Back to All Events

Opening Up: Compassionate Communication with Youth about Racial Trauma

  • 52 Broadway New York, NY, 10004 United States (map)

I'm proud to announce that the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development has asked me to develop and deliver a new training on racial trauma for their staff who work with middle school youth. What courage to talk about racial trauma! But, it needs to be done, especially in light of the on-going tension between police and communities of color. This is the overview of the training. 


Imagine having a conversation with an adolescent about race and oppression in society.  Are you ready? Even if you are not, moments for these conversations come up more often than we might expect and are likely on our youths’ minds more than they let on. These are hard conversations to have and made harder by the fact that many of us bear the legacy of trauma and oppression in our own lives.  If we avoid these conversations, then youth will get information from other sources we cannot control and the legacy of racism and oppression will continue reverberating throughout our society.

The purpose of this training is to help staff feel more comfortable talking about race and oppression and the intersection with trauma. But, the agenda is not to help staff know what to say, but how to listen. The ultimate purpose of conversing with a youth is first and foremost to listen and learn about the youth’s experience of the world. From there, moments when youth are ready to listen to the wisdom of your own experience may arise, but this is nowhere near as important as creating the conversational space to learn about a youth. For this space is the true soil through which middle school age youth are nurtured into the developmental stages of learning about themselves and the world. 

There is a pre-requisite, you have to have taken Engaging Traumatized Youth and you have to work for DYCD. 

Here is the registration link