Credit: Safer | Courtesy

Cal Poly’s Dating Violence Action Month came to a close with a keynote speech on Thursday highlighting a concept of healing-centered engagement championed by Shawn Ginwright, a researcher at San Francisco State University.

The presentation, hosted by Safer, gave insight into managing trauma and moving forward at a time when students are grappling with recent notifications of sexual assaults on campus this quarter.

Safer hosted other activities throughout October, including a dating and social media workshop, a getting-involved booth and a candlelight vigil to their last event of the month. They also hosted a relationships dive meet at the Anderson Aquatic Center.

Ginwright’s speech was the second to last event, exploring a new way to heal when it comes to survivors. In his presentation, he proposes that the old traditional approach of trauma-informed care may not be the most effective method to help people. 

“Healing-centered engagement is an approach that focuses on addressing and restoring wellbeing,” Ginwright said in Thursday’s Zoom meeting. “Trauma-informed care began with me asking the question what happened to you, whereas the healing-centered approach asks what is right with you.”

Ginwright goes on to discuss the importance of healing as a collective community, as well as posing the question of how people expect to heal others when they do not have healing processes in our own daily lives.

During the Q&A portion he responded to a question regarding his his beginnings in the field.

“My engagement in activism wasn’t really a choice, it was a calling,” Ginwright said. “It’s not like you say, ‘Hey, I’m going to become an activist.’ It’s more like, ‘I am put here for a reason: to improve the quality of life for myself, my family and my community.’”

While the meeting was not recorded, students wanting to know more on the subject can visit Ginwright’s website to find further information along with links to four separate books that he has authored throughout his career in addition to a fifth that will be available early next year.

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