***July 6, 2017 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

IIRP Symposium to Explore Concrete Techniques and Alternative Approaches for Transforming Trauma

Led by Dr. Frida Rundell, IIRP associate professor and educational psychologist with over 30 years of experience working with at-risk youth and families, the symposium will provide a blend of theory, academic research and practical knowledge for developing healthy habits, pathways to healing and self-care.


A Restorative Journey: Transforming Relational Harm
International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School
July 17-19, 2017
Hotel Bethlehem, 437 Main St., Bethlehem

Presenters include leading psychologists, psychiatrists and others, including Dr. Kaethe Weingarten, author of Common Shock; and psychiatrist Dr. Lyndra J. Bills, former Medical Director of the Sanctuary Program at Philadelphia Friends Hospital.

In addition, several IIRP alumna are presenting their work.

Licensed social worker Lynette Reed, IIRP '09 offers: Animal Assisted Strategies in Creating Safety. "There is an unconditional regard in animals," explains Reed, who works with horses and dogs to help clients suffering from post-traumatic stress and complex trauma. In the presence of these animals, says, Reed, clients begin to feel safe and open up in new and surprising ways.

Kameelah Rashad, Interfaith Fellow for Spirituality, Wellness and Social Justice at the University of Pennsylvania and founder and president of the Muslim Wellness Foundation, offers: Leading with Compassion: Healing the Wounds of Racial Trauma and Religious Bigotry. "Given the disturbing xenophobic rhetoric and alarming uptick in hate crimes against marginalized communities, these critical conversations about tolerance, reconciliation and justice are desperately needed — now more than ever," says Rashad.

Ellissa Collier, Restorative Justice Youth Program Manager of Mural Arts Philadelphia, offers: Working Creatively through Art. "I work with children in crisis," says Collier. "We use art as a catalyst to help them understand the hardships they have experienced. When they witness the lasting positive impact that making a mural can have on a community, they’re so proud of themselves."

The symposium explores concrete techniques and alternative approaches for transforming trauma, healing harm and creating hope for children, families and communities.

Joe Roy 400x400

"We can't expel ourselves to safer schools. We need to build positive relationships to get ourselves there."

Joe Roy, Ed.D., Superintendent, Bethlehem Area School District