STAR stands for Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience. The STAR NYC program* provides training in the physiological, psychosocial, and spiritual effects of trauma and the implications for individuals,
communities, and societies. Its vision is a healthy society that works for everyone, where trauma is transformed and peace and justice prevail.

Transforming Trauma, Building Peace, Where People Work, Learn, and Pray

STAR NYC’s unique approach to trauma healing and community resilience:

  • Connects personal transformation (body, mind, heart, and spirit) with well-being of communities.
  • Demonstrates how trauma can awaken the human spirit and the global family to higher consciousness
  • Addresses root causes of trauma and its impact on social, economic, and political structures.
  • Draws from field practices of trauma healing, restorative justice, human security, strategic peacebuilding, and holistic spirituality.

STAR draws on and extends practices related to trauma, justice, peacebuilding, spirituality and security.

  • Trauma often focuses primarily on the mental health of individuals. STAR relates body and spirit to trauma healing and addresses its significance for groups and larger communities.
  • Justice usually entails legal systems. STAR presents principles of restorative justice that engage individuals and communities in redressing harms done.
  • Peacebuilding generally attends to community-level concerns. STAR presents peacebuilding at individual and national levels as well, and integrates the value of breaking cycles of victimhood and violence.
  • Spirituality is often disconnected from trauma healing. STAR identifies holistic spirituality as a key component in healing trauma at all levels.
  • Security commonly refers to national security and the duty of governments to protect their citizens. STAR pushes beyond homeland security to look at global human security.
*STAR NYC is a program of National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN). STAR was developed as a joint 9/11 project of Church World Service and the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA).

Key leaders and caregivers can promote healing and resilience in individuals and communities, or they can contribute to ongoing cycles of victimhood and violence. STAR equips them to move out of these cycles through healing and transformation to renewal and growth.

STAR NYC training programs include three components: education about trauma, opportunities for healing, and strategies for enhancing resilience.


Trauma Healing Journey: Breaking the Cycles of Victimhood/Violence
        • Links between trauma and cycles of victimhood or violence
        • Trauma Healing Journey Model

Trauma interventions
        • Trauma interventions that address physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational needs
        • Strategies to enhance resilience in individuals and communities

Truth, mercy, Justice, peace
        • Conflicting voices and paradoxes of truth, mercy, justice and peace
        • Impact of silent, absent, or suspect voices on relationships in our communities

Restorative Justice
        • Limits of the criminal justice system in meeting the needs of victims and offenders
        • Alternative processes that address harms done and support individual and community accountability              for righting wrongs

Strategic peacebuilding & Human Security
        • Trauma awareness and recovery work within the larger field of peacebuilding
        • Non-violent peacebuilding responses to violence
        • 3-D security (diplomacy, development, and defense) as a means of waging peace

Self-Care for the Caregiver
        • Risks, prevention, warning signals, and alleviation of compassion fatigue
        • Compassion satisfaction and motivations for choosing caregiving work


STAR Seminars: Transforming Trauma, Building Peace, Where People Work, Learn, and Pray (one week)

STAR-light: Basic STAR concepts, with emphasis on holistic healing modalities and resilience strategies (one day)

STAR modules: Custom-designed trainings adapted to your needs for format, focus, and schedule

  • Impact of Trauma on the Learning Community
  • The Trauma Healing Journey: Why We Don’t Just Get Over It
  • Leading Beyond the Go Bag: Promoting Recovery, Practicing Resilience
  • Compassion Fatigue: The Cost of Caring
  • Claiming Our Place as Peace-builders
  • Religious Diversity: Bias on the Brain
  • Hope Beyond the Hammering: Spiritual and Emotional Care in Disa

STAR NYC honors multi-faith participation and contributions from diverse communities around the world. Participants who have found the training helpful include clergy, civil and religious leaders after 9/11, youth workers in the Gulf Region post-Katrina, disaster and relief workers world-wide, leaders in post-war settings, social workers, nurses, mediators, teachers, psychotherapists, lawyers, and persons supporting returning military veterans.