Stopping Gun Violence- Reimagining a Restorative Justice System

June 7, 2021
Hosted by Elaine Miller-Karas, LCSW

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Guest Information

Episode Description

During a two-year period in Santa Maria, California -a city of 103,000- there were 23 murders within 17 months. This epidemic had many contributing factors, including gun violence. As the community reeled and came together, one factor that arose was the need for accessible mental health services. Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley (FBSMV) was asked during this time to develop a violence reduction program in the schools. The mission created by FBSMV was to partner with all members of the community to achieve resilience against substance use, reductions in violence, and promote a healthy and safe environment for youth and families. They were tasked with conducting conflict resolution using a restorative approach. Edwin Weaver, the Executive Director of FBSMV, will discuss how students who have conflict go through the restorative mediation with a Fighting Back Program Specialist. This approach has reduced school suspension and reduced recidivism to zero. The students who go through this process do not get into fights with each other and can instead focus on learning. But what the staff realized quickly is that you cannot participate in the restorative process if you have not felt a sense of safety. Edwin Weaver trained as a Community Resiliency Model Teacher and began workshops throughout Santa Barbara County. Edwin will further elaborate upon how community wellness can be expanded by integrating programs like the Community Resiliency Model.

Resiliency Within

Monday at 1 PM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

Elaine Miller-Karas will amplify the message of hope, healing and resiliency she has learned from our world community as she has traversed the globe after human made and natural disasters. Hope often springs forth in response to suffering and trauma. Our beliefs and our wellbeing are being challenged during these unprecedented times.

The program Resiliency Within is about cultivating individual and community resiliency. Resiliency is the capacity to lean into our strengths with compassion during the most challenging of times and to remember "what else is true?" about our lived experience.

Her guests are inspiring global leaders actively promoting healing and resiliency from a variety of backgrounds. The goal is to spread wellbeing and give individual and community examples to inspire how wellness skills, including ones based upon neuroscience and the biology of the human nervous system, can be integrated into one's life, family and community during challenging times.

Elaine Miller-Karas, LCSW

Elaine Miller-Karas, LCSW, has been called an "ambassador of hope" and a "resilience guru." She is an author, advocate, a social worker, a trauma therapist, a co-founder of an international organization, the Trauma Resource Institute and key developer of the Community and Trauma Resiliency Models.

She is the author of “Building Resiliency to Trauma, the Trauma and Community Resiliency Models(r)” (2015). She is committed to bringing accessible and affordable interventions based on neuroscience and the biology of the human nervous system to our world's community. Her models have been introduced to over 102 countries.

Elaine is a recognized international speaker and has presented at the Skoll World Forum at Oxford University and the United Nations. Her book was selected by the United Nations curated on-line library as one of the innovations that can help meet its Sustainable Development Goals.

Elaine feels passionately about the impact of climate change on our world community. She is a founding member of the International Transformational Resilience Coalition, an organization focused on the impact of climate change on mental health. She is dedicated to the world's children and she has worked with collaborators to develop interventions for children, parents and teachers to help reduce the impact of trauma. Consequently, she is a Senior Consultant to Emory University’s SEE Learning program, inspired and launched by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2019.

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