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PACEs Connection presents the "Historical Trauma in America" series

 

PACEs Connection's Race & Equity Workgroup is examining historical trauma in the United States of America and its impact on American society in a series of virtual discussions.  This series, which began in July 2021, highlights several region within the United States and outlines how unresolved historical trauma has impacted every aspect of American life and directly shapes the socio-political landscape of today as well as the overall well-being of Americans.  The purpose of these discussions is to make connections between America's history and the current mental health crisis, social determinants of health and the obvious disparities and inequities present in our communities today.  Please join us for our next session on November 18th!

Our Midwest session occurred on September 16th.  That session had hundreds in attendance and the discussion was timely and profound.  Please see the series description and schedule for the remaining sessions below:

Historical Trauma in America Series

      Remaining Regional Sessions:

  • Historical Trauma in Northeast America  Nov. 18th, 2021  Register HERE.
    • Discussions will include the treatment of Indigenous Americans, chattel slavery, colonization, immigration and housing discrimination among other relevant topics.
  • Historical Trauma in the American Northwest  Jan. 20th, 2022  Register HERE.
    • Discussions will include the treatment of Indigenous Americans and Asian/Pacific Islanders, racial discrimination and labor exploitation among other relevant topics.
  • Historical Trauma in the American Southwest  March 17th, 2022  Register HERE.
    • Discussions will include the treatment of Indigenous Americans and Latino Americans, immigration, racial discrimination, mass incarceration and labor exploitation among other relevant topics.
  • Historical Trauma in the State of Hawaii & the U.S. Territories  May 19th, 2022  Register HERE.
    • Discussions will include the treatment of Indigenous peoples and Asian/Pacific Islanders, colonization, slavery and labor exploitation among other relevant topics.

More sessions will be added to the 2022 schedule!  If you have any questions, please contact me at icockhren@pacesconnection.com.

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White Europeans with long history of cultural trauma arrived as traumatized colonists who continued to reenact the trauma done unto them.  Le'ts keep in mind: The anglo-saxon warfare of the 5th and 11th centuries, the viking raids of the 790s to the late 11th century in Europe, the trauma of WWI that came through Ellis Island, and the subsequent "whitening" of Eastern Europeans  including the racial exceptionalism that has enabled East Europeans to benefit from the privileges associated with whiteness without suffering the β€œwhite guilt” of imperialism and slavery.  The intersectional history of historical trauma among native peoples plus the historic trauma that underlies white european supremacy is not the same.  But it is connected.   

@Joan Yost posted:

I must disagree with this assessment. Many people, including Northern European immigrants, had horrifying experiences from the early exploratory period until the present. Illness wiped out many colonial communities, leaving few, if any survivors. Many early British immigrants were brought here as prisoners. Others were indentured servants, the majority of whom did not survive. Europeans married into local communities, lived with them, and did business with them over a period of 200 years before the Declaration of Independence. Those communities were often at war with each other. In the 19th century most European immigrants were fleeing famine, poverty and death. Revolution and civil war spare no one. Skin privilege is no insurance against massacre by neighbors, or even by ones’ own government.

Yes, Joan Yost, and add that vast numbers came here escaping religious persecution, either within their own denomination or because their denomination was a minority faith, deemed by European oppressors to be heretical and or dangerous.

One example of the later is the "Amish Mennonite" faith in Switzerland, whose members were being openly pursued and persecuted to death throughout Europe by the dominant Catholic (and sometimes Reformed) faiths.  The 'Church' was the 'State' governing power at that point throughout Europe, and masterful at oppressing and traumatizing common folks of all faiths.  Some fled on their own to America escaping European genocides (one example here: the Amish Mennonite genocide).  Some who lived were captured, separated from families and banished by the ChurchState to America or Caribbean as punishment.

Those of other faiths, who looked different and or practiced different traditions and or suffered mental health struggles were pursued and persecuted upon arrival here as "witches" and "demon possessed".   

Otherwise, waves of illness and seasons of starvation and violent confrontations with native peoples was a common plight of early arrivals of all persuasions.

It must be acknowledged  that trauma washed over these shores pervasively.  No one was exempt.  The USA has been formed by and from groups of variously traumatized peoples enduring a long list of experiences, sadly including what we've done to each other,  before, during and after arrival.

Last edited by Daun Kauffman

Our founding was traumatic for all but whites. The genocide that followed and the slavery we brought to this land was built into the founding documents. Let us also not forget that to this day, there is not one single female pronoun in  the Constitution, or its amendments, and so we can include sexism as an expression of trauma which continues to this day.

I must disagree with this assessment. Many people, including Northern European immigrants, had horrifying experiences from the early exploratory period until the present. Illness wiped out many colonial communities, leaving few, if any survivors. Many early British immigrants were brought here as prisoners. Others were indentured servants, the majority of whom did not survive. Europeans married into local communities, lived with them, and did business with them over a period of 200 years before the Declaration of Independence. Those communities were often at war with each other. In the 19th century most European immigrants were fleeing famine, poverty and death. Revolution and civil war spare no one. Skin privilege is no insurance against massacre by neighbors, or even by ones’ own government.

Our founding was traumatic for all but whites. The genocide that followed and the slavery we brought to this land was built into the founding documents. Let us also not forget that to this day, there is not one single female pronoun in  the Constitution, or its amendments, and so we can include sexism as an expression of trauma which continues to this day.

Will you be resending these links periodically throughout the year as the next date approaches, or should we sign up for all of them now?

Libby Klein

Libby A. Klein, LCSW
Community Relations Specialist
New Jersey Division on Civil Rights
www.NJCivilRights.gov<http://www.NJCivilRights.gov> #CivilRightsNJ
31 Clinton Street, 3rd Floor
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Cell: (609).815.0447
libby.klein@njcivilrights.gov<mailto:libby.klein@njcivilrights.gov>
Pronouns: she/her/hers
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