No Time to Heal: The Imprint of Historical Trauma

“Congregations informed on the correlation between historical and contemporary trauma, are better equipped to provide care, compassion and understanding, not only to itself, but to the broader church, culture and beloved community. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Kathy Williamson Mount Aery Baptist Church Contact Me

About this pastoral study project

There is a resiliency amongst those affected, that, quite often, attempt to erase the notion of ongoing historical and contemporary trauma correlations. Because of this resiliency, we can be deceived into thinking that everyone is equipped to rebound from traumatic experiences. Having served as Correctional Officer and ultimately Superintendent/Warden in both men's prisons and Juvenile facilities for over twenty-three years, I have witnessed the challenges confronting contemporary society and the broader world. As Pastor, I have witnessed the ways in which these same challenges are manifested within the walls of the church. Through skilled research, in-person interviews, historical travel, and listening to the voices of scholars in the field, I will be able to establish my own voice and expertise in the field of Historical trauma. By educating congregations and communities of the aftermath of trauma and how it manifests itself in their everyday lives, this study will direct communities of faith towards healing. A PSP grant will provide me the gift of time for adequate research, exploration and presentation, where I will be able to assist leaders in identifying the thread that connects historical trauma to contemporary events such as physical health, mental health, substance use/abuse, poverty and behavioral challenges. Through this PSP grant, I will provide leadership that will benefit the broader church and culture. Over the next eighteen months, I will establish the correlations between historical and contemporary trauma and how it continues to show up within communities of faith. I will research three historical events: the Holocaust, Transatlantic Slave trade, and the genocide of indigenous people. Through self-directed study, in-person interviews, intentional pilgrimages and in-depth research, I will demonstrate how continual trauma manifests itself in the lives of descendants of historical traumatic events and ways in which recovery is possible.