November 29, 2019

From Shirley Rubio Blake, Parent Engagement Coordinator, Early Learning Hub of Linn, Benton & Lincoln Counties 

I grew up in a small rural town in Oregon in a culturally strong Mexican family. We experienced many barriers in regards to education and access to resources. I still admire my parents for their resiliency to the adversity in their life. My parents worked extremely hard to provide for our family. For the love of my family and for the stories shared by others in my community, I was thirsting for more knowledge about ways to better serve my community. The first Trauma Informed Care (TIC) training that I attended quenched my thirst for understanding the impacts of trauma. It also brought so much awareness around how damaging and exclusive our systems can be. I wanted to know more and share this information to help organizations and communities be more compassionate and supportive of all humans. The organization I worked for at the time became a Trauma-Informed organization. This past spring, at Portland State University, I was a bilingual participant in a Train the Trainer cohort. After the training, I felt a bit stuck as to how to present in a culturally appropriate way to Spanish speakers.

Luckily, opportunities came and I was able to complete my first presentation at a dual immersion school. Then came the Trauma Informed Care Conference in Sunriver, OR where I gained inspiration and hope. I really appreciated all the thoughtfulness that went into the planning of the conference. The conference started with a warm welcome from Anita Davis, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. I had many wonderful opportunities to meet other professionals who share my passion about TIC. In addition, I reconnected with folks that were part of the bilingual train the trainer cohort. There was a wellness room, offering attendees a place to take a break, if needed. Some sessions and topics were deep and intense so the wellness room offered a sanctuary. I attended many great sessions provided by wonderful speakers. A few of the conference highlights were the panel on Culture as Healing, the Legislative panel, the integration of medical professionals, and the honoring of stories and art!

I no longer feel stuck about how to proceed in my work around TIC. I was so inspired by all that is happening around the state and I now have a clearer vision. I plan to conduct more Trauma Informed Care presentations in my region—Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties. I am excited to align TIC with systems of care to ensure all people receive services in a way that meets their needs. I have so much hope in our future knowing that our systems are continuing to improve. This is due to each person’s valuable work around TIC. Thank you everyone involved in the Trauma Informed Care in Oregon Conference. Personally, organizationally, regionally, and statewide TIC is having a positive impact.

I wish you a joyful holiday season!