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.

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


Check out what CRI is up to and how you can get involved below!

In Search of: Director of Community Engagement

The Director of Community Engagement educates and guides local individuals and organizations toward cultivating a trauma-informed lens and applying it in the service of greater contextual resilience in the community. Community Engagement is the vehicle for local collaboration and coalition-building toward the following goals: identifying and promoting the protective factors that build community resilience as well as mitigating or eliminating the risk factors that work against it.

Application deadline:  July 31, 2022

Send resume and cover letter and

Essential Responsibilities

Education around trauma and resilience





Building community capacity

  • Provide community leadership on trauma/resilience topics
  • Seek out opportunities for lifespan resilience education (e.g., schools, organizations) and adapt CRI training accordingly
  • Conduct local or regional training sessions, including Train the Trainer, as needed
  • Explore opportunities for connecting community partners around trauma-informed concepts and practices
  • Organize monthly meetings and manage Limited License Agreement for Community of Practice, a national group of CRI Community Resilience Workshop graduates
  • Negotiate pricing and/or sponsorships for local events and training, and document each item following established CRI conventions
  • Build and manage relationships with local organizations
  • Collaborate with local individuals and organizations to plan and implement trauma-informed outcomes and sustainable practices
  • Build a cadre of CRI Ambassadors (local trainers) who educate their respective community segments (cultural, organizational, etc.); follow up with Ambassadors, as needed
  • Organize and participate in local resilience events (e.g., October is Resilience Month, suicide prevention, etc.)

Essential Competencies

  • Able to communicate and collaborate with diverse segments of the population
  • Active listener who can move a conversation forward
  • Effective speaking skills in front of diverse audiences
  • Effective writing and note-taking skills
  • Able to self-regulate and co-regulate in difficult situations
  • Curious life-long learner who keeps up with related science topics

Essential Qualifications

  • 2-to-4-year degree in a related field or equivalent experience
  • Basic knowledge of current brain science related to trauma and resilience as well as ACEs history

Helpful Additional Skills

  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)
  • Grant writing and/or fundraising experience
  • Experience with non-profit work in a small, but diverse community
  • Basic web management skills


  • TBD based on skills and experience

Reports to

  • Executive Director or Board Executive Committee


  • Part-time (20 – 30 hours) or full-time (40 hours)

What do you think when you hear the word “Addiction”?

Community Resilience Initiative is part of a county-wide change team of organizations with the common goal of addressing Trauma-Informed Addiction Recovery and Prevention. 

People with substance use disorders (SUD) navigate a fractured and disjointed system that often fails to provide services tailored to their individual needs. The services provided must be responsive to a client’s unique needs and experiences of trauma. Gaps between services need to be eliminated. A more unified and cohesive service and support delivery system is necessary.

In order to assess the stigma surrounding addiction in our community and the services that are available or lacking, our coalition has created a community survey.

To take the anonymous survey, please point your phone’s camera at the QR code to the right. Thank you in advance!

If you are interested in joining our coalition, please contact one of the two people listed below the code symbol.


This article by Dario Longhi and Marsha Brown charts a course forward of what still needs to be done. Check it out here! 

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

By Ursula Volwiler, Director of Community Engagement

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.