Colorado Schools Superintentedent Keynotes at Symposium on Promoting Resiliency in Communities Impacted by Trauma
Voices of September 11th and the Rutgers Univesity School of Social Work hosted a symposium entitled, "Promoting Resiliency in Communities Impacted by Trauma: Identification and Treatment of Long Term Needs" on Friday, January 17, 2014.
The keynote speaker was John L. Barry, the superintendent of the Aurora Public Schools in Colorado at the time of the tragic shooting at the movie theatre in 2012. He was largely responsible for issuing the schools' response to the incident, mobilizing counseling and support services for the victims' families, survivors and the Aurora community. An estimated 150 of his current and former students, teachers, and their family members were present during the showing of "The Dark Knight Rises." A retired three-star Air Force General, Barry was working in the Pentagon on September 11th during the terrorist attack. At the time of the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster in 2003, Barry was a senior military officer for NASA. He was later appointed by President Bush as Executive Director of the board to determine the reasons for the Space Shuttle disaster.
Voices of September 11th Founding Director, Mary Fetchet noted, "Our work since 9/11, has given us great insight into the long-term needs of victims' families and survivors. The Symposium will educate service providers about lessons learned in the response to mass violence and the delivery of effective support services and treatment. It will also provide research based information and suggested methods of practice to assist clinicians, responders, social services agencies, educators and communities in responding over the long term. Professionals with firsthand knowledge of mass violence will discuss complicated grief and trauma response, and 9/11 families and survivors will share their personal stories."
The conference marked the launch of the VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience, an initiative that shares lessons learned to promote healing in the lives of those impacted by mass violence and other tragedies. The Center is a collaboration with public/private partnerships that includes research, education and training to guide communities in preparing for, responding to and recovering from traumatic events.
Also speaking at the symposium were: Nancy Turret, LCSW, Clinician and Researcher at New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University Medical Center; Clifton Lacy, MD, Director of The University Center for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response; Iris G. Udasin, MD, Director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Science Institute Clinical Center; Paul Park, PsyD, Clinician at the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program; Jeanmarie Hargrave, 9/11 family member and Victor Guarnera, 9/11 responder & survivor, Mary Fetchet, LCSW, 9/11 family member and Founding Director of Voices of September 11th; and Jennifer Bauwens, PhD, Research Consultant, Voices of September 11th.