Trauma Sensitive Practices 

ULC’s Winter Symposium is a one-day conference focused on trauma-sensitive practices for educators and individuals working with children and youth. 

Come gain tools to protect your and your student’s mental health.

Saturday, March 4th, 2023

at Mount Mary University

Get Your Ticket Today

$150 ticket includes access to all sessions, materials, and lunch.


According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a traumatic event is a frightening, dangerous, or violent occurrence that poses a threat to a child’s life or bodily integrity. The mission of ULC’s 2023 Winter Symposium is to give all educators – teachers, administrators, and school personnel, community leaders, and parents an opportunity to explore the importance of trauma-informed care in schools and other child-serving environments.  

Through the ACEs studies and neurological research, we now know how significantly early trauma impacts a child’s ability to learn and develop and the importance of addressing the complexities of childhood trauma in schools. ULC recognizes the seriousness of trauma, especially for children, and the need for educators to be equipped with the tools to support students and families while also supporting themselves; therefore, each year we invite professionals who have experience and expertise in the development of trauma-informed educational programs and systems at all levels to share their expertise with our participants. As a participant, you can expect to gain a greater understanding of the trauma of various entry points in education that affect children and families while connecting with new and established colleagues.

Our Keynote Speaker

R. Kweku Smith, PhD, LP

Author | Activist | Speaker | Licensed Psychologist 


R. Kweku Smith, PhD, LP was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. He is a product of the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) system. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology. He later went to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he earned his Masters of Science in Educational Psychology and Doctorate of Philosophy in Urban Education with an emphasis in School Psychology. He completed an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited clinical internship at a juvenile correction institution.

R. Kweku Smith, PhD, LP is a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin. He has served as a para- professional, special education teacher, and school psychologist within MPS over the years. In addition to his work with MPS, he has worked in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, as a clinical psychologist. Smith has also taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of Sociology, Cultural Diversity, Orientation Skill Training, Fiscal Management, Research & Evaluation, Group Counseling and Professional Ethics at UW-Milwaukee, Marian University, Springfield College, Waukesha County Technical College and Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology.

Since 2007, Smith has been the President of BLAQUESMITH Psychological Consultative Services, Inc. As chief consultant, Dr. Smith’s work with the federal government, Washington DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services and Kansas University’s SWIFT urban education project; to improve educational outcomes for at-risk youth, adjudicated youth and school districts in need of improvement. In addition to his work nationally, Dr. Smith strives to make an impact locally through providing training and support to area schools and agencies on the topics of violence prevention, trauma informed care, foster care reform and human trafficking. He has authored several scholarly journal articles and book chapters, edited a book and co-authored another book entitled Building a Better Man: A Blueprint for Decreasing Violence and Increasing Prosocial Behavior in Men. Dr. Smith appears regularly as a commentator for local and national radio, television, and print news outlets.

Our Breakout Speakers

Symphony Swan-Zawadi, BFA, MED  & Joshua Zawadi

Gentle Parenting is
not for the Weary! 

Increase student engagement by adding innovative arts integration strategies into your everyday classroom instruction.

Intended Audience: Parents

Dr. Kevin Brown

Traumatic Experiences Shorten Life Expectancy

Participants will receive information on trauma and how trauma impacts students who become adults who make a life time of poor choices.

Intended Audience: K-12 Educators

Dr. Melinda Cunningham

Addressing Childhood
Trauma Early

We explore trauma and the impact on the educational experience, it starts early!

Intended Audience: Community Members

Muhibb Dyer

Healers Need Healing, TOO!

A workshop emphasizing self-care, giving educators the opportunity to talk about their trauma and release it before entering the classroom.

Intended Audience: K-12 Educators

Kelli Jones, PhD, RN, CPH

Measuring Polyvictimization in Children: Going Beyond ACEs

Discussion of child polyvictimization – the simultaneous, accumulative exposure to multiple forms of victimization.

Intended Audience: K-12 Educators

Lena Patton

Ending the Silence for
School Staff 

This presentation includes warning signs, facts and statistics regarding mental health conditions and how to support students and how to work with families.


Intended Audience: K-12 Educators

Christina Hall, MSW, APSW

Healing From Interpersonal, Systemic, & Global Trauma

Shannon Johnson, MSW, LCSW, SAC-It

The Path of Addiction in Traumatized Youth

The objective of this session is to provide a timeline on how addictive behaviors grow and fester through childhood due to trauma.

Intended Audience: District Administrators


Amy C. Nelson Christensen, PhD, NCSP

Anti-Racist Trauma Sensitive Schools

As educators who serve children of color seeking to establish their schools as trauma sensitive, it is important that we also consider how systemic practices in schools are racially and historically retraumatizing students. 

Gena Orlando

It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health

The presentation defines mental health and includes guidance on starting a conversation about mental health and engaging in self-care.

Intended Audience: K-12 Educators

Get Your Ticket Today

$150 ticket includes access to all sessions, materials, and lunch.


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at Winter Symposium?

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at Winter Symposium?