Preparing People for Climate Change       in California

When:   Wednesday-Thursday,  January 24-25, 2018
Where:  The California Endowment's Oakland Conference Center, in Downton Oakland, CA. 

Early-Bird Discount Registration Rate Ends October 15, 2017!

To Register Click Here 

Scroll Down To See Our List of All-Star Speakers and a Link to the Conference Agenda

The conference is sponsored by the International Transformational Resilience Coalition (ITRC), a network of over 250 mental health, resilience, climate, faith, disaster response, and other leaders working to prevent harmful psychological and psycho-social-spiritual reactions to climate impacts and use them as transformational catalysts to increase human & ecological wellbeing. 

Our Conference Founding Co-Sponsors Include 


Why Should Californians Attend This Unique Conference?

From high levels of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), to job and financial struggles, racism and other forms of inequity and injustice, traumatic stress is epidemic today. Climate change will aggravate all of these existing adversities, and add many new ones as well. Yet, California is leading the U.S. in finding innovative new ways to address personal, family, and community traumas--and on reducing carbon emissions. This conference will show how, by breaking down silos and connecting these issues, California can also lead the nation in building widespread levels of individual and psycho-social-spiritual resilience that prevents harmful human reactions to the hardships generated by rising temperatures while advancing social equity and motivating people to reduce carbon emissions.

Here is the challenge:

Even with aggresive emission reductions, global temperatures will rise by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5C) above pre-industrial levels, possibly within just 9-10 years, and by 3.6 degrees (2C) or higher afterwards. Humanity is entering an era of dramatic changes in the earth's climate and ecological systems that for decades will produce gut-wrenching shocks and stresses for people until successful emission cuts bring temperatures back down to safe levels again.  

The U.N. Inter-Agency Standing Committee states that mental health, psychosocial, and humanitarian crisis are often closely connected. Yet, almost no attention has been given to preparing people in California for the psychological and psycho-social-spiritual impacts of climate change. 

Many individuals and groups statewide are consequently unprepared for the challenges that lie ahead. Many are also unaware of how climate adversities can be used as transformational catalysts to bring people together across racial, ethnic, religious, geographic, and economic lines to build widesperead levels of individual and collective resilience that create tangibly better conditions for everyone while advancing social equity and justice and making the changes needed to reduce the climate crisis to manageable levels.

This conference will directly address these risks and opportunities by explaining:

  • Why climate change is the ultimate social determinant of mental and physical health and how, left unaddressed, the disasters and chronic toxic stresses generated by climate change will produce rising psychological problems including deblilitating anxiety, depression, PTSD, and suicides, as well as psycho-social-spiritual maladies such as hopelessness, child and spousal abuse, crime, we vs them hatred, and interpersonal violence that threaten the safety, health, and wellbeing of everyone. 
  • How these harmful human reactions also threaten to staff efforts to cut carbon emissions and delay efforts to reduce global temperatures to manageable levels.
  • How building widespread levels of personal and collective resilience can minimize the harmful human reactions to climate impacts by creating a trauma-informed and skilled populace and bring people together to engage in actions that greatly enhance personal, social, and ecological wellbeing.  

The conference will achieve these goals by:

  • Offering a diverse array of informative presentations and workshops by leading experts who will describe preventative skills, tool, and policies that can be applied at the individual, family, organizational, and community levels to build personal and psycho-social-spiritual resilience.
  • Providing an opportunity to meet and network with people from the non-profit, public, and private sectors and civil society from throughout California and elsewhere working on similar issues.
  • Facilitating the development of action plans attendees can use to expand existing or launch new initiatives to grow a powerful human resilience building movement in California. 

California can lead the way again!

Many states are following California's lead on reducing greenhouse gases. It also has some of the leading programs focused on preventing ACEs, advancing social equity, and addressing other injustices and adversities. This conference will show how by linking these efforts, California can build a powerful human resilience-building movement that prevents harmful reactions to climate-enhanced traumas and stresses and many other adversities, while advancing social equity and reducing carbon emissions. 

Click here to see the conference agenda

Our Growing List of All-Star Speakers Includes:

Dr. Rick Hanson is a psychologist, Senior Fellow at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and NY Times best selling author. His books are available in 26 languages and include Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha's Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture.   Dr. Hanson edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and is the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and National Public Radio. He offers the free Just One Thing newsletter that has over 120,000 subscribers, as well as he Foundations of Wellbeing program in positive neuroplasticity that anyone with financial need can do for free.  

Joanna Macy Ph.D. is a scholar of systems thinking, deep ecology, and Buddhism. She has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change that addresses psychological and spiritual issues, Buddhist thought, and contemporary science. Many people around the world have participated in Joanna’s workshops and trainings. Her group methods, known as the Work That Reconnects, have been widely adopted in classrooms, churches, and grassroots organizing. Her work helps people transform despair and apathy, in the face of overwhelming social and ecological crises, into constructive, collaborative action. It brings a new way of seeing the world, as our larger living body, freeing us from the assumptions and attitudes that now threaten the continuity of life on Earth. The many dimensions of this work are explored in her eight books: Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects (with Molly Brown, 2014); Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We Are in Without Going Crazy (with Chris Johnstone, 2011); Pass It On: Five Stories That Can Change the World (with Norbert Gahbler, 2010); World as Lover, World as Self (2007), and others.                                                                                                                                                     

Elaine Miller-Karas  is Executive Director of The Trauma Resource Institute and an ITRC Steering Committee Member. She co-created the Trauma Resilience Model (TRM) and the Community Resilience Model (CRM) and is the author of Building  Resilience to Trauma: the Trauma and Community Resilience Models that describes how to use her models to build personal and group psychosocial resilience. She has traveled across the U.S. and traveled internationally training mental health, health professionals, and community leaders how to help stabilize people and build their resilience before, during, and after natural and human-caused disasters. Her work has taken her to Louisiana after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, to San Bernardino County, CA, after the 2008 fires, to China after the Sichuan earthquake, to Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake, and to numerous other locations. Elaine has also led Global Trainer programs in Guatemala, Nepal, Germany, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Tanzania, Rwanda, Turkey and the Philippines to continue to expand the mission and vision of TRI to bring biologically based resilience skills to the world community. 


Bob Doppelt is the Executive Director of the Resource Innovation Group (TRIG) and the founder and Coordinator of the International Transformational Resilience Coalition (ITRC). Trained in both counseling psychology and environmental science, he has combined the two fields throughout his careeer. He is also a Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction instructor from the University of Massachusettes Medical School, Center for Mindfulness. From 2003 to 2011 he directed the Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) at the University of Oregon, where he still teaches part time. CLI was one of the first organizations in the nation engaged in climate adaptation, an experience that led him to realize the urgent need to expand beyond external physical factors and place an equal emphasis on helping people preparing for the psychological and psycho-social-spiritual impacts of climate change. He then developed the Resilient Growth model for Transformational Resilience, and for the past 4-plus years has been training people nationwide and internationally to apply the model in their organization and community. Bob has authored 4 best-selling book on the process of personal and psychosocial change for the environment. His most recent is Transformational Resilience: How Building Human Resilience for Climate Disruption Can Safeguard Society and Increase Wellbeing (Greenleaf Publishing 2016). In 2015 he was honored by the CSR World Congress as one of the world's "50 Most Talented Social Innovators."

Dr. Brenda Ingram is the Director of Clinical Services for Peace Over Violence, a non-profit that provides prevention and intervention for survivors of interpersonal violence.  She is also the Clinical Consultant/Coordinator for the YWCA Sexual Assault Crisis Services Program. Brenda is a licensed clinical social worker who has over 25 years of working in the mental health and education fields specializing in trauma and cultural competence. She is also a lecturer with UCLA Social Work Department. She has been a consultant and trainer for various social service, mental health, criminal justice, law enforcement, and public health organizations on traumatic stress. She helped develop the course Beyond Trauma, Towards Resiliency: Theory & Practice.


Dr. Maryam Kia-Keating is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and faculty member with the UCSB Trauma Recovery and Resilience Center. Her research examines responses to psychological trauma, stress, and adversity, including events that impact communities such as disasters, terrorism, school shootings, and other events of mass violence. She has provided psychosocial support in the immediate aftermath of incidents such as 9/11 and the Isla Vita tragedy, a mass murder of six undergraduates that occurred at UCSB.  Dr. Kia-Keating’s work emphasizes coping, resilience, and prevention efforts. She uses participatory and human-centered approaches to empower communities to reduce health disparities related to exposure to traumatic stressors and adversities. 

Brian Farragher is the Executive Director of the Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma Valley. Prior to that he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Andrus Children’s Center where he had oversight of all agency programs, facility operations and human resources with annual budget of 31 million, over 400 staff, and 14 program sites. In that role he led the development of the Sanctuary Institute, a training and consultation service that focused on replicating the Sanctuary Model, a trauma-informed system of care. Brian has presented at regional, national and international conferences. He co-authored 2 books with Dr. Sandra Bloom, Destroying Sanctuary: The Crisis in Human Service Delivery Systems and Restoring Sanctuary: A New Operating System for Trauma Informed Systems of Care. In January 2009, Brian received the Samuel Gerson Nordlinger Child Welfare Leadership Award, presented by the Alliance for Children and Families, to recognize individuals who make outstanding contributions to the child welfare field or the national public policy process to advance quality services for children and families.

The Reverend Canon Sally Grover Bingham, an Episcopal priest and Canon for the Environment in the Diocese of California, was one of the first faith leaders to fully recognize the changing climate as a moral issue. She is founder and president of The Regeneration Project and its Interfaith Power & Light campaign, which currently has 20,000 congregation members in forty states. Rev. Bingham serves on the national board of the Environmental Defense Fund, and the advisory board of both the Union of Concerned Scientists and Climate One. She has received many awards including in 2012, the Rachel Carson Women in Conservation Award from the Audubon Society and the Life Time Achievement Award from the Festival of Faiths and in 2014, the Bishop of California Green Cross Award.  Rev. Bingham is the lead author of Love God Heal Earth, a collection of 21 essays on environmental stewardship by religious leaders, published by St. Lynn’s Press.


Daniel Homsey is the Director of The Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) for the City Administrator’s Office of the City and County of San Francisco. He was appointed Director of The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services in 2004.  In 2008 he became the Director of the NEN in the City Administrator’s office, which is a coalition of residents, community supported organizations, non-profits, academic institutions, and government agencies with the mission to empower residents with the capacity and resources to build, and steward, strong sustainable communities.Recently the NEN was honored as one of the top 10 programs honored by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation through its 2015 Innovations in American Government Award Competition. Daniel served on the Steering Committee for the United Nations Making Cities Resilient Campaign.


Dana Brown is the Southern California Regional Community Facilitator for the ACEs Connection Network. She helps communities and organizations start groups on ACEs Connection, and mentor existing groups in Los Angeles and San Diego counties. Southern California communities that are currently in the foundational stages of setting up groups on ACEs Connection include San Bernardino, Ventura and Orange counties, and the City of Long Beach. A social entrepreneur, Dana founded a character development program at Tierrasanta Elementary in San Diego, CA; co-founded Youth Voice and OurSOLES (Our Students of Leadership ~ Empowerment ~ Service); is the project director of TICS (Trauma Informed Community Schools) in City Heights, San Diego; a commissioner on the Commission on Gang Prevention & Intervention; and has been vested with several boards and advisory councils, including the San Diego Trauma Informed Guide Team, HHSA (Health, Human Service Agency) Trauma Informed Systems Integration Champion Work Group, and USD's Character Development Center. In 2014 she received the Joy McAllister Advocacy Award from Mental Health America, in 2013 she received President Obama's USA Volunteer Presidential Award, and in 2009 she received the City of San Diego's Human Relations Commission Award in 2009. 

Alex Ghenis is a Policy and Research Specialist at the World Institute on Disability in Berkeley, California. He is currently managing the New Earth Disability project, which addresses how climate change will affect people with disabilities and how people can prepare. The project has compiled over twenty resources, and features research and policy recommendations on disaster preparedness, heatwaves, climate-related migration, and more. In addition to climate change, Alex contributes to a variety of WID’s disability inclusion projects, economic empowerment initiatives, and benefits reform efforts. Before WID, Alex worked at the California Energy Storage Alliance where he wrote regulatory filings on landmark policies, bringing large-scale batteries and other technologies to the electric grid. He has also written for Life in Action magazine and is currently a contributor to New Mobility magazine and its blog.



Rev. Amanda Ford ordained Interfaith minister and co-founder of IMVP Ministries. She also leads development and coordination of The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water's (EJCW) environmental justice coalition efforts, including Human Right to Water (AB 685) implementation, pollution prevention, democratic water governance, and outreach to Indigenous Nations. Amanda has worked on Environmental Peacebuilding and Environmental Justice projects in 20+ countries and still actively advises eco-spiritual projects around the world.



Holly White-Wolfe is Program Planning Evaluation Analyst with the Sonoma County Human Services Department. She provides backbone support to the Sonoma County ACES Connection coalition including: coordinating the development of a strategic planning process and guidelines for coalition operations; securing a fiscal agent for the coalition to allow for future fundraising through 501(c)3 status and contribute to sustainability of the coalition; developing the fee-based Sonoma County ACEs & Resiliency Master Trainer program, which will result in 25 Trained Trainers to disseminate ACEs science as well as a funding source to sustain future trainings; creating regular content for an on-line web forum documenting the group's activities, sharing resources, and facilitating forum discussions exploring the developing field; grant reporting, budget revisions, memorandums of understanding, and other related funds management; and coordinating County of Sonoma agency sharing of information and best practices around Trauma Informed Care to begin the culture change process of integrating ACEs science at the County-level.


Caroline Farrell is the Executive Director of the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment. For over 14 years she has assisted low income communities and communities of color in the south San Joaquin Valley and throughout the country in their struggle for environmental justice. She has represented low income communities and communities of color on issues related to dairy development in the Central Valley, hazardous waste facilities, land application of biosolids, and land use planning issues. She serves on the Steering Committee for the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition, the Steering Committee for the California Environmental Justice Alliance, on the Impact Fund’s Grant Advisory Committee and on the Board of Directors for Communities for a Better Environment, the Planning and Conservation League, and Act for Women and Girls in Visalia.  Her advocacy helped CRPE win the Carla Bard Award from California Water Policy Advocates. Caroline also received the 2007 Dr. Zweig Community Health Advocate Award from the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice and OMB Watch’s Rising Star in Public Interest award in 2008.

Other keynote speakers and workshop leaders will be announced soon! 

We Expect a Sold Out Conference so Register Soon. 

Early-Bird Rate Ends October 15, 2017!

To Register Click Here 

Group Discounts and ScholarshipsDiscounted rates for groups of 5 or more are available. A small number of scholarships will also be available to limited income individuals who enter a pool that will be selected on random basis one month prior to the conference. See the registration page for more information.


Questions? Contact the ITRC at: