Toolkit creator, Nkem Ndefo, facilitated two days of training with graduate students from nineSouth African universities as part of the Tirisano Training Programme. This is an NIH-funded consortium in partnership with UCLA to develop researchers of color with a knowledge base in chronic stress, trauma, and mental health in vulnerable, marginalized, and exploited populations using culturally relevant methods.
Nkem discussed topics such as Polyvagal theory, gendered stress responses, and appeasement throughout her presentations on biologic dysregulation of chronic stress and trauma. In attendance were students from the Forum for African Psychology who provided exciting and inspiring critical analysis.
This was Nkem’s second year participating in the project and presenting with Dr. Cheryl Grills. Dr. Grills, a graduate of The Resilience Toolkit Training Program, shared the Emotional Emancipation Circle model, developed by Community Healing Network and The Association of Black Psychologists, which incorporates elements of The Toolkit to help Black people living with anti-Black racism.
Due to enthusiasm and demand, Nkem is currently in the planning stages of bringing a cohort of The Resilience Toolkit Training Program to South Africa in 2020. Stay tuned for more information.