Critical Times

"Democracy is not a spectator sport."

Sarasota Strong - Trauma-informed Communities 

     On February 25th at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens an event hosted by Sarasota Strong welcomed Rev. Paul Abernathy Pastor, CEO of the Neighborhood Resilience Project in Pittsburgh, PA. He leads Trauma Informed Community Development in his hometown. He traveled to Sarasota to lead a talk on Building a Community of Hope and Healing. During this talk, he discussed how trauma forms, and how the lived experience of personal or collective trauma impacts individuals and their relations in community settings. “Trauma informed community development is a framework that establishes and promotes resilient healing and healthy communities so that people can be healthy enough to sustain opportunity and realize their potential” as SRQ Strong shares in their introduction to Abernathy.

Sarasota Strong began a little over a year ago when a few women realized that there was a need for a grassroots group to address trauma within the community. They understood that they and most people experience traumatic events that have adverse effects that have an impact on social, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Their mission is to “provide community-wide trauma awareness through Healing, Education, Action, and Leadership. Their principles are Safety, Self-healing, Inclusion, Trustworhiness & Transparency, Empowerment, Voice & Choice, Collaboration & Mutuality, Social Justice, and Acting with Urgency. They established working groups that focus on different aspects of their mission.

     The Healing Working Group which offers workshops on how to heal your own trauma and facilitate trauma healing in others.

     The Education Working Group provides community members with information regarding trauma and resilience.

     The Action Working Group is committed to addressing structural sources of trauma, such as poverty and racism, by developing position statements on key policy issues, mobilizing community participation and joining other organizations to take political action.


Sarasota Strong Website 





SRQ Strong Presents: Building a Community of Hope and Healing