Tommy McBrayer has lived and worked in the Central neighborhood of south Minneapolis for 22 years. While working for the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO), he was forwarded an email containing MN Peacebuilding’s upcoming trainings. According to Tommy, he didn’t know a lot about trauma, its effects, or how to heal from it when he received that email. However, after becoming a victim of gun violence in early July, he soon found himself attending the STAR-Lite training. That training would play a major role in his recovery, how he viewed his situation, and how he could help others in the community that found themselves in a similar situation.
Tommy has experienced trauma in both his childhood and adult life, as have many of those around him. Although he had briefly opened up to others, he wasn’t sure how to process what had happened to him. He found the concepts of STAR-Lite both transformational and applicable. Being guided through the process of healing from trauma changed his understanding of his situation and helped him build resilience and prevent further violence in his life and community. He found the content and format—lecture style mixed with breakout groups—both enlightening and engaging. In particular, Tommy found the galaxy model helpful for conceptualizing the trauma healing process and helping to guide him through that process.
“As long as you’re human, you’ll experience trauma in your life”, Tommy said. However, although trauma is inevitable, we have power over how we respond to it. He says that since participating in the STAR-Lite training, he is able to look at situations from a different angle. Knowledge of trauma, resilience, and restorative justice have helped him develop the patience and compassion to look at the “person behind the problem”.
Thank you for sharing a piece of your story with us, Tommy!
Pay-what-you-can spots are available for upcoming Online Introduction to Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience trainings! Click here to learn more.