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Commission on the Impact of Trauma and Violence on the Health of African American Men

The Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice is convening a Commission of experts to examine existing knowledge and practices related to trauma and violence among African American men. This Commission will serve under the leadership Dr. John Rich of Drexel University, with funding from the Office of Minority Health.

Objectives and Activities

The overarching objective of this Commission is to raise awareness about issues of violence and trauma as they relate to African American men, and to improve health outcomes for these men by generating trauma-informed policy recommendations.

Commission activities:

  • To examine existing knowledge about trauma, violence and the health of African American men;
  • To consider ways in which the public health and health care systems can better address the effects of violence and trauma on this population;
  • To document the work of the Commission and its recommendations.

For more information

John Rich, M.D., M.P.H.
Center for Nonviolence & Social Justice
Drexel University School of Public Health
1505 Race Street, 11th Floor
Philadelphia PA 19102-1192
(215) 762-1239

Commission Members












Additional Participants from The Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice, Drexel University School of Public Health (convening organization)



Director, Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice

Dr. John Rich is Chair and Professor of Health Management and Policy at the Drexel University School of Public Health. Before joining Drexel, Dr. Rich was Medical Director for the Boston Public Health Commission, the health department for the City of Boston. In that capacity, he oversaw the clinical functions of the Commission and developed initiatives to address emerging health problems. Dr. Rich was also an Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Boston University, and served as an attending physician at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Rich is an expert in inner-city health problems, particularly urban violence, men's health and racial disparities. He is the Founder and Director of the Young Men's Health Clinic at Boston Medical Center, a primary care clinic designed to meet the health needs of young men in the inner-city. He received his bachelor's degree in English from Dartmouth College, his medical degree from Duke University Medical School and completed his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Rich also holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He was appointed to the Institute of Medicine in 2009.

Dr. Rich directs the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice Exit Disclaimer at the Drexel University School of Public Health. The Center promotes nonviolence, social justice, and trauma-informed practice through programs, research, professional development, and advocacy for policy change.

In 2006, Dr. Rich was awarded a Fellows grant Exit Disclaimer from the MacArthur Foundation for his work in addressing the primary health care needs of young men in the inner city by designing clinical services and training programs. He is the author of the book Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men (2009).

Co-Director, Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice

Dr. Sandra L. Bloom is a Board-Certified psychiatrist, graduate of Temple University School of Medicine and recently was awarded the Temple University School of Medicine Alumni Achievement Award. She is Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy at Drexel University's School of Public Health. Dr. Bloom is President of CommunityWorks, an organizational consulting firm committed to the development of nonviolent environments. She also currently serves as Distinguished Fellow of the Andrus Children's Center in Yonkers, NY.

From 1980-2001, Dr. Bloom served as Founder and Executive Director of the Sanctuary programs, inpatient psychiatric programs for the treatment of trauma-related emotional disorders. In partnership with Andrus Children's Center, Dr. Bloom has established a training institute, the Sanctuary Leadership Development Institute, to train a wide variety of programs in the Sanctuary Model®. This model is now being applied in residential treatment programs for children, domestic violence shelters, group homes, homeless shelters and is being used in other settings as a method of organizational development.

Dr. Bloom is a Past-President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and author of Creating Sanctuary: Toward the Evolution of Sane Societies and co-author of Bearing Witness: Violence and Collective Responsibility.

Co-Director, Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice

Dr. Theodore Corbin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Drexel University College of Medicine. He also serves as the Medical Director of the Healing Hurt People Program, a hospital-based violence intervention program that serves victims of intentional injury. Dr. Corbin completed his medical degree at the Drexel University College of Medicine and his residency in Emergency Medicine at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. He is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine. Dr. Corbin received a Master's in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

In 2005, Dr. Corbin was awarded a Soros Physician Advocacy Fellowship to support his work on policy to develop a trauma-informed approach to youth violence for Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Corbin has been invited to participate as an expert in violence prevention at local and state agencies including the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Boston Public Health Commission and Physicians for Social Responsibility. He also serves as Chair of the Blueprint for a Safer Philadelphia Think Tank.

In 2006, Dr. Corbin was recognized by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of the "Forty Under Forty" awardees for his work. This honor recognizes young leaders of exceptional potential in different disciplines including business, health and education. He was also awarded the Clinician of the Year Award by the Jefferson Emergency Medicine Residency Program. He has presented his work at the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Centers for Disease Control

Robert Anda is Co-Principal Investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE Study). Dr. Anda graduated from Rush Medical College in 1979 and received his Board Certification in Internal Medicine in 1982. During 1982-1984 he completed a Fellowship in Preventive Medicine at the University of Wisconsin where he also received a Masters Degree (MS) in Epidemiology. In 1984 he was accepted into the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. During his 25 years at CDC he has conducted research in a variety of areas including disease surveillance, behavioral health, mental health and disease, cardiovascular disease, and childhood determinants of health. Currently, he is a Senior Scientific Consultant to the CDC, with Carter Consulting.

He played the principal role in the design of the ACE study, subsequent analysis of the ACE Study data, and preparation of its numerous scientific publications and serves as its Co-Principal Investigator. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, numerous government publications such as the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), and book chapters. In addition, he has received numerous awards and recognition for scientific achievements. Rob Anda lives in Atlanta with his wife (Kim) and two children, Kelsey and Will.

Department of Behavioral Health/Mental Retardation Services, City of Philadelphia

Arthur C. Evans, Jr. is the Director of Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services (DBH/MRS), a $1 billion healthcare agency. In this capacity, he is leading a major initiative to transform how behavioral health care and mental retardation services are delivered in Philadelphia. Since Dr. Evans' appointment in November 2004, Philadelphia has begun a transformation of its entire system to one that focuses on recovery for adults, resilience for children and self-determination for all people who use mental retardation services. Dr. Evans is a clinical and community psychologist. He holds a faculty appointment at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and previously held appointments at Yale University School of Medicine and Quinnipiac University.

Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Dr. Evans was the Deputy Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS). In this capacity, he led several major strategic initiatives for the Connecticut behavioral healthcare system. He was instrumental in implementing a recovery-oriented policy framework, addressing health care disparities and increasing the use of evidence-based practices.

Dr. Evans serves in several national leadership roles including: Chair of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson's Path To Recovery Project; Member of the American Psychological Association's Task Force on Severe Mental Illness and Severe Emotional Disturbance; Past President of the Board of Directors of the New England Institute of Addiction Studies Inc. (NEIAS); and Board Member and Summit Chair for the American College of Mental Health Administration.

New York University

Dr. James Gilligan is on the faculty of New York University where he is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor in the School of Law Professor, and Collegiate Professor in the School of Arts and Science. For the Department of Psychiatry he serves as a consultant and supervisor on the evaluation and treatment of the violent mentally ill.

For more than 30 years Dr. Gilligan served on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, where he directed the Institute of Law and Psychiatry and led a team of colleagues from Harvard teaching hospitals in providing mental health and violence prevention services to the Massachusetts prisons and prison mental hospital.

Dr. Gilligan is best known for developing a general theory of the causes and prevention of violence. His theory posits the universal cause of violent behavior stems from being overwhelmed by feelings of shame and humiliation, as well as being insulted, disrespected, ridiculed or rejected by others, or treated as inferior or unimportant. That is, violence is always a desperate and risky attempt to gain respect, attention and recognition for oneself or the group with which one identifies. Dr. Gilligan has become one of the leading exponents of shifting our emphasis from punishing violence after it occurs to preventing it before it happens. He is the author of Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic and Preventing Violence: Prospects for Tomorrow.

In 2000, President Clinton appointed Dr. Gilligan to the Academic Advisory Council of the National Campaign Against Youth Violence, where he chaired the Committee on Violence Prevention. He has also served as a consultant on violent crime and punishment, including war crimes, throughout the United States and around the world to many other world leaders and institutions. In 2005, Dr. Gilligan was asked by the office of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, to collaborate in writing a report on the global problem of "Violence Against Children," which was presented to the General Assembly. In the aftermath of the Abu Ghraib scandal, Dr. Gillian served on the National Commission on Safety and Abuse in American Prisons to assess the nature and extent of prison violence in the U.S.

The Rockefeller University

Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D., is the Alfred E. Mirsky Professor and Head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at The Rockefeller University. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences. He served as Dean of Graduate Studies from 1991-3 and as President of the Society for Neuroscience in 1997-98. As a neuroscientist and neuroendocrinologist, McEwen studies environmentally-regulated, variable gene expression in brain mediated by circulating steroid hormones and endogenous neurotransmitters in relation to brain sexual differentiation and the actions of sex, stress and thyroid hormones on the adult brain. His laboratory discovered adrenal steroid receptors in the hippocampus in 1968. His laboratory combines molecular, anatomical, pharmacological, physiological and behavioral methodologies and relates their findings to human clinical information. His current research focuses on stress effects on amygdala and prefrontal cortex as well as hippocampus, and his laboratory also investigates sex hormone effects and sex differences in these brain regions. In addition, he served on the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health, in which he helped to reformulate concepts and measurements related to stress and stress hormones in the context of human societies. This led to the concept of "allostatic load" that describes the wear and tear on the body and brain from chronic stress and related life style behaviors that lead to dysregulation of physiological stress pathways that are normally protective. He is also a member of the National Council on the Developing Child which focuses on healthy brain development as a key to physical and mental health. He is the co-author of a book with science writer Elizabeth Lasley for a lay audience called The End of Stress as We Know It published in 2002 by the Joseph Henry Press and the Dana Press and another book with science writer Harold M. Schmeck, Jr. called The Hostage Brain published in 1994 by The Rockefeller University Press.

The California Endowment

Robert Phillips, M.P.A., M.P.H., is the Director of the Health and Human Services program at The California Endowment. Phillips leads the foundation's efforts to develop initiatives to reduce barriers to efficient, effective functioning health systems that promote the health of low-income communities and communities of color. In this capacity, Phillips oversees all activities for this grant-making program. Phillips also leads the Boys and Young Men of Color component of its Building Health Communities agenda, an effort to improve the health status of young males and their families in California. Phillips joined The Endowment in August 2006.

Prior to joining The Endowment, Phillips was a Principal at Carter Phillips LLC, a public affairs firm that specializes in strategic communications and public affairs consulting to nonprofits, government and labor unions. Phillips' diverse public policy and advocacy background includes his service as a senior associate at Policy Link, a national nonprofit research and advocacy organization, where he provided strategic development and direction for the organization's initiatives on health disparities and asthma. Phillips also was a capital strategies regional coordinator and political coordinator/organizer for the Service Employees International Union in Oakland, CA, and Washington DC, and a senior health policy analyst for the AFL-CIO in Washington, DC.

He is a former board member of the California Transplant Donor Network, and the former Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Alameda County Medical Center. Phillips is a resident of Oakland, CA, and received his bachelors in Political Science/Economics from Morehouse College in Atlanta, his master's in Public Affairs from the Maxwell School of Citizen and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and his master's in Public Health from Harvard University's School of Public Health. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Health Policy at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Pinderhughes is Chair and Associate Professor, at the Dept. of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He is also a Research Associate at the Institute for the Study of Social Change at U.C. Berkeley and Affiliated Faculty at the U.C.S.F. Institute for Health and Aging. He is the author of Race in the Hood: Conflict and Violence Among Urban Youth, a study of racial attitudes and racial violence among youth in New York City. Dr. Pinderhughes has worked for the last fifteen years with community-based organizations and schools in San Francisco's Mission District and Bay View Hunter's Point neighborhoods, conducting community based research on youth violence, gang violence and adolescent relationship violence, as well as providing training, workshops and assistance in program development in the areas of adolescent violence prevention and intervention, and race relations among youth.

Dr. Pinderhughes' research combines aspects of grounded theory, qualitative methods, survey research and participatory action research to examine problems related to the impacts of structural inequality, racial, class and gender dynamics on adolescent health and relations. He is currently developing a conceptual framework to address the production of racial, class and gender health inequality.

Howard Pinderhughes received a B.A. in Political Science, an M.A. in Sociology, and a Ph.D. in Sociology, all from the University of California, Berkeley.

Morehouse School of Medicine

Dr. Treadwell is Senior Social Scientist and Associate Director of Development in the National Center for Primary Care at Morehouse School of Medicine. Her major responsibilities include program oversight and management for Community Voices: Healthcare for the Underserved, a special informing policy initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She also has oversight of the men's health programs that were funded as a special cluster by the Kellogg Foundation but that are managed by the National Center for Primary Care. Her special work includes development of strategies to inform policy, working to address health disparities among underserved populations, and dissemination of various media products to inform the public and communities of health related issues. Prior to joining the National Center for Primary Care, Dr. Treadwell served for 16 years as program director at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.

Dr. Treadwell's educational background includes a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of South Carolina, a master's degree in Biology from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Atlanta University. She has also completed postdoctoral work at the Harvard University School of Public Health. Dr. Treadwell is a member of the Editorial Board for the American Journal of Public Health and the International Journal of Men's Health and Gender; she also serves on the external advisory committee for the M.P.H. program at Morehouse School of Medicine and is a recent inductee into the Leadership Atlanta Fellowship Class of 2006. She also serves as board member of the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, the Georgia Council for International Visitors, and the High Museum of Art.

Collins Center for Public Policy

April Young is the Vice President for Criminal Justice Initiatives at the Collins Center for Public Policy in Florida. She is a cultural anthropologist who has worked extensively on questions of community change in urban areas. Prior to joining the Overtown Civic Partnership and Design Center in August 2003, Dr. Young ran the Community-University Roundtables Project at Stanford University. The Roundtables Project initiated applied research and provided technical assistance in distressed California communities on topics ranging from police racial profiling to senior women's health to equitable technology access. Dr. Young has administered federal and state rental housing subsidy programs in Boston. She conducted housing policy analysis and delivered technical assistance in the Housing, Income Security, and Employment group for the social science research company Abt Associates in its Cambridge, Massachusetts office.

April Young has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. She conducted doctoral research on institutionalized violence, surveillance and women's experience in a mixed-income residential community. She has an A.B. from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, with concentrations in modernization and international relations.

Program Research Director, Healing Hurt People Program

Linda Rich is Director of Research at the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice and the Healing Hurt People program at Drexel University College of Medicine. She has over 25 years of experience in psychotherapy, research, health policy analysis and program planning. Her previous work at the Best Practices Institute (BPI) focused on: the creation of a training/professional development institute for a large-scale community-based parenting network; guiding a grant-request and funding process; and establishing a standardized evaluation system for parenting education and support programs using performance measures as evaluation tools. Linda has worked in a range of non-profit organizations in the human services field as a direct service provider (psychologist) in women's health and mental health settings, at the City of Philadelphia's Office of Children's Policy, in the National Health and Human Services Program at The Pew Charitable Trusts, and as a consultant for The Ford Foundation and the United Way of Southeastern PA. Ms. Rich holds a Master's degree in Community Psychology from Temple University and a Bachelor's degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

Project Coordinator, Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice

Ann Wilson is the Center's Project Coordinator. Previously, she worked for Philadelphia Health Management Corporation (PHMC) providing consultative services to the City of Philadelphia's Department of Human Services, with a focus on parenting education and support programs. While with PHMC, Ann administered and helped establish the Institute for Family Professionals, a professional development institute for social service professionals who work with parents and caregivers in community-based settings in Philadelphia. Her prior experience includes Health and Human Services grantmaking at The Pew Charitable Trusts and arts administration at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Ms. Wilson graduated from the Catholic University of America with a B.A. in English.

12/27/2016 12:48:47 PM