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Heal Wounds to Achieve Collective Intergenerational Well-Being

We stand at a crucial juncture in history where the legacies of racial, historical, cultural, and intergenerational trauma continue to cast long shadows over individuals and communities. These and other experiences of trauma perpetrated at the interpersonal, community, collective, systemic, and structural levels have inflicted soul wounds and have left behind enduring pain, distrust, and disconnection. Yet, within the depths of this pain lies a powerful potential for healing and transformation.


Guided by the principles of trauma-informed care and the voices of those directly impacted by legacies of trauma, we can achieve collective and intergenerational well-being. It is through embracing cultural recovery, reclaiming ancestral wisdom, and nurturing resilient lineages that people who have been impacted by historical, cultural, racial, and other forms of collective and intergenerational trauma stand empowered to move toward recovery, joy, peace, and flourishing. 

To accomplish this, it is imperative for our systems and institutions to act with intentionality to mend the fabric of our society, ensuring that the principles of accessibility, belonging, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are integrated in transformative action. Through repairing harm as well as engaging in reconciliation and truth-telling initiatives, we can begin to address these deep wounds and support people in reclaiming their narratives as stories of survival, strength, capacity, and resiliency.

Together, these trauma-informed policies represent a call to action. They invite us to embark on a shared journey towards collective healing, where the burdens of the past no longer define our present or future. By acknowledging the pain, getting radically honest, honoring lived experience surviving trauma and/or adversity, and investing in a more just and equitable tomorrow, we can build a trauma-informed, healing-centered society where all have the opportunity to thrive.​


This dimension of the vision calls for us to:

  • Support and fund community storytelling projects, cultural preservation and revitalization efforts, as well as commemoration and remembrance events to provide opportunities for communities to collectively acknowledge and process their shared experiences of trauma, build resilience, and promote healing and reconciliation

  • Support and invest in culturally specific community-based healing programs that cater to diverse needs and traditions and which foster cultural knowledge, identity, pride, and resilience

    • Amend Medicaid and Medicare to include coverage for traditional healing services provided by qualified Indigenous healers

    • Provide financial incentives as well as the development of co-location models for providers to collaborate with culturally-specific healers and leaders in providing support and services 

    • Support the development of innovative payment models for traditional healing services, such as direct billing and bundled payments

    • Provide funding and resources directly to tribal governments to support the development and delivery of culturally-sustaining healing and supportive services

  • Establish truth and reconciliation commissions to document historical trauma and promote accountability and healing

  • Create opportunities for different generations to share their experiences and learn from each other

  • Invest in community-led projects in neighborhoods and tribal communities affected by historical, cultural, racial, or other collective trauma experiences

  • Fund cultural heritage initiatives as well as for cultural and historical preservation projects that support communities in reclaiming their narratives

  • Direct financial resources and technical assistance to community-based businesses and entrepreneurs, particularly those led by individuals from historically marginalized groups

  • Establish community-based healing and resilience centers in historically marginalized and disenfranchised communities to offer a range of culturally-specific, trauma-informed services and supports to the community

  • Invest in leadership development programs for individuals and groups directly impacted by historical, cultural, and racial trauma so that they are positioned to play an active role in shaping change

  • Promote social cohesion and build bridges between diverse communities through cultural exchange and intergroup dialogue

  • Implement comprehensive reparations programs informed by communities and individuals impacted by historical injustices, such as slavery, colonization, and discrimination

  • Invest in community-based violence prevention programs and address the root causes of violence and crime

    • Require trauma-informed training for law enforcement officers, focusing on trauma-informed de-escalation and community-building

    • Eliminate cash bail and other pretrial detention practices that disproportionately impact low-income individuals and communities of color

    • Fund further research on individual and collective impacts of decarceration, abolition, and alternative ways to promote justice

  • Implement restorative and transformative justice practices in place of harsh, punitive legal system-based solutions to address harm, promote healing, and hold individuals accountable without perpetuating trauma

    • Support the recovery of individuals impacted by trauma and provide them with opportunities for healthy integration into and meaningful participation in society

  • Create economic empowerment and job training programs for communities disproportionately affected by trauma

  • Increase funding for affordable housing programs to address racial disparities in housing access and quality

  • Pilot universal basic income as well as baby bond programs in communities disproportionately impacted by historical and intergenerational trauma to assess this approach’s effectiveness in promoting economic justice and well-being

  • Invest in community land trusts and other initiatives that promote collective ownership and control of housing assets

  • Replace immigration policies that call for criminalization, family separation, deportation, and incarceration, all of which have been connected in the research to intergenerational trauma and related adverse outcomes

  • Integrate culturally-responsive trauma-informed practices into all educational settings, including curriculum, pedagogy, and school climate

    • Restructure school disciplinary systems to eliminate punitive practices and move toward more restorative justice approaches to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline

  • Develop and implement training programs for employers and job training programs that incorporate trauma-informed principles and practices to create more inclusive, supportive, and diverse workplaces

  • Implement screening for trauma as a routine part of medical and mental health care, with appropriate referral systems to better identify and support people who would benefit from trauma-responsive and trauma-specific interventions

  • Fund educational initiatives that accurately and inclusively teach about historical injustices and their ongoing impacts

  • Respect tribal sovereignty and self-determination in all aspects of policy development and implementation

  • Invest in the creation of trauma-informed community centers and public spaces that facilitate healing and connection

  • Promote culturally-relevant mental health literacy and engage in campaigns to destigmatize seeking help for mental health challenges

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