For Johnny Brown, Fatherhood Session Coordinator at CHRIS 180’s Cure Violence Atlanta program, helping fathers is a calling. “All of us are on this journey of being fathers,” Johnny shared. “We work with participants to learn the life skills to be able to work, stay out of trouble and start talking about what it takes to be a good parent. When we help them show up in their child’s life, we are breaking the cycle of generational violence.” Every Monday from 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. at the Cure Violence Atlanta office,...

Valancia Abdullah considers it her calling to care for youth who some may think of as “challenged.” After working with special needs students at Atlanta Public Schools, in 2000, she joined CHRIS 180’s foster care program. She serves as a Resident Assistant. The kids affectionately refer to her as Ms. Val. “The RA to me is just like being a mom in care: we have to make sure their needs are met,” Abdullah shared. “They look up to us. They’re learning from us. Kids who are grown now have come back...

We stand with our Asian American colleagues, partners, clients and all affected in the wake of the horrific mass shootings in Atlanta and Acworth. This act of terrorism has produced additional anxiety and unease in the AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) community, which has been targeted by acts of racism and xenophobia since the beginning of the pandemic. As a trauma-informed organization, we know that words matter, and we all must call out bigotry, hate and white supremacy. CHRIS 180 is committed to being a safe space for those who are dealing with...

“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it, is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.” Rachel Naomi Remen Screeching tires. Smell of burnt rubber. Windows breaking and metal crunching. These are sensory triggers that may remind us of traumatic events known as direct trauma experiences.  We also can experience vicarious trauma – stress-related symptoms caused by indirect exposure to traumatic material. Vicarious trauma could be stories or experiences that our friends and families...

My African American mother, aunts and uncle lived through the Jim Crow laws and experienced racial violence throughout much of their childhood.  My Congolese father and aunts experienced the trauma of war in DRC. The recent killings have touched trauma wounds in some members of my family. I imagine that many survivors of intergenerational trauma are recalling warnings from their elders who communicated that this world is unsafe for Black people --that Black people do not really fit in American society.  The painful and harsh reality lingers as a backdrop for...

“We’re hardwired for connection.”  This is one of my favorite quotes from a shero in our field, Brené Brown. Through her work on shame and vulnerability, we are able to get a closer look at aspects of the human condition that are often overlooked. Her quote reminds me that an authentic connection with others is comforting and reaffirming. It invites a sense of security into our world…security about who we are and where we fit. Connection with others solidifies our sense of identity and belonging. We want to belong to something...