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Faces of Resilience Workshops

August 3 @ 9:00 am - August 4 @ 5:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on September 14, 2024 at 9:00 am

One event on October 26, 2024 at 9:00 am


Are you a survivor of gun violence, or do you know someone who is? Join us for Faces of Resilience, a transformative two-day workshop at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, where you’ll create powerful masks to express your emotions, celebrate your loved ones, and honor your triumphs. These workshops are offered in partnership with Project Safe Storage and will be facilitated by Tia Baker and Dr. Lois Dabney-Smith.

Workshops will be offered in August, September and October. Each workshop is a Saturday and Sunday and will be offered in August (3&4), September (14&15), and October (26&27) from 9am-5pm.

The masks will be displayed during Community Day on December 14th, in conjunction with a panel discussion with Community Leaders in the violence prevention space.

These workshops are designed for ages 18+.


Why Two Days?

In-Depth Healing: Healing takes time. Over two days, you’ll have the space to deeply explore and process your emotions, ensuring a more profound and lasting impact.
Comprehensive Guidance: With extended sessions, our experienced art therapists can provide more thorough guidance, helping you unlock deeper levels of creativity and self-expression.
Community Building: Two days allow for stronger connections to form within the group, creating a supportive community that understands and shares your journey.
Reflect & Refine: The second day offers the opportunity to refine and complete your mask, process the weekend’s experiences, and close out with a special ceremony.

What Will You Gain?

✨ Emotional Healing: Through guided mask-making, you’ll find a unique, non-verbal way to process and release deep-seated emotions, paving the way for profound healing.
Celebrate Loved Ones: Use your art to honor the memories and legacies of those you cherish, creating a beautiful tribute to their impact on your life.
Empowerment & Resilience: Transform your pain into powerful expressions of resilience, discovering new strengths and pathways to self-discovery and hope.

How to Prepare?

The masks you create will be actual molds of your face, offering a unique and personal touch to your artistic expression. We recommend that women attend without makeup and all participants wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on to ensure the best experience.

Workshop Highlights

Guided Art Sessions: Experienced art therapists will lead you through each step, helping you unlock your creativity and emotions.

Supportive Community: Connect with fellow survivors in a safe, understanding environment, sharing, and reflecting on your journey together.

Panel Discussion:
 At the end of the workshop series, some participants will have the opportunity to join community leaders in a panel discussion at the August Wilson Center to discuss the impact of the project and share their experiences.

Meals Provided:
 Enjoy continental breakfast and lunch for both days, ensuring you’re nourished and focused on your healing journey.

Special Ceremony:
 Conclude the workshop with a special ceremony to honor your journey, celebrate your resilience, and reflect on the weekend’s experiences.
By the end of this weekend, you’ll leave with:
A tangible, artistic expression of your journey and resilience.
Newfound connections and support from a community of fellow survivors.
The empowerment that comes from reclaiming your narrative and celebrating your loved ones.

An opportunity to voice your story and impact the community through a panel discussion.


Tia Baker

Tia Baker, a devoted advocate for community safety and responsible firearm ownership, serves as the Executive Director of Project Safe Storage. Fueled by a personal encounter with gun violence, both personally and close family members, Baker is dedicated to preventing such tragedies and promoting positive change. Drawing from a background in the nonprofit sector and community advocacy, Baker brings invaluable knowledge and a fervent commitment to creating safer communities through education and responsible firearm practices.
As a community advocate, Baker actively works to bridge diverse perspectives on gun ownership, placing a particular emphasis on empathy and education to reshape narratives around responsible firearm practices. Baker envisions a future where safety is achieved not only through responsible firearm practices but also by addressing root causes, including community violence, and promoting mental health awareness. Her leadership at Project Safe Storage is driven by a commitment to fostering healing, addressing trauma in the community, and building a culture of understanding and trust.

Dr. Lois Dabney-Smith

Dr. Dabney-Smith, a nationally recognized psychotherapist and President of the former Dabney-Smith Associates, a private psychotherapy and consulting practice, has dedicated over four decades to her distinguished career.

As a proponent of public safety, she earned acclaim as the Chair of the Public Safety Committee of the Mayor’s Task Force on Women. Emphasizing the physical well-being of women in the streets, workplaces, parking garages, neighborhoods, and homes, the committee reviewed existing ordinances, conducted on-site inspections, and made recommendations for legislation.

Driven by a passion for empowerment and healing, Dr. Dabney-Smith founded the Just A Sister Away Retreat for black women who balanced numerous roles while often neglecting their physical and mental health. As a sanctuary of relaxation and self-care, the retreat illuminated a path toward a healthier lifestyle.

Her honors include the Woman of Spirit Award from Carlow College, Woman Magazine and People Magazine feature, a guest appearance on the Late Show, and recognition as an Outstanding Psychotherapist in a Town and Country survey.

She co-authored Boldly Beyond 50: A Black Woman’s Guide to Aging With Excellence. She has combined her love of backpacking with her passion for volunteering and has dedicated her efforts in Haiti, China, Peru, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, her hometown.

Dr. Dabney-Smith states, “The act of giving to others awakens my spirit and allows me to receive much more than I give.”