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A Holistic Approach to the Urban Child’s Trauma: From the Eyes of the Beholder

Urban Child Symposium – April 4, 2013


From an early age, children living in inner cities frequently confront issues involving substance abuse, guns, arson, and other random violence. They witness injury, suffering, and death;  they respond to these events with fear and grief, which, in turn, has a profound impact on their child development. An estimated 26 percent of children in the United States experience or witness a traumatic event prior to age 4. In the juvenile justice system, as many as 9 in 10 children have experienced a traumatic event. Yet few such youths are identified as traumatized, and fewer receive appropriate treatment or placement.

The 2013 Urban Child Symposium was opened with remarks by CFCC Director Barbara Babb, University of Baltimore President Robert Bogomolny, and UB School of Law Dean Ronald Weich.

The symposium featured a presentation by Keynote Speaker, Rain Pryor (Actress, Singer, Writer, Comedian and Producer), and a lunchtime presentation entitled “From Tragedy to Triumph,” by Nancy and Anthony Green (Founders, Deanna’s Lyric Foundation).

The first panel set the stage and provided insight into the traumatic experiences of children. Moderated by CFCC Director Barbara Babb, this panel included:

  • Thomas M. Scalea, Francis X. Kelly Professor of Trauma Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Director, Program in Trauma; Physician-in-Chief, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center
  • Elizabeth Thompson, Assistant Vice President and Director, Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Risa Garon, Executive Director and Co-founder, National Family Resiliency Center

The second panel explored the relationship between child trauma and the justice system. Moderated by Professor Odeana Neal, this panel included:

  • Anthony W. Batts, Police Commissioner, Baltimore Police Department
  • Yvette M. Bryant, Associate Judge, Baltimore City Circuit Court; Judge-in-Charge, Family Division
  • Melanie D. Shapiro, Chief Attorney, Juvenile Court Division, Maryland Office of Public Defender

The third panel investigated how the community addresses trauma and the available treatment. Moderated by CFCC Senior Fellow Gloria Danziger, this panel included:

  • Nicole Harris-Crest, 3L, University of Baltimore School of Law
  • Rhonda Lipkin, Independent Verification Agent on the L.J. v. Dallas Case
  • Lori Mostofsky, Social Worker, Psychiatry Unit, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
  • Karen Webber-Ndour, Executive Director of Student Support Services, Baltimore City Public Schools

Thank you to everyone who attended the symposium! We look forward to seeing you at next year's Urban Child Symposium!