Creating Space for Trauma to Heal 

Join Carmen and Terri in exploring an approach for creating a conscious, purposeful, compassionate, and respectful practice of trauma awareness and wellness that incorporates the best evidence-based strategies that allow space for trauma to heal. Gain an introductory explanation of the ways that traumatic adversity happens to a person, the varied impacts of trauma that happen inside a person when the adversity is left unresolved, and the various approaches that enable trauma resolution and healing.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Gain a deeply informed and practical answer to the question, what is trauma?
  • Understand and recognize the imprint of trauma on the body, particularly how it impacts brain development and embeds in the nervous system.
  • Explore the ways that unresolved trauma continues to manifest in people’s self-concept, worldview, thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
  • Obtain a well-founded and pragmatic answer to the question, what is healing?
  • Acquire an understanding of what is required and necessary to support trauma resolution and healing.


Carmen Pitre

Carmen Pitre is the president and chief executive officer of Sojourner, Wisconsin’s largest service provider for families dealing with domestic violence. Under Pitre’s leadership, Sojourner provides crisis housing, system advocacy and individual support to thousands of women, children and families. Pitre draws on decades of work and personal experience to improve the way the community supports families impacted by domestic violence. Pitre believes — and data proves — a holistic approach of co-locating services and coordinating resources is effective, efficient and yields better outcomes for families.

Pitre was integral in the 2009 merger of Sojourner Truth House and the Task Force on Family Violence when she became co-executive director of the new agency, Sojourner Family Peace Center. Before the merger, Pitre was the executive director of the Task Force on Family Violence from 2002 to 2009. Pitre served as the director of the First Judicial District Judicial Oversight Demonstration Initiative and the coordinator of the Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault from 1997 to 2000.

She is a past chair of the State of Wisconsin Department of Justice Violence Against Women Advisory Committee and is a founding member of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Human Trafficking Sub-Committee. Pitre serves on the Aurora Sinai Community Steering Committee and is a member of Professional Dimensions and TEMPO Milwaukee. She served on the State of Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Victim Rights Board from 2010-2012, is past-chair of the City of Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and served on the Medical College of Wisconsin Violence Prevention Initiative Steering Committee from 2008 to 2012.

Under Pitre’s leadership, Sojourner received an inaugural 2021 “Milwaukee Business Journal” Tech Award for centralized data system as well as the “Milwaukee Business Journal’s” 2016 Project of the Year Award, the 2015 “Milwaukee Business Times” Non-Profit Excellence Award, and was named Professional Dimension’s Charity Fund Partner 2015–2017.

Pitre recently received the 2023 Titan 100 award as one of Wisconsin’s top CEOs & C-Level executives and the 2022 Lifetime of Service Award from SERVE Marketing. She received the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s 2021 Doug Jansson Leadership Award for two decades of service at Sojourner. In 2020, Governor Tony Evers appointed Pitre to the Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership Council. She was recognized as a “Milwaukee Business Journal” Power Broker in 2019, 2018 and 2017 and named BMO Celebrating Women Milwaukee – Women Who Inspire Honoree in 2018. Pitre received the Herb Kohl Champion Award in 2018 and the Donald Driver Foundation Driven to Achieve Award in 2016. She was named “Milwaukee Magazine’s” Most Influential Person in 2015, was honored with the Sacajawea Award from Professional Dimensions in 2013 and received the “Business Journal” Women of Influence Award in 2012.

Pitre earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

Terri Strodthoff

Terri Strodthoff is the founder and executive director of the Alma Center, Inc., a community-based agency in Milwaukee working to break the cycle of violence in families. The Alma Center is a research-based, gender-specific agency providing pioneering trauma-informed healing, education, social services and a positive peer community to support abusive men’s peaceful and lasting transformation. The agency is a recipient of the 2014 Celebrating Solutions Award for innovation in domestic violence prevention, chosen by a panel of leading domestic violence experts from more than 300 national applicants.

Dr. Strodhoff has more than 25 years of experience in the field of domestic violence, including program design and administration, evaluation and direct service delivery. Dr. Strodthoff received her PhD in political science from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She has co-authored articles and is a regular presenter and trainer for national and local audiences.