Training Team Members

Dr. Julie Nicholson

Chief Strategy Officer

Julie Nicholson, Ph.D. is a Professor of Practice in the School of Education at Mills College, Senior Fellow for Childhood Education International and Co-Founder of the new Center for Equity in Early Childhood Education. Dr. Nicholson conducts community-engaged scholarship and her teaching, research and publications emphasize a range of topics related to social justice and equity especially leadership, racial and gender justice and the impact of trauma on children, adults and systems. Dr. Nicholson regularly gives keynotes and provides trainings and technical assistance for diverse stakeholders about the impact of trauma, strategies for building resilience in children, families and the workforce serving them and shifting programs and systems to become trauma-informed and healing oriented. She has published over 30 research articles in peer reviewed journals and many books including titles examining trauma-informed practice and culturally responsive self-care for educators. She is the lead evaluator for the Resilient Oakland Children and Kids (ROCK) project, a community collaborative building resilience and trauma informed practices in schools and programs across Oakland.

Dr. LaWanda Wesley

Trainer

Dr. LaWanda Wesley earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Management with a concentration in Higher Education from Drexel University. She is Co-Director of the Center for Equity in Early Childhood Education and Director of Quality Enhancement and Professional Development of Early Education for Oakland Unified School District.  She is dedicated to changing the lives of all children, especially those from communities of color, poverty, and furthest reach from opportunity.  Dr. Wesley is the co-author of the second book in the trauma series called Culturally Responsive Self-Care for Early Childhood Educators.  She trains on trauma modules 100 and 200 in the series and trauma informed care topics that have a lens of equity and justice. 

Valentina Torres

Trainer

Valentina Torres is a full-time Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist at Jewish Family & Community Services of the East Bay.  She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California.  Valentina is bilingual and speaks Spanish fluently.  She has trained on trauma with Julie for the past 3 years and is authorized to train in Module 100 and Module 200.

Dana Cox

Trainer

Dana Cox has worked in the field of child health and development for over 35 years, as both a RN/Public Health Nurse and an Early Childhood Special Educator.

She is trained in the Child Trauma Academy's Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (Level ll).  She credits her three children, one a young adult with cerebral palsy as her greatest teachers.  Dana specializes in trauma informed practices with a cross-sectional lens of medical trauma and disabilities.

Lisa Lewis-Cogswell

Trainer

Lisa Lewis-Cogswell, MS, MA, has been a speaker, trainer and coach for individuals and groups for over 20 years.  She has taught meditation, mindfulness, and stress management, among other topics in the fields of personal growth and well-being.  Lisa has advanced degrees in Clinical as well as Transpersonal Psychology, and did her undergraduate work in Human Development. She has experience training on mindfulness and self-care with a trauma informed lens.

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