April 19, 2024

Copper Mountain College is hosting Hugging the Cactus 2024 – A Conference on Trauma Informed Education and Ethics in an Era of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, on Friday, April 26.  Everyone is welcome to this all day conference at CMC.

Whether you’re a student, teacher, or you’re just curious about the topic, there will be something for you.  Attend one session, or stay for the day – the conference is designed for all interests and schedules.  The conference is free to attend, outside of the conference breakfast and keynote speaker, which is $20, including breakfast.

The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. with the Kickoff Breakfast with Keynote Speaker Franko Heke.  Heke is a musician, Pacific soul warrior, and yoga teacher who will be delivering his address remotely from New Zealand.

The 10 a.m. to noon free conference sessions include Introduction to Polyvagal Theory, by Nathan Lester, LMFT; From Victim to Survivor to Nurse: One Woman’s Journey, by Dr. Carrie Weiss; Trauma Impacts and Resilience, by Karen Perry, LMFT, Linda Murphy, APCC, Beckie Hollingshed, MHW, and  Sydney Elless, CHW; Finding a Voice for the Voiceless, by Linda Litteral; Drum Circle: Reconnecting with the Self, by Abe Daniels; Nothing is Going On, Let Me Do My Work, a Conversation about Trauma, by Patricia Gonzalez; Trauma Coping, DEI, and Playing Video Games: Making the Connection, by Dr. Nancy DeVore and Dr. Sarah Korpi; Releasing Emotions Through Movement, by Madame Harlequin (Liesl Clouse); and, Trauma Talks and Culinary Conversations: How to Change Kitchen Culture, by Dereck LaGuardia, Chef and CMC Culinary Arts instructor.

From noon to 1 p.m. there will be the Career Panel for Trauma Informed Careers at the Christina Proudfoot Student Activity Center.  Jorge’s will also be open for lunch.

From 1 to 3 p.m., conference sessions continue with Building Resiliency, by Nathan Lester, LMFT; Building Inclusive Environment, by Britney Vachon-LaGuardia, LCSW, AASW; What Happened to You is Not What is Wrong With You, by Gena Pliss, Partners Against Violence; Narcan and Opiod Overdose Response Training, by Carrie Kish, Reach Out; Trauma and Your Brain, by Kay Jayo-Meads, MA, LMFT, Dr. Anamika Basu; and Julius Horn; The Deepest Well Book Talk, by Chelsi Chastain; Recognize, Recover, and Repeat, by Priscilla María Gutiérrez, J.D.; and, Cultivating Trauma-Informed Spaces, by Melissa Grisi, LCSW, CAADC, TCTSY-F (Blue Sky Therapy).

Conference sessions scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. include Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Ethics: A Panel Discussion, with CMC faculty members; Guided Breathwork Session, with Yuna Lee; Debriefing from Copper Mountain College Students: What are our Key Takeaways?; Healing from Trauma: Unity Home’s Compassionate Support for Domestic Violence Survivors, by Unity Home Executive Director Susanna Barnett; RTT Hypnotherapy for Healing Lifelong Issues, by Gemni Ferrie Rosegold Miller; and Building Your Coping Toolbox: Calming Jars, by Chelsi Chastain and ShaWanda Gatson.

At 4 p.m. the opening reception for Artistic Alchemy: Emotional Transformation Through Art, will be held at the Bagley Room in the Greenleaf Library on the CMC campus.  This an art exhibition from CMC students and community members that explores the ways that art can be used to understand emotions, process trauma, and communicate important messages through a variety of artistic mediums. This exhibition will include an interactive installation for Sexual Assault Awareness Month of survivor love letters created in collaboration with Partners Against Violence. Materials will be available at the show for attendees to create visuals in support of survivors of sexual violence and to add to the SAAM installation.

Sacred Fire with Joshua Tree Ecstatic Dance will begin at 6:30 p.m.  with the Hugging the Cactus Burn closing event from 8:15 – 9 p.m. with DJ Silver Hoodie (James Intably), and Sp111ke the Clown.

For full conference details, to RSVP for the free conference sessions and/or the Kickoff Breakfast and Keynote Speaker ($20, including breakfast), please visit www.cmccd.edu/hugging-the-cactus.