ExYo at the Healing Trauma, Healthy Communities Conference

October 10, 2018

ExYo participated in the recent Healing Trauma, Healthy Communities Conference hosted by SaintA, a frequent partner to ExYo, and Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWiM), a multi-disciplinary group dedicated to inspiring collaboration to help Milwaukee heal.

Our “Being Seen” murals provided an inspiring backdrop for the conference’s opening night panel discussion. Lori Vance, Express Yourself Milwaukee’s Founder and Executive Director reflected on the evening, “Listening to the speakers talk about trauma, racism, and the path to healing, I felt a deep sense of pride for the work of Express Yourself and its impact. Art has the power to transform, and sitting with many of the people who created the murals, feeling their sense of being seen and valued was quite moving. It really reinforced my commitment as Executive Director to continue moving forward as a beacon of hope, just as we have been for the past fifteen years.”

The murals were highlighted in this WTMJ News “Positively Milwaukee” segment

Additionally, Sumaiyah Clark, Program Manager of the Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCast) program that resides in the City of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention, as part of her presentation, “Healing-Focused Engagement of Milwaukee Youth & Families,” invited Tuyet Vance, ExYo Director of Operations, to share our experience as a recipient of a ReCast grant. Tuyet described a number of ExYo programs — including summer camp, summer intern group, and ArtFlex  — that are supported by this grant. 

ReCast’s purpose is to assist high-risk youth and families, and to promote resilience in communities that have recently faced civil unrest. They use evidence-based violence prevention and youth-engagement programs, and also connect youth and families to trauma-informed behavioral health services.