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2017 Summer Institute Intensive Session

Minnesota Early Intervention Summer Institute

Session 6

The Culture of Adversity: Unpacking Trauma's Impact on Children, Families, and the Professionals Working with Them

Back by request!

“I appreciated the fact that the instructor facilitated such deep and engaging conversation.”

“The session was relevant and perhaps should be introduced to DHS statewide!”

The Culture of Adversity recognizes that adversity is a normal part of life-- almost expected--but for many professionals, we make the assumption that:

  • Adversity is exclusive to our clients alone, leading us to ignore the stressors that we face in our working environment. Practitioners need to understand that the degree of exposure to adversity leads to secondary trauma, experienced by working with diverse communities impacted by complex trauma.
  • Symptoms of adversity are the same for all; this suggests we may ignore culture differentiations and culturally-specific needs and protective factors.

This workshop will intersect the concepts of adversity as a “culture,” focusing on intercultural, relationship-based practices for communities and professionals, based on the Culture of Learning theory and Mitchell R. Hammer, Ph.D.’s, research-based Intercultural Conflict Style (ICS) and Intercultural Developmental Inventory (IDI).

Session Objectives

In this session, participants will:

  • Increase understanding of culturally responsive practice and how it impacts our work with young children and their families.
  • Be given the opportunity to explore the impact of adversity that one faces in one’s organization, in relations with staff, clients and the community.
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of self-care and learn strategies for reducing secondary trauma.
  • Learn critical concepts for re-framing one’s thinking in working across differences to increase knowledge and the capacity to improve emotional health and well-being.
  • Learn critical concepts for establishing a community of practice to “hold space” for stress and building support, in part through the opportunity to connect and network with other participants.

Intended Audience:

Early childhood professionals, social workers, clinical therapists, administrators, leaders in social services and other individuals involved in community relations and/or work with at diverse communities, young children and their families

Intended Skill Level: Nonspecific


Kamyala HowardKamyala Howard, MSW, LICSW, has over 14 years of experience working with children and families in diverse communities that are facing multiple challenges, including early childhood program development and management, intercultural community relations, direct clinical practice, and executive leadership. Central to all her work is the remarkable ability to integrate an intercultural framework that explores “differences,” dismantles barriers, supports positive change, and promotes inclusive leadership.

Ms. Howard is the Senior Director for Center of Excellence, an offsite program of People Serving People, which opened spring 2017. The Center of Excellence is committed to improving the field of family resilience and trauma-healing practices in early childhood through providing direct services, seeking community engagement, convening stakeholders, and training other providers. Prior to this position, she was the Director of Children’s Services for Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. In this role she oversaw trauma-informed respite programming and crisis intervention services. In addition, Ms. Howard is an independent consultant and trainer. She specializes in: creating an array of innovative models; bringing many voices to the table in order to create solutions to complex challenges; and building intercultural relations that foster healthy development across numerous communities.

Ms. Howard is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and graduate of the University of Minnesota. She holds a Masters in Social Work and has earned Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health graduate certification through UMN’s Institute of Child Development. She is certified in a range of professional certifications, including: Intercultural Development Inventory, Qualified Administrator and Trainer; Narrative Exposure Therapy, Coach; Circle of Security, Parent Trainer; Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up, Certified Parent Coach; and Adverse Childhood Experiences, Certified Trainer, bringing an abundance of passion and knowledge across a spectrum of fields..


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Last modified on February 21, 2013.