Judah Viola, Ph.D., dean of National Louis University’s College of Professional Studies and Advancement, was published in the Chicago Tribune newspaper March 22 writing about how Chicago neighborhoods can heal from poverty and violence.
Viola’s essay, “A fresh approach to helping traumatized Chicago residents heal,” explained that faculty members Suzette Fromm Reed, Ph.D., Judith Kent, Ph.D. and others from the Community Psychology Ph.D. program are using the concept of community resilience to help residents of neighborhoods struggling with poverty and violence. Viola formerly headed the Community Psychology Ph.D. program before becoming a dean.
Most Americans have 1 or more ACEs
The community resilience approach acknowledges that the majority of Americans have suffered at least one Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE), and residents of neighborhoods struggling with poverty and violence tend to have higher numbers of ACEs.
ACEs are traumatic events people experienced in childhood such as extreme poverty or physical, sexual, emotional or domestic abuse, having divorced or incarcerated parents or others.
Work directly helps neighborhood
Fromm Reed, Kent and others are working with the Resilient Belmont Cragin Community Collaborative to help heal residents of that neighborhood in real-life, on-the-ground ways.
“Suzette Fromm Reed, Judith Kent and other faculty members from the community psychology doctoral program at National Louis University work with Belmont Cragin leaders to help residents cope with ACEs,” Viola wrote. “They also work on the overall quality of trauma-informed services and supports. The Resilient Belmont Cragin group has facilitated trauma-informed programming at Steinmetz College Prep, using mentoring, tutoring and counseling to help at-risk youth stay on track; behavioral health counseling for students; and ACEs training for 25th District police to de-escalate conflict and avoid further traumatization.”