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New Brunswick, New Jersey (December 19, 2013)- Voices of September 11th and the Rutgers University School of Social Work will host a symposium entitled, "Promoting Resiliency in Communities Impacted by Trauma: Identification and Treatment of Long Term Needs" on Friday, January 17, 2014. The conference will mark the launch of the VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience, an initiative that will share lessons learned to promote healing in the lives of those impacted by mass violence and other tragedies. The Center will be a collaboration with public/private partnerships that will include research, education and training to guide communities in preparing for, responding to and recovering from traumatic events.

The keynote speaker will be John L. Barry, the superintendent of the Aurora Public Schools in Colorado at the time of the tragic shooting at the movie theatre in 2012. He was largely responsible for issuing the schools' response to the incident, mobilizing counseling and support services for the victims' families, survivors and the Aurora community. An estimated 150 of his current and former students, teachers, and their family members were present during the showing of "The Dark Knight Rises." A retired three-star Air Force General, Barry was working in the Pentagon on September 11th during the terrorist attack. At the time of the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster in 2003, Barry was a senior military officer for NASA. He was later appointed by President Bush as Executive Director of the board to determine the reasons for the Space Shuttle disaster.

Voices of September 11th Founding Director, Mary Fetchet noted, "Our work since 9/11, has given us great insight into the long-term needs of victims' families and survivors. The Symposium will educate service providers about lessons learned in the response to mass violence and the delivery of effective support services and treatment." The Symposium will provide research based information and suggested methods of practice to assist clinicians, responders, social services agencies, educators and communities in responding over the long term. Best practices will discussed by professionals with firsthand knowledge of mass violence, complicated grief and trauma response, and 9/11 families and survivors will share their personal stories.

Other speakers include: Nancy Turret, LCSW, Clinician and Researcher at New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University Medical Center; Clifton Lacy, MD, Director of The University Center for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response; Iris G. Udasin, MD, Director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Science Institute Clinical Center; Paul Park, PsyD, Clinician at the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program; Mary Fetchet, LCSW, 9/11 family member and Founding Director of Voices of September 11th; and Jennifer Bauwens, PhD, Research Consultant, Voices of September 11th.

The Symposium will be held on Friday, January 17, 2014 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm at Rutgers University Trayes Hall - Douglass Campus Center, 100 George St, New Brunswick, NJ. The cost of the symposium is $100 or $125 with 5 non-clinical CEU credits for social workers. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. To register, visit VOICES website at For more information, contact Sheri Burkat, sburkat [at] (sburkat[at]voicesofsept11[dot]org) or 732-543-2300


Submitted By:
Susan Dahill

Communications Director
Voices of September 11th
sdahill [at] (sdahill[at]voicesofsept11[dot]org)