Building an Innovative Trauma-Informed Learning Community

Posted in: News

Posted on February 13, 2024

Learning communities, also known as “communities of practice” or “knowledge communities,” are collaborative networks dedicated to the exchange of knowledge, experience, and advice between members of similar organizations, entities, identities, and/or locations. This brief showcases the utility of learning communities for supporting innovation, growth, and collaboration among organizations working toward shared outcomes. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is presented as an approach that is well-suited to support the development of learning communities among organizations working to expand access to innovative, trauma-informed programming in justice-impacted communities.

As part of funding from CUNY ISLG and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the Center for Trauma Innovation (CTI) at Exodus Transitional Communities was charged with delivering innovative trauma treatment, training, and education to a local and international community of individuals impacted by the legal system and organizations seeking to support the health and wellness of their communities—including through a learning community.

In partnership with evaluators from the Center for Complex Trauma at Icahn School of Medicine, the CTI is used as a case study to illuminate the process of leveraging community-research partnerships toward the development of learning communities, including challenges, solutions, and lessons learned along the way. This brief concludes with recommendations for program evaluators, community organizations, and other stakeholders interested in establishing innovative, trauma-informed learning communities using a CBPR framework for research-community partnerships.

See CUNY ISLG’s blog for a look at the role evaluation teams can play in creating these learning communities.

Download the brief.

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