Preparing People for Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest 

Conference on the Need, Methods, and Benefits of Building Psychological & Psycho-Social-Spiritual Resilience for Climate Traumas was held November 15-16, 2017, in Portland Oregon

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

 Our Conference Founding Co-Sponsors Included: 


 Click here to see the conference agenda 

Day Two Presentation

Our List of All-Star Speakers Included:

Dr. Sandra Bloom is a Board-Certified psychiatrist and faculty member at the School of Public Health at Drexel University. She is also President of CommunityWorks, an organizational consulting firm committed to the development of nonviolent environments, and an ITRC Steering Committee Members. Dr. Bloom created the trauma-informed program called the Sanctuary Model that promotes safety and recovery from adversity through the active creation of a trauma-informed community. She is also Co-Founder of the Sanctuary Institute and Past-President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. She has published a number of groundbreaking books including Destroying Sanctuary: The Crisis in Human Services Delivery Systems; Restoring Sanctuary: A New Operating System for Trauma-Informed Systems of Care; and Creating Sanctuary: Toward the Evolution of Sane Societies.

Elaine Miller Karas, 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 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, Niorthern 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).  From 2002 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, and this experience led him to realize the urgent need to expand climate solutions beyond external physical factors to help people prepare for the psychological and psycho-social-spiritual adversities generated by rising temperatures and use them as catalysts to find new meaning and hope in life. He then developed the Resilient Growth model for Transformational Resilience and organized the ITRC. For the past 4-plus years, Bob has trained people across the U.S. and internationally to apply the Resilient Growth model in their organization and community. He 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 Bob was honored by the CSR World Congress as one of the world's "50 Most Talented Social Innovators." 

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.

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.

Emily York leads the State of Oregon's Climate and Health Program funded through the CDC to study and plan for the health effects of climate change. Emily coordinates the Oregon Climate and Health Collaborative, co-chairs the NW Climate and Health Network, and was lead author of the recently published Oregon Climate and Health Resilience Plan. She is a co-suthor of the 2018 National Climate Assessment. She also co-chairs a national community of practice on climate and health communications. Prior to joining the State, she led local policy initiatives at City of Portland and worked with the Coalition for a Liveable Future.  She currently serves on the board of the Oregon Farmers Markets Association and is a volunteer facilitator with the Pachamama Alliance.

Dr. Ruth Zúñiga is Assistant Professor, Director & Core Faculty of Sabiduría: Latina/o Psychology Emphasis at Pacific University. A licensed psychologist, she is a trainer and consultant on culturally-informed care with Latina/os,  group medical visits, and motivational interviewing. She is also bilingual clinical supervisor for practicum students at the Pacific Psychology and Comprehensive Health Clinic, and teaches Sociocultural Foundations of Latino Mental Health, Clinical Interventions with Latinos, and Global Health. Her research interests include integrated health care, cross-cultural and Latino psychology, multicultural competency, cultural adaptations, mindfulness and mental health seeking behaviors. She has studied and published articles on: "PTSD in Latina/o war veterans: An examination of war-related, subjective internal, and ethnocultural risk factors"; "A preliminary report on the relationships between historical trauma, collective self-esteem, and mental health among Alaska native peoples"; and "The Indigenous Peoples of Alaska: Appreciating the Role of Elders in Shifting Toward a Strength-Based and Culturally-Appropriate Approach to Mental Health." She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the National Latino Psychological Association.

James Boehnlein, M.D. , is professor of psychiatry at the Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine, a staff psychiatrist in OHSU's Intercultural Psychiatric Program (IPP), where he assists Southeast Asian and Central American refugees, and associate director for education, VA Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC). IPP provides culturally sensitive mental health services for immigrant, refugee and ethnic communities with an emphasis on individuals and families whose first language is not English.  His research has focused on cross-cultural psychiatry (particularly cultural and anthropological perspectives on posttraumatic stress disorder among Veterans and refugees, and long-term adjustment of traumatized refugees), the interface of culture and medical ethics, spiritual issues in psychiatry and psychological trauma, and on medical education. In 2015 James received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture for outstanding and enduring contributions to cultural psychiatry.


Sarri Gilman is a psychotherapist, author, and workshop presenter. She is the author of Transform your Boundaries® and Naming and Taming Overwhelm for Healthcare and Human Service Providers.  Her humanitarian work includes founding two non-profits, and running non-profits for 20 years. In 2014, she retired from non-profit work to focus on teaching about boundaries. Her work with people led her to conclude that we have lots do to clarify our boundaries, improve our self-care, and face the things that are overwhelming. Sarri works in private practice and teaches workshops. In her workshop she will focus on skills you can practice and use right now – and teach others – to become equipped to work with those who are overwhelmed by climate change generated acute traumas and toxic stresses.

Julie Taylor is the Director of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). She also serves in other capacities for the CTUIR on local, state, and federal issues. She is the Great Granddaughter of the late Chief Clarence Burke and the Granddaughter of the late Ellen Burke Cowapoo and William “Bill” Johnson and daughter of Marlene Taylor.  Julie served on the CTUIR Board of Trustees 1997-1999 and in 2010-2011. She has served in various roles in several committees and commissions including being the Chair of the CTUIR Education Committee, Chair of CTUIR TERO, Co-Chair of ATNI Youth Committee, Advisor, CTUIR Youth Leadership Council, Head Start Policy Council, and Nixyáawii Community School Board – Charter School.  


Bob Lieberman is President of Lieberman Group, Inc. and former CEO of Kairos, a multi-service agency for children, youth, and young adults with serious mental and behavioral disorders and their families. He is also Lead Trainer, Self Healing Communities Initiative and ACEs Training Team, Southern Oregon Success. Bob is a past-President and Public Policy Chair of the Association of Children’s Residential Treatment Centers (ACRC).  He is a founding member of the Building Bridges Steering Committee and chair of its Outcomes sub-committee, and co-chaired the Evidence Based Practices workgroup of the Outcomes Roundtable for Children and Families of SAMHSA. He has published journal articles and is co-editor of a recently released book: Residential Interventions for Children, Adolescents, and Families: A Best Practice Guide.  He is certified by Think:Kids of Massachusetts General Hospital as a trainer in Collaborative Problem Solving and by ACE Interface as a Master Trainer of NEAR (neuroscience, epigenetics, adverse childhood experiences, resilience). Mr. Lieberman has received numerous awards for his work on behalf of troubled youth and their families.

Mandy Davis, PhD, LCSW, is the Director of Trauma Informed Oregon and Associate Professor of Practice at Portland State University's School of Social Work. She specializes in providing training, consultation and supervision to systems, organizations and providers on topics related to implementing trauma informed care and trauma specific services. In addition to her system change work, she teaches courses related to abuse and trauma and trauma informed care and provides training in the TREM model. Mandy has over 20 years of experience working with survivors of trauma and is currently focused on implementation strategies. She is especially interested in the intersections between Trauma Informed Care, structural violence, and equity and strategies that promote workforce wellness.


Corinne Sams (Cayuse/Walla Walla/ Cocopah) is the Community Resource Caseworker for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s Department of Children and Family Services. She began her profession in youth advocacy working as a Title 6 Indian Education Coordinator in the Pendleton Public School System. This experience set the stage for Corinne to embrace her role within social and public service in the tribal community as an energetic youth and family supporter. Corinne co-founded the Uncles & Aunties Youth Organization which fosters and promotes the Power of Sport and Culture to youth in the community. Corinne is one of the advisors for the CTUIR Youth Council, and is Vice-Chair of the Nixyaawii School Board. She was also recently certified in Tai Chi education as a teacher for better balance which in turn she has shared on the reservation through gentle instruction.


Dr. Maggie Bennington-Davis is Chief Medical Officer for Health Share of Oregon, a Coordinated Care Organization (CCO).  Health Share coordinates physical, dental, substance abuse treatment, and mental health benefits for 215,000 Medicaid-enrolled Oregonians. Maggie moved to Health Share from her position as Chief Medical and Operating Officer at Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, Oregon’s largest mental health and addictions provider with a comprehensive continuum of services, including crisis services and housing. Prior to Cascadia, Maggie served as Psychiatry Medical Director for a regional medical center (Salem Hospital), as well as hospital-wide Chief of Staff. Maggie co-led development of a cultural change model for implementation of trauma-sensitive services with the subsequent elimination of seclusion and restraint on an acute psychiatric inpatient unit based on the early work of Dr. Sandra Bloom. Maggie co-authored a book, published articles and chapters on the subject, and has done numerous consultations and presentations both nationally and internationally regarding organizational change, trauma-informed, engaging environments, and leadership.

Kayse Jama is Executive Director of Unite Oregon. He was born into a nomad family in Somalia. He left when the civil war erupted, and finally found sanctuary in Portland. From 2005 to 2007, he trained immigrant and refugee community leaders in five Western states—Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah and Idaho—under a prestigious New Voices Fellowship at Western States Center. He has been awarded the Skidmore Prize for outstanding young nonprofit professionals (2007), the Oregon Immigrant Achievement Award from Oregon chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (2008), the 2009 Lowenstein Trust Award, which is presented yearly to “that person who demonstrated the greatest contribution to assisting the poor and underprivileged in Portland,” and the 2012 Portland Peace Prize.


Claire Ranit is Project Director of the Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities Grant in the Columbia River Gorge and Resilience Network of the Gorge, which seeks to create a resilient community by spreading knowledge on trauma theory and Adverse Childhood Experiences while supporting community organizations to come together to integrate trauma informed practices in their work. The Gorge program is supported by a Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) grant.  The Columbia Gorge Health Council is the backbone agency for the MARC Grant with four key leaders from the community serving as the Core Management Team overseeing the work of the Project Director. Prior to this role she was Transformation Specialist with the Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization. She also owns and operates Ranit Health Care Consulting LCC.

Dr. Jennifer Gordon is a psychologist and member of 350 Eugene.  She serves as a liaison with high school climate clubs, and recently presented a workshop on ‘Emotional Support’ during a non-violent direct action training sponsored by 350 Eugene. In her roles of psychologist and Jungian analyst, Jenny provides seminars, lectures and dream group retreats that address climate change.





Tim Murphy is CEO of Bridgeway Recovery Services. He has over 30 years of experience treating individuals with mental illness and substance abuse issues. He has served as the Administrative Director of Psychiatric Services at Salem Hospital, and was one of the founders of Liberty House, a Child Abuse Assessment Center. From 2005 to 2008, Tim was on the faculty of the National Technical Assistance Center, and he also served as a national educator and trainer for SAMHSA. Prior to establishing Bridgeway, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Maui Youth and Family Services on the island of Maui, HI. He is also the co-author of "Restraint and Seclusion: The Model for Eliminating their Use in Healthcare."

Margie Bone, M.D. lives in Seattle where she has a solo private practice in psychiatry.  She was a family doctor for about fifteen years, then did a psychiatry residency, finishing that in 2005.  She cut down to three days per week of work two years ago to devote more time to climate activism.  An activist off and on since the late 60's and concerned about global warming since the late 80's, she got involved with the Sierra Club opposing oil trains and the new coal export terminal proposed (now cancelled) at Cherry Point in traditional Lummi Nation territory.  Her main home group now is 350Seattle.  She was a co-founder of Race and Climate Justice which put on educational events for the climate community for a few years. 

Dr. Randal Beaton is Research Professor Emeritus on the faculty of the Schools of Nursing and Public Health at the University of Washington. He led a program of federally funded research focused on the causes and effects of traumatic and occupational stress in professional fire fighters and paramedics.  He also developed and evaluated the benefits of Resiliency Training and organizational interventions designed to prevent or deter the harmful effects of stress for Fire Departments throughout Puget Sound, Washington with funding from NIOSH and FEMA. In addition, he developed, implemented, and evaluated Resiliency Training Programs for state and local public health disaster personnel and, more recently, has contributed to a multimodal resiliency intervention investigation with 9-1-1 telecommunicators (AKA emergency dispatchers). Randal has served as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Homeland Security, the Washington State Department of Health, the National Transportation Safety Board, SAMHSA and the International Association of Fire Fighters.  In 2011, he was honored to be an invitee to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies to present his research with implications for a Workforce Resiliency. 

Teri Barila is the co-founder and current CEO of the Children's Resilience Initiative (CRI) based in Walla Walla, Washington. CRI is part of the Walla Walla County Community Network, whose goal is to build capacity within the various partner agencies so the Walla Walla valley can have a unified approach when dealing with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).  Recognized internationally for her work, she travels frequently, training communities to develop strategies so that “Resilience Trumps ACEs”. Serving as CEO of the Children’s Resilience Initiative, Teri is involved extensively in training, consulting, writing and researching in the area of trauma, resilience and community capacity building. Her work has attracted attention in a variety of venues, in part due to the focus Teri places on grassroots organizational development and the focus on the hope of Resilience.

Rev. John Boonstra is a clergy person in the United Church of Christ.  He resigned from his position as a local pastor so that he could work full time as a volunteer on issues of climate justice.  Since 2012 he has worked with the Columbia Gorge Climate Action Network and Gorge Ecumenical Ministries to advance this work within communities of faith in the Northwest.  Prior to moving to the Columbia Gorge in 2006, John was Executive Minister of the Washington State Association of Churches for 17 years.  As a devoted ecumenist, he also worked with the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches in Geneva and participated in work on social and political justice and transformational community organizing.   


Jana Gasellum is Program Director, Climate, with the Oregon Environmental Council where she leads state and regional work to build a low-carbon and equitable economy. Her recent work has focused on implementing programs to advance clean fuels, energy efficiency, and limiting and pricing carbon pollution. She facilitates the Health Climate Partnership, a statewide network of representatives from business, public interests, labor, local government, and faith communities all dedicated to furthering climate action in Oregon. Jana has a decade of experience building coalitions and advocating for climate policies. She previously served on the United Nations Foundation/Energy Future Coalition climate team where she focused on domestic and international opportunities for clean energy development and the nexus between energy security, climate, and poverty alleviation.  


Rev. Robyn Hartwig co-founded EcoFaith Recovery in 2009 with other people of faith who came together seeking a spiritual pathway out of isolation and burnout into a sustainable form of engagement in the great work of climate justice.  Through this grass-roots effort, EcoFaith Recovery emerged as a leadership development network recovering justice in human communities while healing the broader community of God’s creation through seven Practices for Awakening Leadership.  Pastor Hartwig now serves as part-time Pastor/Organizer for EcoFaith Recovery where she helps young adult interns, emerging leaders of faith communities, and climate justice advocates deepen their spirituality, renew their imagination and rekindle their hope by incorporating these Practices into every dimension of their lives: personal, interpersonal, community, and public. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, drumming, and dancing with her spouse, Janet Parker, who is also a pastor.


Jenny Holmes has been an organizer and educator as a staff and volunteer with local, state and national environmental and faith-based organizations and groups for over 30 years, with climate change and environmental justice consistent threads. She serves as The Resource Innovation Group's board president. After working in natural resource management for several years, she was increasingly drawn to the spiritual roots of the environmental crisis. She earned a Master’s degree in Theology, emphasizing eco-theology and public policy, from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Since then she has developed and managed numerous programs and initiatives for faith communities that want to put their values into action around climate change, food sustainability, and biodiversity including with Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and its Oregon Interfaith Power and Light project. She is a currently involved in public lands organizing recently coordinated a conference on the intersection of water, climate, faith, and indigenous culture and rights in the Columbia Gorge.