When I went to Pittsburgh

Hello Fellow Artist,

Three weeks ago I attended the Trauma Informed Community Development Institute in Pittsburgh PA. I am going to attempt to be as articulate as I can about what that is and my experience while there. This opportunity came up because I am apart of a small growing organization of people who wanted to come together to figure out a way to be more Trauma Informed and begin to help our neighborhoods and communities heal from past and current trauma. While dancing with Sarasota Contemporary Dance, the artistic director Leymis Bolanos-Wilmott approached me about being a company representative but also knew my attraction to using the arts as a form of healing for people. So I dove right in with the other people that had began the early stages of building this organization, which we still don’t have a name for just yet, but I would say that we are similar and affiliated with Peace for Tarpon and Peace for Manasota! One of our team members had heard about TICD Institute in Pittsburgh and thought that it would be good for the group to apply and make plans to attend. Thankfully it all worked out and six of us traveled by plane to see what this TICD was all about.

The Institute is lead by Rev. Paul Abernathy, an Orthodox Christian pastor, and his organization called the Neighborhood Resilience Project (FOCUS Pittsburgh). We were blown away by the work that they have been tackling for the past two years with the trauma infected communities in Pittsburgh. The opening night of the training is what really begin to open my eyes and understanding about what Trauma really is and how it has effected so many people regardless of race, cultural differences and backgrounds. We were joined by other cohorts from Connecticut, Wyoming, and Ohio. Rev. Paul posed the question “Are You/People Healthy Enough to sustain opportunity”? That question alone blew me away!!! It’s as if that one question and the break down opened my eyes and helped me really begin to look at every personal struggle that I had been through in my life and other friends and family issues so differently. My mind was on overload and my mouth was dropped wide open like WOW, wish I could use an emoji here..! I thought about what insanity is and why people repeat cycles over and over again and make the same decisions over and over again and get the same outcomes. Folks are just not healthy, folks are not dealing with their junk, their past hurt and pain, their failed relationships, their loss of loves ones, their generational issues, their TRAUMA. Please see the article written by Carrie Seidman of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

My experience at the TICD Institute was amazing and it really help me to see how the work that I am doing with Journey to Freedom is really needed in my community as well as the world. Trauma is stored in the body and affects the body in so many ways. Dance is such a release not only for the body but for the mind and spirit. JTF explores dance as a form of healing from Trauma and I am Elated to do this work in my community of Pinellas County and beyond.

JTF has launched our July workshop classes do to start on July 13th. Please Like our Facebook page to see more on dates, times and locations  @JTFMovement

Thank you all for your continued love and support and don’t forget to continue to support, share and show up!

With Love,





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