Transforming the Trajectory of Trauma through the Restoration of Personal Identity and Resilience of African – American Girls

21 Mar 2019
10:30 am

Transforming the Trajectory of Trauma through the Restoration of Personal Identity and Resilience of African – American Girls

“Contrary to the popular adage, time does not heal all wounds. Unhealed trauma is passed from generation to generation in families, communities, and nations. It is acted in through depression, anxiety, and the effects of substance, domestic, or child abuse, and it affects family, community, and societal systems.” (Yoder 2005).

In my work as a Social Work Practitioner and Professor, I have observed that the statistics concerning the population of African – American girls are consistently reporting high rates of suicide, violence, promiscuity, and substance abuse. I call this the “trajectory of trauma,” as I am in agreement with Yoder that even though the “event” or institution is in the past, the effects are cumulative and are seen in individual and group attitudes and behaviors in succeeding generations.” (Yoder, 2005).

In my scholarship and practice with African – American Girls, I have found that the concepts of dignity, strength based perspective and self – determination as well as the opportunity for decision – making and agency can move this population towards the goal of restoring personal identity and resilience.

Utilizing Restorative Justice Practices has been evaluated to be an optimal tool in enabling African – American girls to “tell their stories” and to learn how to process trauma in a natural and healthy manner that actually transforms the trajectory of their trauma and increases their capacity to build and create healthy, thriving and flourishing families and communities.

Learning Objectives

  • Analyze how Legacy Trauma is relevant to the overall well – being of African – American Girls

  • Engage in Restorative Justice Practices as a treatment model for transforming trauma in African – American Girls

  • Explore how developing personal identity correlates to the capacity for building the protective factors Resiliency and Self – Empowerment with African – American girls.