativity, despite daunting pressures and forces working to constrict it. Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique explores the necessity of connecting the struggles for Palestinian freedom with the struggle against homophobia.


Simone John

TESTIFY

Poet William Carlos Williams famously wrote “It is difficult to get the news from poems.” In my presentation, I’ll discuss documentary poetry as (1) a literary form and (2) an accessible medium to engage with news/current events. The conversation will be grounded in references to my book Testify (Octopus Books, 2017), a collection that uses documentary poetics to uplift stories of black people impacted by state- sanctioned violence. I’ll discuss the process of creating the text, using practices like transcribing testimony from the Trayvon Martin trial testimony and researching violence against queer transwomen of color. The presentation will explore the intersections of race, violence, trauma, and art/art-making.

November 1st

I.     

9:00am - 10:00am

Registration & Continental Breakfast

II. 

10:00am - 10:15am

Opening Remarks

III. 

10:15am - 11:45am

Panel I: “Homicide, Genocide, and Justice”

Panelists
Llewellyn J. Cornelius and Avital Wulz (University of Georgia)
Joseph B. Richardson, Jr. (University of Maryland, College Park)
Jocelyn R. Smith Lee (University of North Carolina, Greensboro)
Wanda Akin and Raymond Brown (Seton Hall University, International Justice Project

IV.

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Lunch

V.

1:00pm - 2:30pm     

Panel II: “Gender, Sex(uality), and Violence”

Panelists
Nadine Finigan-Carr (University of Maryland, Baltimore)
Susan Marine and Charly Robles (Merrimack College and The Network/La Red)
Tameka L. Gillum (Russell Sage College)
Sa'ed Atshan (Swarthmore College)

VI. 

2:45pm - 3:45pm

Keynote/ Q&A

VII.

3:45pm - 4:00pm

Closing Remarks


November 2nd

I.     

9:00am - 10:00am

Registration & Continental Breakfast

II. 

10:00am - 10:15am

Opening Remarks                                                           

III.

10:15am - 11:45am

Panel III: “Black Women Lead”

Panelists
Notisha M. Massaquoi – (Women’s Health in Women’s Hands CHC/Ryerson University)
Clementina Chery (Louis D. Brown Peace Institute)
Monica Cannon-Grant (Violence in Boston)

IV.

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Lunch

V.

1:00pm - 2:30pm

Panel IV: “Poetic Justice & Embodied Healing”

Panelists
Sadada Jackson (freelance consultant)
Ernesto "Eroc" Arroyo-Montano (Foundation Movement/United For a Fair Economy)
Simone John (Trinity Boston Connects/Hive Soul Yoga)
Cole L. Rodriguez (Moses Youth Center)

VI.

2:45pm - 3:45pm

Keynote/ Q&A

VII.

3:45pm - 4:00pm

Closing Remarks