Trauma and Trust: Peacebuilding in Ruptured Social Systems

From Baltimore to Baghdad, peacebuilders and trauma professionals engage in complementary but often unintegrated work which falls short of optimal change. Practitioners knowingly or unknowingly impact multiple systems.  Might a sustainable systemic approach minimize unintended consequences of interventions and in some way facilitate success? October 13-15, 2016, SalusWorld and The University of Denver will host a conference to consider how a systems approach to Trauma & Peacebuilding could inform the international and domestic work of practitioners from multiple fields.

Peacebuilding in contexts of group trauma invites consideration of the following central conference themes: neurobiology of trauma and relationships, social cohesion and attachment, and empathy and social perspective taking. A particular focus will be on how the systems approach allows us to cross levels and boundaries from the individual to society, taking into account the multiple stories at play in the spaces inhabited by both trauma and peacebuilding practitioners.


Keynote speakers will include: Judith Herman, Monnica Williams, David Anderson Hooker, Bob Williams, and Teresa Betancourt.

Additional themes will include:   Crossing Levels and Boundaries | Challenges to Systemic Approaches | Past Successes and Failures | International and Domestic Contexts | The Social Construction of Peace and Trauma Narratives | Police-Community Relations | Individual and Societal Functioning Post-Trauma | Revisiting Assumptions about Informed Field Practice