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Village Conference Spotlights Ways to Counter Trauma & Violence

Over 100 concerned professionals and community members came together on Sept. 22 for The Village: Trauma & Violence Prevention Conference, which Superintendent Demetrus Liggins called a testimony to local commitment to children. “You play a huge role in our success,” he said, noting how we all must attend to students’ myriad physical and emotional needs before FCPS teachers can reach their minds in the classroom.  

Devine Carama, director of ONE Lexington in the mayor’s office, opened the event noting how trauma, violence, and substance use are related. “This is a very important issue,” he said. “Hopefully, when you leave, you’ll have the language and understanding to explain how these three things correlate.”

Ciera BowmanThe conference, which Fayette County Public Schools hosted, offered prevention and intervention strategies. Sessions covered such specifics as the psychological impact of trauma and violence in the black community; the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (led by Ciera Bowman of Henry Clay High School); gun violence and prevention; support for grieving children; and mindfulness, meditation, and healing. Attendees included youth program leaders, counselors, mental health professionals, justice system partners, and FCPS employees. They also heard students’ perspectives through short videos during lunch.

In his initial remarks, Carama likened the community members to football players – describing how each person has varied skillsets and different roles to play. For success, however, we all must come together as one team to save our young people. “This is a long game,” Carama said. “I’m here not just to change a life but maybe change a generation.”

The conference sponsors included FCPS, ONE Lexington and the mayor’s office, the Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition, and the Substance Use Disorder Intervention Program.

Contact: Miranda Scully, director of Family & Community Engagement in FCPS, (859) 381-4241

Posted Sept. 22, 2022