Conflict, health and healing

The Tanner Center for Human Rights at the University of Utah will examine the long-term health consequences of exposure to conflict, including effects on veterans, children and victims of discrimination at its annual conference, Feb. 18-19. Founder of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine and Georgetown professor James S. Gordon will give the keynote address, where he’ll discuss transforming trauma into a pathway toward greater health.

“The long-term health impacts of violence, conflict and oppression present particular challenges to our community right now,” said Thomas Maloney, chair of the Department of Economics and director of the Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy. “Many of us are engaged in working with veterans who may be facing these health consequences from their service. Victims of childhood trauma and of various forms of discrimination and oppression may suffer from similar kinds of long-term health impairment. We hope that by bringing together experts on these different but related issues, we might help spark new insights on these challenges and their effective treatment.”

In his lecture, Gordon will speak about his work in Kosovo, Israel, Gaza, Haiti, southern Louisiana and with the U.S. military and share evidence-based techniques to help individuals move beyond trauma. A Harvard educated psychiatrist and former researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health, Gordon chaired the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. In his most recent book “Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression,” he presents an approach and describes techniques that have proved highly effective for traumatized, as well as depressed and anxious people.

The full schedule of the Tanner Center for Human Rights conference can be found here or below. All conference events are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m.
Opening keynote address by James S. Gordon, M.D.: “Trauma and Transformation”
Salt Lake City Downtown Library, 210 E. 400 South


Thursday, Feb. 19
Panel 1: Veterans’ Experiences
9:30-11 a.m.
Officer’s Club, Fort Douglas, University of Utah, 150 S. Fort Douglas Blvd.
Moderator: Roger Perkins, Veterans Support Center, University of Utah
Panelists: Craig Bryan, National Center for Veterans Studies and Department of Psychology, University of Utah; AnnaBelle Bryan, National Center for Veterans Studies, University of Utah; Jefferson Burton, Adjutant General, State of Utah


Panel 2: Cultural and Systemic Sources of Childhood Traumatic Stress and Resilience
11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Officer’s Club, Fort Douglas, University of Utah, 150 S. Fort Douglas Blvd.
Moderator: Laura Bennet-Murphy, Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah
Panelists:  Tracy Clemans, Department of Psychology, University of Utah; Patricia Kerig, Department of Psychology, University of Utah; Jason Burrow-Sanchez, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Utah


Lunchtime dialogue session: Transforming Trauma
12:45-2:45 p.m.
Officer’s Club, Fort Douglas, University of Utah, 150 S. Fort Douglas Blvd.
Moderator: David Derezotes, College of Social Work, University of Utah


Panel 3: Health Impacts of Discrimination and Oppression
3-4:30 p.m.
Officer’s Club, Fort Douglas, University of Utah, 150 S. Fort Douglas Blvd.
Moderator: Ed Munoz, Ethnic Studies, University of Utah
Panelists: Dave Huebner, Department of Psychology, University of Utah; Irene Ota, Department of Education, Culture and Society, University of Utah; Andrea Romero, Family Studies and Human Development, University of Arizona


For more information, contact Aleta Tew, Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy, 801-581-5966, humanrights@csbs.utah.edu or Jana Cunningham, University of Utah Communications, 801-581-3862, Jana.Cunningham@utah.edu.