Youth Bereavement Support: A Road Map to Inclusion
Inequities and power differentials (e.g., race, income, gender, sexual orientation, age) shape meaning-making and service provision in grief and loss encounters (Bordere, 2016, 2018, 2019; Rosenblatt, 2016). The grief journey is often complicated by secrecy, economics, traumatic loss, and the impact of poverty on quality of life. Inclusive and ethical programming that is intentional and on-going continues to be a source of growth and of concern in our field. As grief professionals, it is important to understand the dynamics of these experiences and the centrality of self-care so that we can offer support that is ethical, relevant, and culturally sensitive to grief support needs (Bordere, 2018; Layne & Williams, 2013; Rosenblatt, 2016). The very diverse and unique nature of grief within broader contexts of racial trauma for marginalized population calls us to be innovative, progressive, and “culturally conscientious” and operate within ethical and socially just frameworks (Bordere, 2009, 2016) in our approaches with less resourced communities.
This experiential presentation will offer a lens to view ethical work with underserved populations, to include activities (Layne & Williams, 2013), cultivating peer support, inclusive and resonant facilitation, self-care, skill building, and family-based group and processing approaches. Together we will explore an inclusion framework for a 21st century approach to reach across divides to make healing connections in community grief, loss and trauma.
About the Presenters:
Alesia K. Alexander, LCSW, CT is a passionate, and spirited advocate for young people and communities. Ms. Alexander’s work over the last two decades has focused on inclusive practice, children and teens in school and community settings, specifically with children and teens that have lost a loved one to death. A licensed clinical social worker in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia, she has served as consultant to grief and loss centers across the nation on loss and inclusive practice. She is a former member of the Board of Directors for The National Alliance for Grieving Children. Ms. Alexander is a regular presenter and trainer regionally, nationally and internationally on grief, loss, inclusion, and at-risk youth development. She is the author of four resources for grieving children and communities. Tapestries: A Creative & Inclusive Approach to Grief Support for Youth & Communities (2013), Dream Clouds (2011), Un Mural Para Mamita/A Mural for Mamita (2001), Sunflowers & Rainbows for Tia: Saying Goodbye to Daddy (1999).
Tashel C. Bordere, PhD, FT is an Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Science and State Specialist in Youth Development at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is past editor of the The Forum, and a past ADEC Board member. Dr. Bordere has done numerous workshops, consultations, trainings and publishes works relating to diversity and resilience through loss including a co-edited/co-authored book, Handbook of Social Justice in Loss and Grief (Harris and Bordere, 2016). Her research areas include African American youth grief, coping, and homicide loss. She also developed S.H.E.D. Grief Education in the Schools.
Kevin R. Carter, LCSW, currently serves as the Clinical Director for the Center for Grieving Children. Prior to the current position Kevin practiced in a variety of settings as a clinician, administrator and educator in community mental health, residential care for adolescents, hospice child/teen bereavement and also served as a field director in social work education. His primary interests are in grief/loss/trauma and in particular, how these issues impact children, youth and families in African American communities across the United States.