August 8, 2019

From Mandy Davis, LCSW, PhD, Director, Trauma Informed Oregon

For this newsletter, I am sharing information in two blogs. Because there is a lot going on, I want to update you on TIO’s happenings separately from my thoughts and musings about legislation and policy, the theme for this newsletter.

I wanted to begin with an activity I find helpful at times—bringing awareness to the senses of a season. My summer senses are usually related to food (my favorite is the beautiful mess of biting into a ripe peach). However, it has been a violent weekend and this is what is on my mind and felt through my senses. We cannot work toward restoration if we do not acknowledge/see trauma and the injury of hate and othering. May we use this movement of trauma informed work to find the support to heal. There are times when I am without words (a surprise for some of you I know) so because Toni Morrison is in my heart today I will lean on her wisdom:

“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.’” ― Toni Morrison (O, The Oprah Magazine, 2003)

I do find hope in the work and connections happening around Oregon to support communities and organizations who are taking on this messy but important work.

Here are some resources:

What’s Going on at TIO:

  • Two forums were held in Clackamas and La Grande. Some great work happened around what it means for a leader to embody trauma informed care. Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion related work includes staff attending People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond “Undoing Racism” workshop, staff watching and discussing When They See Us, peer support groups, identify specific discussion groups, and more.
  • OTAC has been working on selfie videos about what trauma informed care means to them. We’d love to have your selfie too! Click here for details.

Where We’ve Been

Still, the favorite part of my work is to be invited to hear and learn what is working and what you might need. Since the last newsletter we have been to Ashland, Roseburg, Portland, Salem, Clackamas, Vernonia, and La Grande. There have also been conversations about trauma informed work with Tennessee, Colorado, Utah, and Northern Ireland.