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Tuesday, September 22 • 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Trauma Training for Legal Support Workers (NLG Members Only)

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Sponsors: The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) and the Anti-Racism Committee (ARC)

This training will provide skills and resilience practices for members who are experiencing trauma vicarious trauma while providing legal support to movements on the ground during COVID and heightened police violence. Dr. Hawthorne Smith will contextualize this political moment within an anti-oppression framework and offer a space for NLG members to create strategies for self care and resilience.


Dr. Smith is a licensed psychologist and the Director of the Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor at the NYU School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Smith received his doctorate in Counseling Psychology (with distinction) from Teachers College; Columbia University. Dr. Smith had previously earned a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, an advanced certificate in African Studies from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, as well as a Masters in International Affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

Among his clinical duties, Dr. Smith has facilitated a support group for French-speaking African survivors of torture for the past 23 years. He also speaks extensively at professional conferences and seminars on providing clinical services for survivors of socio-political violence, and enhancing cross-cultural clinical skills among therapeutic service providers. Dr. Smith has been recognized for his work with such awards as: the Robin Hood Foundation’s “Hero Award”; the “Frantz Fanon Award” from the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health; the “W.E.B. DuBois Award” from the International Youth Leadership Institute; the “Distinguished Alumni – Early Career Award” from Teachers College; the “Man of Distinction Award” from the National Association of Health Service Executives; the “Union Square Award for Community Advocacy” from the Fund for the City of New York; and a “Humanitarian Award” from the Cousul General of the Republic of Haiti .

Prior to coming to Bellevue, Dr. Smith was a youth counselor to “court involved youth” in Washington, DC during the height of the crack epidemic. He then coordinated care at a shelter for homeless families in San Francisco prior to, and in the aftermath of 1989 earthquake. Dr. Smith was also a co-founding member of Nah We Yone, Inc. (a non-profit organization working primarily with refugees from Sierra Leone, as well as other displaced Africans in New York), and helped to coordinate the International Youth Leadership Institute (IYLI), a leadership program for marginalized New York City teens. Currently, Dr. Smith provides forensic evaluations, human rights consultations, and mitigation services on capital cases for private legal firms and public entities such as the US Department of Defense and the US Office of the Federal Defender. Dr. Smith is also a professional musician (saxophonist and vocalist) with national and international experience.

Tuesday September 22, 2020 7:00pm - 8:30pm EDT