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

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.  

Community Partners in 2023

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!

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.

Introducing the CRI Monthly Newsletter

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!

Starting in October 2022, the Community Resilience Initiative will be providing a monthly newsletter to keep everyone informed on the latest and greatest in resilience news.

Click here to take a look at the full PDF version of the newsletter.

Stay tuned for monthly updates from CRI!

October 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.

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.