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This event was part of Reimagine Events

Let’s Take Action: Transmuting Our Collective Traumas

Hosted by Reimagine

A rabbi and the leader of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' community violence initiative guide participants towards action amidst collective trauma.

This final session in the series “From Collective Trauma to Transformation”, co-hosted by Giffords, guides participants in steps towards action. It features a conversation between gang violence interrupter Paul Carrillo and psychotherapist Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, author of Wounds Into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma. Each will share their own narratives to demonstrate how trauma residue passes from generation to generation and how it can be transformed through acts of service, advocacy, and activism. Small breakout room sessions guided by the following prompts:

Can you share any insights about yourself resulting from the collective grief or trauma you're experiencing? Can you name at least one new opportunity or see one new pathway that has cleared?

What can you do to regulate these difficult emotions? What are some examples of mindfulness practices?

What acts of service, advocacy, or activism might help you move through collective trauma?

Paul Carrillo

Paul Carrillo is the vice president of Giffords Center for Violence Intervention. He was raised in Southeast Los Angeles in an environment with gangs, drugs, and gun violence. In 2001, he began his career as a volunteer for a hospital-based violence intervention program, and in 2005 he co-founded Southern California Crossroads, a nonprofit organization that provides violence prevention and intervention services throughout the greater Los Angeles region.

In 2012, Paul co-founded the national Gang Violence Prevention and Intervention Conference, which brought over 800 practitioners in the field of community violence together to share best practice approaches to violence. In addition, Paul has also worked as a consultant on community violence in a number of places around the world, including Guatemala, London, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Tunisia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and El Salvador.

Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, Ph.D.

Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, PhD, is an author, Jungian psychotherapist, and spiritual leader in the international Jewish Renewal Movement, and a renowned Jewish scholar and teacher. She was ordained by Reb Zalman in 1992 and is widely known for her groundbreaking work on Kabbalah, depth psychology, intergenerational trauma healing, and the re-integration of the feminine wisdom tradition within Judaism. Rabbi Tirzah lectures and teaches nationally about spiritual and ancient wisdom practices that are honed to assist us at this critical time in world history. Her latest work, Wounds into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma (Monkfish, 2019) is the recipient of the 2020 Nautilus Book Award Gold in Psychology and the Jewish Women's Caucus of the Association for Women in Psychology 2020 book award. | @tirzahfire

About Reimagine and “From Collective Trauma to Transformation” Series

Reimagine is a nonprofit organization catalyzing a uniquely powerful community–people of different backgrounds, ages, races, and faiths (and no faith) coming together in the hopes of healing ourselves and the world. We specifically support each other in facing adversity, loss, and mortality and–at our own pace– actively channeling life's biggest challenges into meaningful action and growth.

Through a relentless 24/7 news cycle, we are inundated and often left overwhelmed by harrowing collective traumas taking place across the globe: mass shootings, the pandemic, environmental injustice, racism, war, natural disasters, and so on. And all too often, many of us experience these traumas directly. What’s more, these events can also stir up transgenerational or ancestral pain stemming from historical events such as U.S. slavery, the Trail of Tears, the Holocaust, and 9/11. There is simply so much suffering in the world. So how do we cope with it all and resist emotional numbing? And perhaps more provocatively, how might we integrate these experiences into our lives in healthy ways? What can they teach us about ourselves and each other so that we might create a better present and future? In this three-part series, we’ll understand what seemingly disparate collective traumas have in common. And through the stories of mental health professionals, activists, and survivors, we’ll explore how creative expression, acts of service, and various forms of spirituality can help us navigate a pathway forward.

About Giffords

Giffords is an organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, we inspire the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer. @giffordscourage

Talk, Panel, & Conversation


Wellness Spirituality Living Fully Social Justice & Race