Addressing the Impact and

Trauma of Migration


AITM: Addressing Impact of Trauma & Migration

Stressors and traumagenic events abound in the migration experience. This facilitated seminar series, through educational materials, participatory exercises and follow-up mentoring aims to help participants mitigate harms, heal wounds and transform systems.  A trauma and resilience-informed society will be better equipped to ensure the well-being of human mobile populations, service providers and the receiving community.


During a seminar, participants will:

  • Examine the stressors and traumagenic events of mobile populations and service providers.
  • Gain awareness of the impact of stress and trauma on the body/brain, beliefs (meaning making), and behavior.
  • Understand how unaddressed trauma of migration contributes to cycles of harm in the family and the receiving communities,
  • Learn strategies and practical tools for addressing trauma, breaking cycles of harm and building resilience-individual and collective, mentoring sessions will follow.


The core content of this seminar is based on the STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) concepts and framework developed at Eastern Mennonite University (www.emu.edu/star).

Session 1. Stress and Traumagenic Events of Mobile Populations and Service Providers

Session 2.  Impact of Stress/Trauma on the Body/Brain (nervous system), Beliefs (meaning making) and Behaviors (individual and societal)

Session 3.  Addressing Migration Trauma - Interrupting Cycles of Harm

Session 4.  Transforming Conflict and Restoring Relationships

Session 5.  Strengthening Resilience and Self-Care

Session 6. TBA


The 6 sessions will engage participants in looking at concepts and practice relevant to their own situation and services. This seminar series will be provided by Zoom.


Meet your Lead Facilitator: Elaine Zook Barge

Elaine (Elena) Zook Barge is a trauma and resilience educator and consultant for individuals and organizations dealing with stress and adversity.  She has facilitated many, many Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience seminars (STAR)  for professionals, organizational leaders and students, in the US and in countries around the world, working with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University and now with HDPI.

She previously worked in community development and peacebuilding in Central America in the 1980's and 1990's.


Meet your Co-Facilitator:
Saulo Padilla

Saulo Padilla is Coordinator of Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) U.S. Immigration Education National Program since 2008. He develops and provides learning opportunities about the need for better and safer mechanisms for people facing migration, and advocating to reform the immigration system. For MCC he coordinates immigration law trainings for non-profits offering immigration legal services to immigrant communities and leads learning tours to the U.S./Mexico and Guatemala/Mexico borders.  Saulo has completed STAR I and II trainings on trauma and resilience. His passion to work with immigrants comes from his own experience as the son of a refugee and an immigrant himself, and the biblical commandment to love and embrace the stranger. He is a Canadian citizen, born in Guatemala from where he migrated to Canada, then to the US.

AITM Seminar Registration