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About the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice

Mission and History

The Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice (CNSJ) at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health promotes health equity and a racially just world through healing-centered interventions to survivors of violence, training for community health worker peers as a pipeline to sustaining careers, and through research and advocacy.

Our ultimate goal is to inspire hope and healing in young people to prevent future violence and trauma, while transforming health and public health systems toward trauma-informed, healing-centered, equitable, and racially just practices.

CNSJ was founded in 2008 with initial support from the Thomas Scattergood Foundation with the goal to change the conversation about violence away from a criminal justice perspective and toward a trauma-informed public health perspective.

Flagship Programs

The flagship programs of CNSJ include:

Healing Hurt People (HHP)

Healing Hurt People is a trauma informed, hospital and community-based violence intervention program designed to heal the wounds of trauma in young victims of urban violence between the ages of 8 and 35.

Services include provides trauma-focused therapy, peer support, and intensive case management. This effort has been replicated in Philadelphia as well as in Portland, OR and Chicago, IL.

The Community Health Worker/Certified Peer Specialist (CHWP) Training Academy

Having recognized that there was a lack of work opportunities for young survivors of violence and a dearth of front-line workers with the lived experiences of these survivors, CNSJ developed and implemented the Community Health Worker/Certified Peer Specialist Training Academy in 2017.

The Academy is a nine-week, 165-hour, trauma-informed, mutual learning environment for young adults with lived experience of violence to become trauma informed, human services professionals.

In 2022, the Training Academy expanded to include an additional nine-week, 216-hour component for experiential internships in healthcare settings.

The Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice is grateful for the support of its partners.

Learn more about support for CNSJ