In a world where violence runs rampant and trauma remains a societal backbone. Indianapolis artists and activists look to inspire change and encourage solutions to the many violent social injustices that plague our communities. The Community Action of Greater Indianapolis (CAGl) and the Community Action Neighborhood Network of CAGI (WE-CANN) has join together to form C.H.A.T. (Culture. Heart, Art & Talk) to spark change in individuals with hopes of creating a domino effect of awareness and well-being within our neighborhoods, our city, our world.

This is a healing centered approach to community building that includes culture, spirituality, civic action and collective healing. C.H.A.T’s artists, trauma-informed facilitators and participants will work together to create inspirational expressions of art with the intention to engage and transform the community. Utilizing the Civic Reflection Dialogue technique, C.H.A.T. will allow recognition of shared experiences and encourage solutions of the multitude of social injustices, acts of violence and health disparities that impact Hoosiers and beyond To have a greater impact for those we serve, CAGI has broadened its reach to include
place-based initiatives that engage residents through a trauma informed and asset-based lens with the aim of supporting people who have a lot of trauma to be more resilient.

Inspiring CAGI’s community-empowering work is an article by Dr. Shawn Ginwright titled The Future of Healing: Shifting from Trauma Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement. Within his piece, Dr. Ginwright stresses the importance enhancing a person’s well-being after a traumatic experience rather than symptom-based diagnosis and subsequent perceived ineffective treatment. “A healing centered approach views trauma not simply as an individual isolated experience, but rather highlights the ways in which trauma and healing are experienced collectively, .” Dr. Ginwright writes.

Ginwright, and by extension CAGI’s C.H.A.T., centers this philosophy around a person’s potential for a positive outlook. “A healing centered approach to addressing trauma requires a different question that moves beyond what happened to you’ to what’s right with you and views those exposed to trauma as agents in the creation of their own well-being father than victims of traumatic events,” writes Dr. Ginwright. Our hope is to engage our community to be agents of wellness.
Val M. Tate, CLC Community Engagement and Learning Development Director WE CAN Movement Visionary Community Action of Greater Indianapolis.