Dallis Westin, the one.

Dallis Westin is a clinical psychologist with a specialization in trauma therapy. She gained a deep appreciation and awareness for the human experiences of trauma and connection while encountering people whose adverse life experiences were unparalleled by anything she had previously experienced. She witnessed ways in which symptoms of trauma manifested immediately, and also decades later, seeing firsthand the effects of multi-generational and complex trauma. To cope with this exposure, she began to write poetry. ‘One’ was a poem that emerged from her own experiences of trauma: the end of a relationship, her new career, and her desire to find meaning and purpose in the horrific experiences of the abused children she was blessed to work with.

Dallis created the one., to help disadvantaged and marginalized youth develop connections with others through using the power of writing, empathy and listening. Their voices will be heard through sharing their written life stories and photographic depictions of the life that shaped their identities, worldview, and ultimately their path. The project will support the collection and distribution of the stories, as well as capture photographic images for publication on the website. Designs that the youth make will also be printed on merchandise and materials and use for fundraising to sustain the initiatives.

To learn more about the one., visit their website.

GRANT AWARD DATE: June 1, 2015