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 to 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 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

The Dad Gang

South City Digital Inclusion Project

Principal Investigator Charlie Santo (City and Regional Planning), with co-investigator Gregory Washington (Social Work) are 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. Phase I 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 for this phase will be 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 envelop approach will be employed to ensure that households that receive broadband service are able to use the technology to its fullest capacity. This will be accomplished by linking the digital inclusion effort to existing case management work and employing primarily University of Memphis students as“Digital Mentors.”


SCDIP Event October 10, 2022

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 the 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 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, 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.