The Truth n' Trauma project (TNT) aims to prevent and reduce violence in neighborhoods
and communities contiguous to Chicago State University through supporting young people
in addressing the impact of trauma on young people and families in their neighborhoods
and communities, and developing strategies for trauma and violence prevention and
reduction. Three social work faculty, along with faculty from Counseling Psychology
and The Department of Communications, Media, Theatre, and Arts (CMAT) were involved
in partnering with local agencies to develop this effort. Forty-three youth were selected
to work with Chicago State University, and received training on the root causes of
violence and community trauma, participatory action research methods, advocacy and
leadership skills, and media and arts training. TNT staff believe that youth, in partnership
with adult allies, can be active agents in creating and implementing innovative strategies
to address the issue of trauma in our community, developing innovative ways to introduce
the community and other youth to radical healing . Our mission is to reduce community
violence and help heal the exposure to violence through education that liberates and
restores the community. TNT encourages youth led, restorative practices with violence
For more information related to TNT, contact 773-995-2016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A special "thank you" goes out to those that attended our inaugural "Healing Trauma
and Restoring Community" conference. Many people were responsible for the success
of the gathering, and we look forward to opportunities to partner for the well-being
of our youth and communities in the future.
Please look for other events in the future hosted by Chicago State University's Institute
for Youth and Community Engagement.
in service and solidarity,
The Healing Trauma and Restoring Community Conference Planning Team
|Knowledge and practice perspectives
||Application to the Truth N' Trauma initiative
||Engaged youth will receive education and training in a “train-the-trainers” model
on the impact of community violence and trauma. Youth will be trained on an age-appropriate
model to include psychological first-aid and other evidence-based models, to educate
their peers and others concerning trauma, resources to address trauma and prevent
violence, and peace-keeping circles.
|Leadership Skill Development
||Youth will attend interactive sessions that focus on personal and collective accountability,
emotional development and positive relationship building in and outside of the community.
Utilizing a variation of CSU’s evidence based 8th Round life-skills curriculum, which
has been, designed to encourage youth to create a culture of respect and responsibility
for themselves, others and their community, youth develop their leadership and presentation
||Youth will be trained concerning restorative practice theory and methods, including
how to conduct and facilitate circle-keeping, small group conferencing, and planning.
|Community-based research training
||Youth will participate in systematically observing, documenting, interpreting, and
presenting information related to preventing violence and well-being within their
community, including utilizing participatory research methods, photography, and documentary
filmmaking. Youth will present all findings in public community forums and will use
their presentations as a means of engaging the community in the program and is positive
|Media and arts training
||Select youth will engage in creating several projects designed to engage young people
(and adults) in the overall conversation concerning violence and trauma. Youth will
develop a theater production designed to teach the impact of trauma and the importance
of preventing violence. Some youth will be involved in a citywide “public service
announcement” contest to elicit the best PSA concerning violence and trauma. Other
youth will be engaged in co-creating a website that will include podcasts, PSA’s,
and a video “uploading” project hosting 3-minute “trauma and resiliency” videos.