O’Connor, Erin

Senior, College of Education

Major: Secondary Education (Concentration in Social Sciences)

Thesis Director: Kathryn Grant, Department of Psychology

Faculty Reader: Tomás Ramírez, Department of Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies

Bio: Erin is completing her degree in Secondary Education Social Sciences and is currently a high school social science student teacher in Chicago Public Schools. During her time at DePaul, she has worked as a mentor and literacy tutor with the Cities Mentoring Project, as a volunteer coordinator and ESL tutor forHeartland Alliance, with the DePaul Community Peacemakers Program, and as the Education Equity Intern at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.

Abstract: As students continue to navigate childhood trauma, schools are increasingly called upon to implement strategies that respond to trauma and improve outcomes for students and communities. To disrupt the causes and heal from the effects of trauma, schools can adopt a Healing Justice approach that challenges existing systems of oppression and trauma and creates increased possibilities for liberation. This thesis will draw on the work of educators, community organizers and public health officials to provide strategies for building capacity for healing and liberation in schools.

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