About the Project


​The TREP Project was launched in 2016 with a policy brief on the educational consequences of the chronic toxic stress of living in high crime communities. The TREP Project works to develop the individual and organizational capacity of educators and schools serving children growing up in neighborhoods that have high levels of toxic stress, such as violent crime, concentrated poverty, concentrated foster care involvement, and housing instability.

Join our virtual learning community to become a partner educator and receive policy and practice briefs that will increase ...

... your understanding of how traumatic experiences undermine students’ neurobiological development in ways that affect classroom functioning.

... your ability to  proactively intervene using evidence-based trauma responsive educational practices.

Join leading educators who are utilizing trauma responsive educational practices to ensure that schools can address the negative psychological, behavioral, and academic impact of traumatic experiences on student development.


Micere Keels

Founding Project Director

Associate Professor, Dept. of Comparative Human

Development, University of Chicago 


Jamilah D. Bowden

TREP School Coach

Jamilah is a practicing Licensed Professional Counselor and Master teacher. She has skillfully taught students from Kindergarten through college-age, focusing on brain-based strategies and best practices. As a mental health counselor and trauma specialist, her most significant work has been with survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and with families in the immediate aftermath of violent loss. She now brings together over 20 years of experience serving children and families in underserved communities.

Jessica Staff-Nixon 

TREP Project School Coach

Jessica is a graduate of the University of Chicago's Urban Teacher Education Program where she earned a Master of Arts in Teaching. Her work experiences include teaching a middle school English Language Arts class in the Chicago Public Schools as well as consulting on school improvement initiatives with the Urban Education Institute. She also earned a Bachelor's of Arts degree in sociology from American University in Washington, D.C., where her research focussed on the effects of education policy in historically disadvantaged communities.

Stacy Williams 

TREP Project School Coach 

Stacy has worked in education in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. Her career has spanned preschool to adults, as an interventionist, classroom teacher, school administrator, district leader, instructional coach, and most recently consulting on school improvement efforts with the Urban Education Institute. Her work has centered on addressing the needs of students of color and supporting schools to address challenges such as disproportionality in special education, exclusionary discipline, college access and becoming trauma responsive.

Ebony Hinton

Doctoral Student in the School of Social Service Administration and IES Fellow

Ebony's research interests involve the dynamics of the school-community relationship in urban neighborhoods. She hopes to learn effective ways that schools can be responsive to critical community needs as well as develop partnerships to strengthen and maintain such efforts.

Hilary Tackie

Doctoral Student in Comparative Human Development and IES Fellow

Hilary’s research is centered around a desire to make schools into empowering places for youth of color and ensuring a positive sense of belonging in school. She is interested in how trauma responsive educational

practices can be a method to support teacher-student


Nicholas Wilkins

Undergraduate Student in Germanic Studies

Nicholas has worked in education policy and organizing in Tennessee. He has also worked as a campaign manager and consultant for school board candidates. He is interested in how trauma responsive practices can benefit lower-income students.



The University of Chicago Urban Teacher Education Program

 Integrating knowledge of trauma, its consequences for children's development, its effects on children's school functioning, and educators roles in fostering positive development into teacher preparation programs.  

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Contact us at info@TREPEducator.org

​© 2017 by EdTalk Project