An article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled "How Philanthropy Can Create Public Systems Change" describes how Renewing Communities, a five-year, multifunder initiative aimed increasing education of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students by California’s public colleges and universities, partnered with the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research in order to address educator burnout through a trauma-informed and resiliency-based community of practice. The team from NYU McSilver included Dr. Andrew F. Cleek, PsyD; Meaghan Baier, LMSW; Anthony Salerno, PhD; and Tara Ready, LMSW.
…the team learned that college faculty teaching in prison were suffering from unusually high turnover and were complaining of compassion fatigue and burnout. The turnover threatened the sustainability of the college programs, as the cost of finding and training new faculty each semester quickly becomes prohibitive. In 2019, the team partnered with the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University to help faculty build a trauma-informed and resiliency-based community of practice. Fifteen colleges applied and were selected to meet regionally and one-on-one with the McSilver experts throughout 2019. Each college team spent the better part of the year identifying and implementing practices that support incarcerated students and the faculty working in the correctional facilities. They institutionalized strategies to monitor faculty wellness, enabling them to respond before faculty reach the breaking point. Almost all have incorporated new practices that they will continue on their own into the future.
Read more about Renewing Communities’ work in an op-ed by Rebecca Silbert and Debbie Mukamal at Stanford Social Innovation Review.
[Image credit: Brian Stauffer]