Preparing People for Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest 

When:   Wednesday-Thursday, November 15-16, 2017
Where:  University Place Conference Center, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon
Early-Bird Discount Rate Ends September 15, 2017

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


 To Register Click Here 

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 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 Include: 


Why Should You Attend This Unique Conference?

From Adverse Childhood Experiences, to job and financial struggles and racial and other forms of inequity and injustice, trauma and toxic stress are epidemic today. Climate change will aggravate all of these adversities, and add many new ones as well. Many programs in the PNW help people with childhood, family, and other traumas. Washington and Oregon are also among the leaders in cutting climate-damaging greenhouse gasses. This conference will show how by breaking down silos and linking these issues, a powerful human resilience building movement can be launched that prevents harmful human reactions to climate change while advancing social equity and reducing emissions.


Here is the Challenge: 

Even if carbon emissions are quickly and aggressively cut, global temperatures will rise by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5C) above pre-industrial levels, possibly within just 9-10 years, and likely far higher afterwards. Humanity is entering an era of dramatic changes in the earth's climate and ecological systems that will produce gut-wrenching shocks and stresses for people. The adversities will continue for decades until globally successful emission cuts can 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 the people of the Pacific Northwest for the multiple ongoing psychological and psycho-social-spiritual impacts of climate change.

Many people in the region 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 and create tangibly better conditions for everyone.

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

  • How, left unaddressed, the disasters and persistent toxic stresses generated by climate change will produce rising psychological problems including severe anxiety, depression, PTSD, and suicides, as well as psycho-social-spiritual maladies such as child and spousal abuse, crime, aggression, extremism, and violence that threaten the safety, health, and wellbeing of everyone.
  • How these harmful human reactions also threaten to stall efforts to cut carbon emissions and delay efforts to reduce global temperatures to manageable levels.
  • How building resilience within individuals, families, organizations, and entire communities can minimize the harmful human reactions to climate impacts by creating a trauma-informed and skilled region and bring people together to engage in actions that greatly enhance 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 explain the psychobiology of trauma and toxic stress, trauma theory, and stress-based growth, and teach simple preventative skills, tools, 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 the Pacific Northwest 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 preventative human resilience building movement in the Pacific Northwest that offers the added benefit of addressing many types of adversities beyond those generated by climate change. 
If you are a social service, faith, or climate leader please join us at the conference to learn how you can help launch a powerful human resiience building movement in the Pacific Northwest that prevents harmful fear-based reactions to climate impacts while advancing social equity and wellbeing and reducing carbon emissions.


Our Growing List of All-Star Speakers Includes:

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.

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.

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. 

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.


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.


Claire Ranit manages Creating Resiliency in the Columbia River 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.

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.

 Other keynote speakers and workshop leaders will be announced soon! 

Click here to see the conference agenda

Professionals and Laypeople from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, B.C. and Elsewhere Engaged in the Following Will Benefit By Attending This Conference:  

  • Climate mitigation or adaptation
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences and youth and family trauma
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Public health, health equity, and the social determinants of health
  • Emergency management and disaster response
  • Individual and collective trauma and resilience
  • Organizational trauma and resilience
  • Community violence and resilience
  • Social equity and justice
  • Climate justice
  • Faith and spirituality
  • K-12, higher education, and community education
  • Ecological sustainability
  • Others interested in helping individuals, organizations, and communities build resilience for disasters and toxic stresses      

We Expect a Sold Out Conference So Register Soon.

Early-Bird Discount Ends September 15!

To Register Click Here 

For questions contact the ITRC at: