Current Projects

Men Healing Men and Communities Network

"A community-based, wellness informed, culturally appropriate response to trauma"

Men Healing Men and Communities NetworkThe Men Healing Men and Communities Network (MHMCN) is committed to healing and empowering our youth, families, and communities. MHMCN is designed to build and empower healthy communities, prevent violence, and reduce and ultimately eliminate trauma among our youth, families, and communities.

MHMCN seeks to increase the trauma-informed knowledge and skills of African American men through a training curriculum focused on:

  • Trauma across individual, youth, family, and community levels.
  • Need for support to address compassion fatigue (burnout and secondary trauma).
  • Need for peer training and support from fellow professionals and community volunteers.
  • Additional knowledge of human development.
  • Request for new knowledge, skills, and tools to identify, measure, and address trauma.

This should help build the capacity of the organizations, agencies, and institutions they represent. Trauma-informed approaches and frameworks involve a broad understanding of traumatic stress reactions, common responses to trauma, as well as, recovery from and growth after traumatic experiences.

Barbershop Talk Technology Podcast

The Dad Gang

South City Digital Inclusion Project

Principal Investigator Dr. Gregory Washington (Social Work) is working in partnership with Start Co., Knowledge Quest, Code Crew, and Urban Strategies to enhance family access to digital resources.

The purpose of this project is to begin to bridge the digital divide – a problem that has been exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. SCDIP focus includes:

1. provision of broadband internet to selected households

2. provision of “digital literacy” training to selected households

3. provision of advanced “digital education” training to selected youth participants

The geographic focus area is South City and its surroundings (the 38126-zip code). The scope includes provision of broadband internet service to identified households for a 2-year period. The target is to provide service to 500 households for this period. A social envelope approach ensures that households that receive broadband service are able to use the technology to its fullest capacity. This is accomplished by linking the digital inclusion effort to existing case management work and employing primarily staff as“Digital Mentors.”

South City Digital Inclusion Project Flyer 

The Music Club Network 

The State of TN granted appropriations to the University of Memphis to address the needs of at-risk children and families who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences. The Music Club Network has been created to address these needs. 

Dr. Gregory Washington, LCSW, and Dr. Susan Elswick, LCSW have been leading the efforts to address the needs of youth in Memphis by developing, implementing, and evaluating strength-based, community-based, and evidence-based group interventions. These interventions include Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Schools (CBITS) content and are supplemented with cultural assets and expressive arts such as African drumming circles and yoga.

These interventions include a Pyramid Mentoring process in an effort to reduce risk for youth exposed to trauma. of this work is to evaluate the effectiveness of an integrated trauma-informed practice model for community-based programming.

Sites have been established at the Refugee Empowerment Program (REP), CMI Healthcare Services (CMI), Knowledge Quest, Inc. (KQ), and Juvenile Court (JASY). 


  • Participants experienced significant reductions in six of seven trauma-related domains at the completion of CBITS.
  • Professional Development and training on Cognitive Behavior Interventions for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) has been conducted and 15 community practitioners were trained. 
  • Professional development provided for teachers and support staff at REP included ACEs Building Stronger Brains and Trauma (12 staff trained).
  • Professional development provided for the teachers and support staff at REP on QPR, and suicide prevention programming provided (10 staff trained).
  • Professional development for the teachers and support staff of REP on supportive mentoring interventions such as Bibliotherapy and Expressive Arts (Drumming) (10 staff trained).
  • Incorporated 4 translators into the Trauma Healing Club program and group to better support the needs of the family and to ensure cultural competence during the intervention.

The MUSICC Project

The goal of the Mobile University Services for Integrated Community Care (MUSICC) project is to serve youth, parents, caregivers, and professionals with training to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders, particularly serious mental illness (SMI) leveraging skills and expertise from a diverse team utilizing innovative approaches. This project will have a special focus on families of color, families with children aged 5-25, as well as families who may often experience barriers to mental health services such as stigma, racism, and lack of access.

The MUSICC program will utilize technology-based supports and novel community connections in addition to direct instruction on evidence-based topics to a targeted goal of 2,590 unique participants which include youth, parents, school personnel, community partners, and medical workers.

The MUSICC team will go into local communities to provide evidence-based training on important topics in the field of behavioral and mental health and support linkage to services with school and/or community-based mental health agencies in order to promote healing. Topics available for training include:


For training opportunities, contact ejbarnes@memphis.edu and a CAYD consultant will follow up with you.