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Our Stories Matter: Connecting Los Angeles through Stories of Healing

Trauma Informed LA (TILA)

A fiscally sponsored group

TILA seeks support to produce Season 2 of its podcast, Our Stories Matter, a narrative-building project centering the lived experiences of activists and healers. This project will include additional in-person and virtual initiatives that can be easily adapted if social distancing continues. These include community events, live podcast taping and storytelling slam competition; podcast storyteller-led workshops on healing and artistic practices; and educational webinars on trauma, healing-centered care, and resilience-building practices.

Please describe the mission of your organization.

Trauma Informed LA (TILA) is an all-volunteer grassroots organization founded in 2014 whose mission is to foster resilient communities that promote healing and wellbeing through collaboration, education, and community engagement.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

Our Stories Matter addresses the need for social and emotional connectedness by sharing stories of healing, resilience, and trauma survivorship. Angelinos can be part of a collective support system and healing process through “community care,” instead of society’s emphasis on “self-help.” By centering marginalized voices, the podcast supports the co-creation of counter-narratives that empower the storyteller and the audience while fostering social and emotional connection.

The podcast also responds to the need for more inclusive and accessible arts programming. The storytellers featured on the podcast represent diverse backgrounds, identities, and experiences while bringing varying types of healing through the arts, such as painting, breathing, poetry, writing, dance, and music. Each podcast episode will include transcription and Spanish language translation. As a digital means, the podcast allows people with difficulty getting to physical spaces to access the content remotely.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

Since 2015, TILA has provided education on trauma-informed practices to over 4,200 people by partnering with over 30 community-based organizations. TILA offers diverse programming that emphasizes community care practices and builds connection between community members and service providers within LA County. Its diverse network is poised to successfully share its podcast.

In 2019, TILA co-hosted an event where 35 storytellers shared their lived experiences of homelessness, incarceration, and trafficking. The podcast emerged from this event and from the desire to share diverse methods of healing, beyond traditional forms of therapy which are often inaccessible to marginalized communities.

As an established LA-based grassroots organization with a history of community engagement, education, and collaboration, TILA is uniquely suited to foster connection between members of its network and beyond through the podcast. TILA already recorded Season 1 and has the infrastructure to continue.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

As seen through the ACEs study (Felitti, 1998), trauma can be passed down through generations with negative impacts on the health of trauma survivors. Social and emotional connection can foster healing, thereby mitigating the transmission of intergenerational trauma. The podcast and its in-person and virtual events will therefore positively impact not only current Angelenos but generations to come.

It is difficult to fully measure the extent to which the podcast and in-person events will increase social and emotional connection. While TILA will measure feeling states through self-reporting questionnaires, it is challenging to assess the intangibles of social and emotional connectedness, such as empathy, kindness, generosity, and love.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

The goal of this project is to bolster intergenerational social and emotional connection through an inclusive “community care” model for healing built on community engagement. Healing stories, events, and workshops will center on LA-based artists and activists as a way of engaging with LA arts and culture.

TILA will track the number of listeners per episode, the number of podcast subscribers, and podcast shares via social media to determine its success in reaching audiences. Listener demographics (age, gender, and location) will also help measure the podcast’s reach. Further, TILA will create an online survey that measures listeners’ satisfaction with the podcast, perceptions of social and emotional connection, disability access and inclusion, and engagement with LA arts and culture. These questionnaires will also be distributed at community events and will include questions on satisfaction with each event. If social distancing continues, TILA will adapt all events to be virtual and will continue measuring through the online survey.

For community events, TILA will measure the number of event attendees, the number of zip codes represented, the age of attendees to examine intergenerational participation, and the number of newsletter sign-ups to measure community interest in trauma-informed programming.

The online version will remain accessible on TILA’s website after the first episode of Season 2 airs. A paper version will be available for in-person events, which will allow TILA to report the data collected in aggregate (combining the data obtained from podcast listeners and resource fair participants) as well as by form of engagement.

Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Social and emotional support
  • Public arts and cultural events
  • Disability access and inclusion
  • Resilient communities

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the best place to CREATE
  • LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT
  • LA is the best place to CREATE
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Host public events or gatherings
  • Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
  • Strategy assistance and implementation

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