Restoring Hope After Trauma Conference



When: Saturday, March 12th, 2011 10am to 7pm
Where: Northwestern University School of Law
374 E. Chicago, Chicago, IL 60611
Space is LIMITED


The goal of the conference is to invite youth leaders from Illinois to learn about trauma and what it means, to learn about resources and ways that youth cope and have hope after trauma, to gain ideas from youth about what is important for adults to know about their experiences, and to have a celebration at the end of the day.

You will learn about various topics including but not limited to:
1.      Trauma- How to cope with and survive after.
2.      Community Violence-  Understanding what resources there are and how to protect yourself
3.      Dating Violence- How to have healthy relationships
4.      Self-Care- How to care for others while still taking care of yourself.
5.      Networking- What other youth organizations are doing and how you can get connected to their work.

The event is being offered at NO COST to participants thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Northwestern University, Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition, Urban Youth Trauma Center at UIC, and La Rabida Children’s Hospital Chicago Child Trauma Center.  This event was organized by La Rabida Children’s Hospital’s Chi-Town Youth Voices, a group whose main focus is about helping youth cope with life after trauma.

Snacks, Lunch, and Dinner will be provided.

You can complete an application online here:

NOTE: Completing an application DOES NOT guarantee that you are registered.  All confirmed registrations will be announced by February 20th, 2011.  Unfortunately not everyone who applies will be able to attend this event.  We will make every effort to adequately document the event and will create a public record of what happened so that those who weren’t present can still participate.


Hurry up and get your application in.  This promises to be an insightful and powerful event!

Our first Saturday at JTDC

We successfully had our first GirlTalk Saturday, and it felt awesome!!  Despite some technical difficulties, we screened Akeelah and the Bee(which seemed to go over well).  Our activity was a series of collages, one about adversity, and the other about overcoming that adversity.  Using magazines, markers, glitter, and colored pencils, the girls created some very meaningful pieces.  Many girls were very eager to talk to us, and tell us about themselves: their hopes, their likes, their dislikes, their taste in music etcetc.  With all the training and institutional procedures, it becomes easy to forget that these are teenage girls with, largely normal, likes and interests.

Stay tuned for more detailed entries from some of our facilitators!!

Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story – A Screening

You are invited to join Project NIA on Saturday February 19th from 2 to 5 p.m. for a screening of a new film Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story. The screening will be followed by a terrific panel discussion.

Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story explores Cyntoia’s life. The camera first glimpses her the week of her arrest at age 16 and follows her for nearly six years. Along the way, nationally renown juvenile forensic psychiatrist, Dr. William Bernet from Vanderbilt University, assesses her situation. We meet Ellenette Brown, Cyntoia’s adoptive mother who talks about the young girl’s early years. Georgina Mitchell, Cyntoia’s biological mother, meets her for the first time since she gave her up for adoption 14 years earlier. When we meet Cyntoia’s maternal grandmother, Joan Warren, some patterns begin to come into sharp focus.

Cyntoia wrestles with her fate. She is stunningly articulate, and spends the time to put the pieces of this puzzle together with us. Cyntoia’s pre-prison lifestyle was nearly indistiguishable from her mother’s at the same age. History — predestined by biology and circumstance — is repeating down the generations in this family.

Cyntoia is tried as an adult, and the cameras are there when she is convicted and sentenced to life at the Tennessee Prison for Women. After the verdict, Cyntoia calls her mom to tell her the news.

In the end, we catch up with Cyntoia as she is adjusting to prison, and struggling with her identity and hope for her future.

Click here to download a flyer for this event that includes all relevant information.

In addition, interested individuals can bring along a young adult book to donate to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center or to the Illinois Youth Center – Warrenville.