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Friday November 8th, 2019

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Join social workers, youth workers, social justice advocates, and health practitioners in this all-day workshop to gain the tools to support immigrant and refugee families. Workshops include fostering intergenerational resilience, strategies to reduce secondary trauma stress, parent engagement in the Somali community, and meditation for self care.

Co-sponsored by WISE and the National Association of Social Workers, MN Chapter (NASW).

Accessibility concerns may be directed to:
Pakou Khang at


Arlington Hills Community Center | 1200 Payne Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55130

Ticket cost: $35 (includes light breakfast and lunch)

This is a CEU-eligible event!


Special Presentation

The Trauma, Resiliency & Healing Conference will be hosting a special presentation by Florence M. Dorley, the 2019-20 Community Solutions Fellow at WISE.

Florence will be sharing her work with disavantaged girls, women, and widows in Liberia through the practice of small business microloans and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention.





Mary Jo Avendaño

Mary Jo Avendaño

Intergenerational Resilience: Telling the story of who we are

Mary Jo Avendaño - Psy. D., LMFT, LICSW, LPC

This workshop focuses on learning to balance many different forces: elder and youth; diversity and unity; ancient and new; tame and wild. These forces deepen our cultural heritage by telling who we are. Considering these factors, participants will try to answer the following questions: What are our deeply held practices that we must keep alive? What can be adapted and evolved? What must we cast aside?

Bio: Mary Jo Avendano, Psy.D., LMFT, LICSW, LPC is a clinical consultant for the MN Department of Human Services at the Behavioral Health department, since 2008. She was formally the clinical supervisor of the Child Development Policing Program and clinical director of Centro Cultural Chicano, a large social services agency providing comprehensive social and psychological services to the Latino community. Originally from Colombia, South America, Dr. Avendaño has extensive expertise working with diverse Latino children, adults, and families, particularly those facing trauma and hardship.  Her professional experience includes clinical positions at community and county agencies, including Tubman Family Alliance, and Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health. Additionally, she is an adjunct faculty member at St. Mary’s U of MN and a Unity Hospital E.R. resources and referral clinician.

Russ Turner

Russ Turner

Strategies for Reducing Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS)

Russ Turner - MA, MS, Director of the People Incorporated Training Institute

This presentation will look at how individuals experience STS and how it relates to compassion fatigue and burnout. We will look at who is at risk and how to identify it. The session explores strategies for prevention and, if necessary, intervention.

Bio: Russ Turner, MA, MS, is the Director of the People Incorporated Training Institute. During his 13 year tenure he has developed and taught a curriculum of training classes and workshops in a wide variety of subjects related to behavioral health from crisis de-escalation to motivational interviewing. His audience includes mental health professionals, social workers, case managers, addiction professionals, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and organizational leaders. He trains trainers, works with management, and has consulted and coached on numerous mental health related training projects. He has worked as a teacher or trainer for over 25 years in a variety of countries and settings including Japan, the Czech Republic and the UK. His teaching philosophy is that adults learn best when they are challenged, the material is applicable to work situations, and sessions are interactive and engaging.

Safi Khalid

Safi Khalid

Engaging Somali Parents

Safi Khalid - Founder and Executive Director of Youth Innovation Empowerment Leadership Development (YIELD)

This workshop will focus on strategies for engaging with Somali parents so that they are able to navigate educational and other systems on behalf of their children; and support their child(ren)’s educational achievement.  Practical steps for building relationships with Somali parents, understanding barriers for Somali parents within the public school system, and supporting parents in self-advocacy, will be presented.

Bio: Safi Khalif is the founder and the Executive Director of YIELD, (Youth Innovation Empowerment Leadership Development). Mr. Khalif started this organization to help young individuals become an essential part of their community through education, tutoring, parent-teacher conference, mentorship pals, training and job-placement, behavior health services, resources for the homeless, summer camps and competitions, in-class culture orientation and development, and much more.

Mr. Khalif graduated from Metro State University in 2016, and works with large refugee families in their first five years in the United States, helping them thrive by focusing on their major needs. Prior to founding YIELD, Mr. Khalif worked as a Student Dean at Minneapolis Public Schools. While at MPS, he created a new program for newly arrived Somali students.

Mr. Khalid also started a summer youth program called Horn Tea House in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, which focused on teaching East African youth how to run small businesses, and learn about their culture, poetry, and community. 

Padee Yang

Padee Yang

Relax. Surrender. Rejuvenate.

Padee Yang - Meditation Practitioner

This workshop will focus on rejuvenating and de-stressing the mind and body through guided meditation. In social justice work, it is important to keep the mind and body healthy in order to continue the great work we do. Learners will walk away will a heightened sense of self and be able to replicate this activity on their own.

*This activity can be accommodated to those with a mobility issue.

Bio: Padee Yang has been practicing meditation for over 4 years. She discovered it soon after her epiphany of what she believed was Nirvana (absolute bliss)- during her first time of experiencing yoga. That was when it opened the doors to her spiritual awakening and was what guided her to discover meditation. Padee believes that meditation was one of the few forms that saved her life while struggling with mental health. Creating, guiding and sharing meditations is something that she continues to find empowerment in doing. When not on her meditation pillow, Padee is also a Loan Officer Assistant with Bell Bank Mortage where when possible, helps assist the Hmong elders to understand the Loan process, where language can sometimes be a barrier.




9:00-9:30 . . . . . Check-in & light breakfast

9:30-10:45 . . . . . Session 1: Intergenerational Resilience: Telling the Story of Who We Are

10:45-11:00 . . . . Break

11:00-12:30 . . . . Session 2: Strategies for Reducing Secondary Trauma Stress

12:30-1:15 . . . . . . Lunch

1:15-2:30 . . . . . . . Session 3: Engaging Somali Parents

2:30-2:45 . . . . . . Break

2:45-3:15 . . . . . . Special Presentation by Florence Dorley

3:14-4:30 . . . . . . Session 4: Relax. Surrender. Rejuvenate.



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