Community Engagement

You Are Invited to Move from CHAOS to CALM!

Join us for a free series of workshops focused on strengthening our emotional wellbeing!

Given the great amount of concern over social-emotional wellbeing that we have heard from families, child care providers, and educators, we wanted to do something about it! 

Four community organizations (WWPS Family and Community Engagement, WWCC Parenting Education, Early Learning Coalition, and the Community Resilience Initiative) have partnered together to offer two workshops and a resource fair for families, child care providers, early learning professionals, educators, and others wanting to pause and breathe again after the last two years. We are calling this series, “From Chaos to Calm: Finding Balance.” 

Here are the dates:

Saturday, April 23, 10-11:30 am at Walla Walla Community College
(English & Spanish / virtual & in-person)
“Resilience: Building Strategies for Children and Adults”

Saturday, May 14, 10-11:30 am at Walla Walla Community College  
( English only / virtual & in-person) 

“Strengthening Connections and Finding Shared Joy” 

Sunday, May 22, 9 am-noon at the WW Center for Children & Families

(English & Spanish / in-person only)
Activity and Community Resource Fair

To help you and your family strengthen its social and emotional balance again , we’ve brought together a collection of community organizations for a morning of fun and support. We’ll have activities, resources, tips, and strategies to share that will help us all breathe a little easier and smile a little wider.

Register at:

Community Engagement

We are forging strong relationships with local organizations in order to:
– share resources
– make initiatives more collaborative
– reach a wider audience with diverse needs and interests
– 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

CRI has been building resilience in Walla Walla for nearly 20 years by:

Community-wide Resilience Building Framework

How do we create a community-wide response to trauma? Our research tells us individual resilience is certainly important, but without a community focus on resilience across all domains in which we live our lives, individual resilience may be challenged. We offer a toolkit, framework and logic model to help build a plan for your community.


Blueprint for Framing YOUR Community Initiative 

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 for the Workshop must have taken CRI’s Course 1.)

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…