Intersections of ACEs, Racial Trauma, and Gender in the Context of Covid-19: Opportunities
Facilitated by Dr. Christopher Liang, Chairperson of the Department of Education and Human Services and former Director of the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at Lehigh University.
Every aspect of life for educators, and students and their families has been upended in 2020. In addition to Covid-19 related stressors, people in the United States have been made more aware of racial injustices in health outcomes and with law enforcement. BIPoC, in particular, has experienced racial injustice directly and vicariously. These sources of stress and racial trauma likely have exacerbated the already powerful negative effects of Conventional and Expanded Adverse Childhood Experiences on the mental health and academic outcomes of young people. As a country, students and adults are experiencing Complex Collective Trauma (CCT). Educators and mental health providers have had to anticipate and work on ways to mitigate the effects of CCT on students while also attending to their own psychological well-being. Although there is a desire to return to "normal," this in-service will focus attention on CCT, with particular emphasis on the opportunities for educators to take leadership in helping to build a new normal that is anti-racist, gender-sensitive, and trauma-responsive.
Dr. Christopher Liang is the Chairperson of the Department of Education and Human Services and former Director of the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at Lehigh University. His Gender, Race, Inclusion, and Trauma lab is focused on four main areas of research and scholarship. The purpose of his research lines is to determine effective individual-level, systems-level, and policy-oriented interventions. For instance, Dr. Liang has worked with school districts, Universities, Departments of Health and Human Services, as well as not-for-profit community organizations to strengthen their capacity to serve diverse children, youth, and families, particularly in the context of trauma. He also has provided consultation on diversity and inclusion to leaders in a Fortune 500 company.