Mission and Goals of the Research Initiative

As a comprehensive higher education institution that has a social justice focus, it is an imperative the Trinity Washington University ensure that its professional preparation programs and candidates in these programs are trauma informed and responsive. Therefore, the goals for the Research Initiative on ACEs and Trauma are to:

  1. Review and revise the curriculum in selected programs to ensure that the pedagogy is trauma informed and trauma responsive, and at the same time that the faculty are current in their understanding of the research on ACEs, trauma to ensure transformation of the curriculum offerings. Students graduating from these programs will have demonstrated that they are trauma informed and have been exposed to the best practices in order to be trauma responsive.
  2. Identify the best practices and share the research and the findings with the communities served in the District of Columbia and the metropolitan area.
  3. Focus on prevention of ACEs and trauma understanding the reality that due to systemic issues collective and intergenerational trauma exists.
  4. Develop community partnerships and work collaboratively to address the systemic issues of racism and inequity.
  5. Develop in collaboration with community partners culturally appropriate interventions, and healing techniques for communities and individuals impacted by trauma. Interventions and strategies would be designed based on the principles of healing, resilience, and restorative justice.

The goals of the Research Initiative on ACEs and Trauma will be achieved when the team and its community partners can respond to the question posed by Alice Walker, an author and social activists asked, “Why is that child crying?”.  And respond to the questions posed by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Surgeon General for the State of California, “What happened to the child? Instead of asking, “Why did the child behave that way?” Those professionals who should serve as “buffers” will be able to respond from a trauma informed and responsive perspective and ask, “How do we give support to parents/guardians and care givers?” (Burke Harris, 2018).