Community Engagement

In the past year, CRI has reached over 700 people in the Walla Walla Valley, and an additional 500 in the state of Washington through training, panel discussions, resource fairs, and consulting services.

Current Events

next to normal - A Partnership with the Little Theater of Walla Walla

While developing a program for her Masters of Public Health degree, Little Theater of Walla Walla volunteer Kathryn Southwick had a one-of-a-kind idea: partner with local organizations to promote mental health.

The Little Theater of Walla Walla will be presenting the Tony Award winning, 2010 Pulitzer Prize winning rock musical next to normal throughout the month of May. 

Dad’s an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens, appearing to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal because the mother has been battling bipolar disorder for 16 years. next to normal takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family’s story with love, sympathy and heart. 

As part of the community partnership, the Little Theater of Walla Walla will be donating a portion of the show’s proceeds to local organizations that promote mental health. The Community Resilience Initiative will be highlighted at the May 10th showing.

Are you interested in promoting local arts and mental health? Catch the show at the Little Theater of Walla Walla during its run from May 10 – June 1.

Monthly Community of Practice Meetings

FREE, LIVE Training & Practices Every Month - on a Predictable Schedule

Have you taken one of CRI’s training modules, but you’re not sure how to incorporate what you learned into daily practice? Maybe you are a working professional, and you are new to the trauma-informed sphere, but you are looking for ways to increase safety and connection in your workplace.

CRI is pleased to announce we are hosting monthly Community of Practice meetings. They are open to anyone, anywhere – and best of all, they’re free.

We meet via Zoom on the second Tuesday of each month at 2:00 pm Pacific Time. Click here to send an email to our Director of Community Engagement, and she’ll put you on the mailing list. Prefer to drop in? Click here for the monthly meeting link. See you there!

Monthly Newsletters

The Latest from CRI

Need to stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest in the science of trauma-informed practice? Want to learn about building resilience in your community? The Resilience Report has the information you need!

Since October 2022, the Community Resilience Initiative has provided a monthly newsletter to keep everyone informed on the latest and greatest in resilience news. Our newsletters are usually published on the first Tuesday of each month.

The Resilience Report features headlining news, training updates, Neuro Nuggets by Rick Griffin, community engagement updates, and product highlights. 

Haven’t subscribed yet? Click here to join our newsletter mailing list.

Community Partners in 2024

A bit of history: CRI has been building resilience in Walla Walla for nearly 20 years by:

We forge strong relationships with local organizations in order to share resources, make initiatives more collaborative, reach a wider audience with diverse needs and interests, and focus on the common goal of community-wide results.

For more information or to become a CRI Ambassador in an area of the community you care about, please contact

Community Engagement Archives

Check out what CRI has been up to!

Transform Your Workplace with Neuroscience

As the festive season unfolds, what better gift to share than the gift of resilience and understanding? At Community Resilience Initiative (CRI), we’re celebrating by offering you an exclusive opportunity to
tap into the transformative power of neuroscience in your workplace.

Our Neuro Leadership Academy is at the forefront of blending cutting-edge neuroscience with practical leadership strategies. This holiday, we invite you to download one of our specially crafted Strategy Sheets, absolutely free! 

Happy Holidays and here’s to a resilient, thriving workplace!

October 2023 Calendar

It’s our favorite month! October is Resilience Month in Walla Walla and all over the country. 

Follow along with CRI’s daily resilience-building activities. Join us for weekly lunch-and-learn webinars and in-person activities. 

Click on this link to join our Thursday webinars, facilitated by our Director of Community Engagement, Becky Turner. 

Click on this link to visit CRI’s EventBrite page to register for any of our October is Resilience Month activities.

Click here to download a clickable PDF version of the calendar.

Trauma-Informed Community Service Training

In partnership with Blue Zones and the Walla Walla Volunteer Corps, the Community Resilience Initiative is pleased to announce two free, public training sessions in February 2023.

Both sessions will cover the same curriculum, which is designed to help people who work or volunteer in social services develop insight and compassion in order to better serve our community.  

  • Wednesday, 2/15/23 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Whitman College (lunch provided). Register here!
  • Thursday, 2/16/23 from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at SonBridge (dinner provided). Register here!


Can’t make it to either date of training? Blue Zones will be recording this training and putting it online after the event. Want to discuss training needs for your organization? Reach out to our Director of Community Engagement, and CRI will develop a training plan that works for you.  

Thanking Our 2022 Donors

The 2022 Valley Giving Guide was a success! CRI would like to express gratitude to the Blue Mountain Community Foundation for providing local nonprofits with an opportunity to participate in their end-of-year fundraiser. Thanks to BMCF and our generous donors, CRI raised $2,050 this year! All these dollars will help support resilience in the community of Walla Walla.

October 2022 Calendar

October is Resilience Month – in Walla Walla and all over the country. 

Follow along with CRI’s daily resilience-building activities. A weekly webinar dedicated to building resilience will be held on Thursdays at noon. 

Click on this link to join the webinars, facilitated by our new Director of Community Engagement, Becky Turner. 

Click here to download a PDF version of the calendar.

2022 Summer Activity Program for Youth 13 to 18

Our summer youth program was made possible by generous donations received through the Valley Giving Guide event in 2021. 

Organizing and executing the program was a collaborative effort between Community Resilience Initiative and Trilogy Recovery Community. A huge THANK YOU to Lucinda Richards, Trilogy’s School Recovery Navigator at College Place Highschool.

Week 1: Boxing Camp

Did you know that boxing is a great trauma buster for youth because it is all about rhythm and body feedback? Like martial arts, it is a defensive technique that helps regulate from the bottom up to integrate body and brain. So many adults tell us that boxing saved them during a tough time as adolescents.

Participants spent three afternoons at Blanc’s Boxing in Walla Walla for a thorough introduction by coach Mike Blanc and mentoring by older, more experienced youth. It was a blast! 

Thank you to our host, Blanc’s Boxing, in Walla Walla!

Week 2: Art

A group of seven girls participated in Art Week. We spent the first day at The Refinery in Walla Walla. Three girls were brave enough to use the wheel with some gentle help from Refinery owner, Jess.

On Day 2 we made charm bracelets and necklaces under the watchful eye of our co-facilitator, Lucinda.

On Day 3, we learned to make collages out of sustainably harvested silk from Madagascar at Carnegie Picture Lab.

Thank you very much to our hosts – The Refinery and Carnegie Picture Lab.

A Conversation with Teri Barila, Founder of Community Resilience Initiative in Walla Walla, WA

By Ursula Volwiler

This conversation with Theresa “Teri” Barila took place on December 20, 2021. After almost two decades of ACEs and resilience work, Teri has stepped back from the daily business of the organization she built. She will remain active in product development and as a trusted advisor and Board President Emeritus.

We wanted to hear from her what the last 20 years have meant, and how she sees the organization moving forward. 

With her scientist’s mind, Teri recognized early on that the seminal ACEs study was more than an academic exercise. It was putting the spotlight on a public health emergency that could only be tackled at the community level. She is known for working 80-hour weeks, blurring personal and professional life, in sounding the alarm bell locally, regionally, and nationally that this crisis puts everybody at risk and is everyone’s responsibility to solve.

Colby Kuschatka, current Board President, aptly sums up Teri’s accomplishments: “Teri is an example of just how much positive change one person can create to make the world a better place for all. That change which first happened in Walla Walla has now spread around the world and has encouraged others to begin their own journey towards resilience.”

Thank you, Teri, for being our catalyst, convener, coach, and cheerleader! We owe you so much.

Read the complete conversation transcript with Teri here.

Community-Wide Resilience Building Framework

Do you want to create a community-wide response to trauma? We offer a toolkit, framework and logic model to help build a plan for your community.

Community-Wide Resilience Building Workshop

This two-day hands-on workshop will help participants frame their own community initiatives, whereby community may be anything from a small group to a large organization. The workshop is not meant to create a fully fleshed work plan, as each community is different. Instead, participants will elevate questions and concepts of individual resilience to a community-wide level. They will examine their communities from the perspective of social determinants of health. Who in the community is present at the table to identify the risk factors present? Who makes the decisions, and who is at the receiving end? Are participants’ ideas of what needs to change in a community based on a limited personal scope of vision, or are they aligned with the views of those affected by the outcomes?

Communities are living systems, which is why linear approaches to addressing adversities often do not bring the desired results. This workshop uses the salmon cycle as a living systems model. As an indicator species, salmon teaches us a lot about survival, about safety and connection. This workshop’s goal is to provide a foundation and nourishing framework for enriching our communities now and in the future.

*Attendees must have taken Course 1: Trauma-Informed.

Translate »