Spring on the York College campus

The Institute for Social Healing

The York College Logo rests on a green background

The Institute for Social Healing was established in 2019 by Amanda Rich, PhD, under the Center for Community Engagement. Rich wanted to help the local community by providing resources for York College of Pennsylvania student and faculty research. 

“The term ‘social healing’ grew out of the fields of theology, peacemaking, and conflict resolution,” she says. The institute aims to achieve a number of goals. Combating human trafficking is just one of them. Rich states, “Human trafficking, like many issues of violence, hurt, and exploitation in our communities is not only a problem in and of itself, but also a symptom of other intersecting societal challenges and inequities.”

She hopes that the institute will provide a virtual space that contains “valid, reliable, and accessible information on topics related to injustice, trauma, violence, exploitation, peacemaking, healing, and trauma responsive communities.” Community workers can further their knowledge and encourage social healing locally with the help of the institute’s resources. 

YCP students also benefit from the institute’s resources, which connect them with local experts and internship opportunities, as well as encouraging independent studies on related topics. Students can attend a yearly symposium to present or view research posters. Additionally, they can participate in project-based and service learning to gain real-world experience in fields related to social healing. 

The Institute for Social Healing has planned many events to help reach its goals. A website launch, evaluation of the Quantum Opportunities Program, and hosting of The Symposium on Action Research and Trauma Responsive Communities are just a few. There will be many more events and services offered to YCP students, and students from other colleges, in the future. 

Rich states, “We hope to connect students from multiple departments and multiple colleges who are interested in learning about, and taking action to address, these issues in order to add to a closely linked network of people who care.”