Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2015 Sarah Gonzales. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Peace and Conflict Studies

First Advisor

Cheryl Jones-Walker

Second Advisor

Lee A. Smithey


In this thesis I research how educators and communities can respect the feelings and realities of those experiencing trauma. I look at the ways we can frame learning experiences so that they empower people; allowing them to process their trauma safely and develop resilience. I describe three experiences I have participated in over my time attending Swarthmore College. These separate excerpts are interconnected in the ways that participants entered into an opportunity to constructively process their trauma, with the social emotional support of community members, and were therefore able to become agents of self-advocacy and change.