Trauma - Resilience - Migration Team

Addressing the Impact and Trauma of Migration Seminar (AITM)

Stressors and traumagenic events abound in the migration experience. The Migration Trauma and Resilience Team collaborates with institutions, receiving communities and mobile populations with the objective of mitigating harms, healing wounds, strengthening resilience and promoting healthy integration through facilitated workshops, educational materials and follow-up mentoring. Trauma and resilience-informed individuals and communities will be better equipped to ensure the overall wellbeing of human mobile populations, service providers and the receiving community.

During a seminar, participants will be provided with an integrated bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework for understanding trauma and resilience which includes:

  • Examining the stressors and traumagenic events of mobile populations and service providers.
  • Gaining awareness of the impact of stress and trauma on the body/brain (nervous system), beliefs (meaning making) and behavior of individuals and communities.
  • Understanding how unaddressed trauma of migration contributes to cycles of harm in the family and the receiving community and the multigenerational impact of these cycles.
  • Learning strategies and practical tools for addressing trauma, breaking cycles of harm and building resilience – individual and collective.
  • Being trauma and resilience-informed with tools to use personally and professionally.
  • Having access to follow-up mentoring when needed.

The core content of this seminar is based on the STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) concepts and framework from Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA.


  • focused on concerns relating to migration, resettlement and integration in the
    new community.
  • brings together learnings from neurobiology, trauma, restorative justice and conflict transformation - core concepts of STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience), a community-based trauma awareness program used worldwide since 2001.
  • uses participatory pedagogy, tailored to participant realities, concerns and experiences can be helpful at every level – immigrant/refugee community, service providers, receiving community, and policymakers.
  • team facilitators are backed by a roster of other trained facilitators.

Languages spoken by team:

  • English and Spanish

Essential for the work of:

  • resettlement agencies
  • social services providers
  • community-based support groups - migrant-to-migrant, faith groups
  • immigration legal aid providers
  • educational institutions working with immigrant/refugee populations
  • migration advocacy groups

Core Team Members

Elaine Zook Barge

Specializes in trauma and resilience

Read More »

Vern Jantzi

Specializes in restorative justice and trauma healing and resilience

Read More »

Saulo Padilla

Specializes in trauma and resilience

Read More »

Everett Ressler

HDPi Executive Director, specializes in preparedness, risk reduction and child protection

Read More »

Alejandra Delascasas

Read More »

Sharon Shumaker

Read More »