Beyond Trauma Informed


Last week I had the privilege of  observing two skilled trainers, Elaine Zook-Barge and Ram Bhagat, who created a transformative experience for 24 participants from many countries. During the week I got to witness a beautiful version of the Dance of Co-Facilitation.

Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR), is a week-long experience that encourages people to go beyond the medical model of trauma informed care, to acknowledging the importance of body, mind and spirit. The STAR model has been used internationally to work with people who have experienced war, abuse, natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other personal and societal traumatic events. Utilizing trauma and resilience theory, participant’s experiences, activities, and circle processes, the STAR curriculum offers ways for participants to move forward in their lives drawing strength and learning from trauma, instead of becoming debilitated by it.

Soon the Center for Conflict Resoluton (CCR) in Kansas City, will have certified STAR trainers and can offer the experience to participants in the Midwest. STAR is a timely and powerful process that brings skills for understanding and healing to all of us who have experienced unresolved conflict and trauma.

Visit the website to learn more about CCR’s services and programs in Kansas City, or to donate to our ongoing efforts for Conflict Resolution, Violence Prevention and Restorative Justice.

Welcome to the Peace Party!



CCR and Head Start Stars!

YMCA Head Start Teachers and StaffPresident’s Day 2017 –  Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) facilitators Mikhala Lantz-Simmons, Greg Winship, Jackie Buycks, Garry Buycks and myself worked with 185 YMCA Head Start teachers and administrative staff members in a six-hour professional development workshop. When CCR took the floor we led a dignity exercise based on Dr. Donna Hicks’ book ‘Dignity: It’s Essential Role in Conflict Resoltuion’. We explored the question, “How can we speak and act in ways that uphold our own and other people’s dignity in the midst of conflict?”

The second half of the morning we offered a personal conflict style profile to assist participants in seeing themselves and others in conflict more clearly. The afternoon was dedicated to a CCR activity called CHALLENGE CONFLICT. What appeared to be a room full of chaos was actually an intense lesson in effective conflict communication.

We ended the day with a circle process in which the participants shared a concept from the workshop that impacted them. Energy and committment to teaching and caring for young children was evident throughout the day. Welcome to the Peace Party!

You can join! Contact CCR to schedule a conflict resolution workshop for your organization.  816-461-8255


Distinct Group – Deep Change


Mediation training participants'Map' a conflict

Mediation training participants’Map’ a conflict

The Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) holds Interpersonal Conflict Resolution and Core Mediation training three times a year at our office on 63rd Street in Kansas City, Missouri. For the past two years we have folded police officers from the Kansas City No Violence Alliance (NoVA), a division of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, into our community training. In late July the training took on a new dimension. Along side the two officers attending the training, three former 29th Street Crips also attended. Although we did our best to communicate the make-up of the group ahead of time, two of the former Crips were surprised to find out they were going to spend the week with police officers.

Initial mistrust slowly gave way to acceptance, interest and friendship. By the second day, unusual bonds were forming as they listened to each other’s experiences and similar struggles with conflict. A component of the mediation training involves ‘mapping’ a personal conflict. The photo above shows a group working together to draw a visual representation of a two year old conflict between a mother and son. The exercise helped the group realize all of those who were effected by the ongoing rift, from youngest cousin to grandma.

As facilitators we could not have imagined the strong relationships that developed. There was so much wisdom and empathy in the discussions as disparate groups found common ground. Welcome to the Peace Party!

You can join! Contact CCR for training, 816-461-8255. Find the ‘Follow’ tab below. Support CCR through a monthly donation or one time gift.

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