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More than Meets the Eye: Recognizing Runaway Homeless Youth Prevention Month

  • New York Law School 185 West Broadway New York, NY, 10013 United States (map)

I will be providing the keynote and a workshop on racial trauma for this half-day conference on runaway and homeless youth sponsored by the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development. All are welcome to attend!

Register here.

Conference Info below.

In recognition of National Runaway and Homeless Prevention Month, the Department of Youth and Community Development is hosting a conference on the morning of November 17th from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm at the New York Law School.  

The national theme for Runaway and Homeless Youth Prevention Month this year is More Than Meets the Eye. This theme, the workshops and the keynote address are designed to help us recognize that runaway and homeless youth (RHY) may look like the youth you meet in your day to day activities at Starbucks or the Apple store, in school, at your place of worship and anywhere you may run into young people. RHY do not have a particular look or characteristic that lets you know they are vulnerable and need help from caring adults.

The goal of the conference is to raise awareness of issues that vulnerable young people face, as well as to provide information, share research and findings about solutions and the role we can play to support this population toward the goal of ending youth homelessness . 


8:30 Registration and Light Breakfast

9:30 Introduction

Deborah Harper, Assistant Commissioner, Special Needs and Vulnerable Youth Department of Youth and Community Development

Welcoming Remarks

Anthony W. Crowell, Dean and President, New York Law School

Bill Chong, Commissioner, Department of Youth and Community Development

Keynote Address

Dr. Jacob Ham, Director of the Center for Child Trauma and Resilience, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai and Assistant Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai

9:55 Presentation

The Ali Forney Theatrical Troupe in A Way Out

Presented by Theatre of the Oppressed NYC in partnership with Ali Forney Center

Facilitated by Sophie Nimmannit and Ashley Rogers

10:40 Workshops

Opening Up Conversations with Youth About Racial Trauma

The purpose of this workshop is to help staff heal from and feel more comfortable talking about race and oppression and their intersection with trauma. We will work as a group to practice safely discussing racial trauma and consider how we might apply this experience to conversations with youth. Participants will understand core concepts in racial trauma such as stereotypes, racism, oppression, micro-aggression, internalization, power and privilege, explore the legacy of racial trauma in their own lives, and learn to listen for strength and “untapped heroes” to combat internalized oppression and devaluation.

Facilitated by Jacob J. Ham, PhD, Director, Center for Child Trauma and Resilience, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Creating Trauma-Informed Care within Homeless and Runaway Youth Programs: Transforming Knowledge into Practice

Participants of this workshop will learn about Good Shepherd Services journey to promote wellness and healing through transforming trauma knowledge into trauma-informed practice and the impact this has made with youth and staff alike.  The workshop will help participants understand how adversity, stress and trauma impacts homeless and runaway youth and how to build in trauma-informed approaches to our work.  Facilitators will provide an overview of the Sanctuary Model of Trauma-Informed Care and demonstrate how this model has been used in Good Shepherd, a multi-service agency working with homeless and runaway youth.  We will also share the successes and challenges of integrating trauma-informed practice within an agency’s culture, approach and overall mission.

Facilitated by Mayra Lopez, Director of Trauma-Informed Programming, Good Shepherd Services, NYC and Lina E. Pasquale, Division Director, Good Shepherd Services, NYC

Beyond The Surface : Taking A Deeper Look @ Working With LGBTQ Youth

How many times have you addressed the same issue with different young people? Or strategized to resolve the exact same problem on a different day? Or better yet, prepared a young person for a job interview the exact same way you prepared a youth the day before? Trust me – I know you are repeating yourself but that’s because: THEY are all the same youth. However with some youth, there will always be “More Than Meets The Eye” - especially with youth that identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer (LGBTQ). This population comes with a unique set of challenges, creativity and cognitive attributes. In this hour long workshop, presenters will tap into the strengths that professionals already have and identify tools that will allow professionals to effectively engage, encourage and interact with the teens and young adults they’re encountering. Participants will be able to explore what practices work for this population, hear directly from youth about what strategies work best for them, build on their personal and professional strengths as well as receive new techniques and tips to reinforce their work, and of course, HAVE FUN!!!

Facilitated by Tanesha Ingram, Youth & Community Coordinator, Juvenile Justice Project, and Tanisha Morrison, Community Fellow, Juvenile Justice Project, The Correctional Association Of New York

The Healing Journey for Runaway & Homeless Youth

Most homeless youth experience some form of sexual, physical and/or psychological trauma prior to reaching a drop in center or shelter.  But many of us wonder, can homeless youth completely heal from deep or sustained trauma?  In this session, we will explore powerful tools for transforming the minds and hearts of Runaway and Homeless youth inspired by the model employed by the Reciprocity Foundation.

In the past 11 years, the Reciprocity Foundation has pioneered the use of holistic tools such as meditation, yoga, bodywork, spiritual retreat and other powerful tools to help youth heal.

This session will include screening a short video, a brief mindfulness meditation and a Q&A session to explore the toughest challenges we face when working with homeless youth.

Facilitated by Taz Tagore/Co-Founder, The Reciprocity Foundation, Transforming Youth from Within

12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Lunch and Networking