The Road Home: New Perspectives on Addiction, Wholeness, and Healing with Swoon and Dr. Gabor Mate

Join us to participate in thoughtful conversations about compassion-centered and trauma-informed practices in art and healing. The culmination of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s work with artist Swoon (Caledonia Curry) in Kensington, this symposium features renowned speaker and author Dr. Gabor Maté, as well as a wide array of experts in the field of trauma and addiction.

In collaboration with therapist and artist Jessica Radovich and storytellers Heather Box and Julian Mocine-McQueen, Swoon offered near-daily open-door workshops at the Porch Light Kensington Storefront in April and May. Weekly harm-reduction workshops connected participants to further resources at the nearby Prevention Point facility, across the street from a shelter where a new mural and outdoor lighting and seating will renew this public space for all.

Through this conference, we aim to rework traditional power dynamics and systems by encouraging deep engagement from  participants. The values of the conference are connection, empowerment, deep understanding, and meaningful change on individual, community, and systemic levels.

After a keynote from globally recognized addiction specialist Dr. Gabor Maté, we will hear from a wide array of experts in the field, including those who have directly experienced addiction and trauma. We believe in compassion-centered healing, and aim to explore the artistic stretches of our humanity to support people in their own creativity and healing. We believe in the power of art and story and connection to transform trauma through truth. If you are are looking for a place to ignite hope, connect fully, and speak honestly around some of the most trying topics of our times—addiction, trauma, pain—you have come to the right place.


8 a.m. Registration and refreshments
9 a.m. Introduction
9:15 a.m. Keynote with Dr. Gabor Maté
10:15 a.m. Q&A with Dr. Gabor Maté
10:30 a.m. Movement break
10:45 a.m. Coffee break
11 a.m. Workshops
12:15 p.m. Closing remarks


Experience the Storefront: Art on the Front Lines 
Join us in a real-time exploration of art on the front lines of healing trauma and battling addiction. Let us show you the radical power of meaningful art, and the humanity in the act of using one’s hands and heart in service of beauty. Art is not a band-aid—art is a part of positive change. Come experience for yourself the tactile artistic heartbeat of our storefront in the Kensington neighborhood.
Narratives for Change: Storytelling Workshop 
Story is the heart of our humanity—story is who we are, how we learn, what we remember. Story is the reason why. At the Million Person Project, we are part of the revolution, moving toward authentic humanity and true connection. At the heart of trauma and addiction, there is story. And healing? That can be part of the story too. We will practice the deeply powerful tool of Life-Mapping, and teach you how to use your own story and humanity to connect with the story and humanity of others. In diving into your own personal story, mining for values and meaning, you can harness the power of your deepest truths for the greatest good. We will teach you how to explore your own life experiences and the shape of your humanity, by way of storywork. All are welcome, and all stories are honored here.
DIY Trauma-Informed Skills for the Street 
Sometimes our desire to intervene and act in delicate situations is overshadowed by our fear of not knowing what to do. While not everyone will become a trained therapist, we can all learn ways to recognize and work with trauma on a daily basis.  This will be an unveiling of an approachable and usable collection of tools for anybody to use in supporting someone who is experiencing the impact of trauma. We will also look at how to know when your own pain is driving your response, and how to sort out the wisest course of action. Trauma and addiction often find people alone in their darkest hour, so these tools are meant to equip us to face those times with groundedness and love. This workshop is designed for those who wish to be better informed and equipped to make small acts with great love through direct relationships.
The Cutting Edge of Trauma: Healing and Solutions to Addiction
This workshop will serve as a dialogue around the creative solutions at the forefront of opioid addiction and treatment. The nationwide opioid epidemic calls on our creativity around the treatment and culture of healing. At the cutting edge of trauma and addiction, there are hard conversations to be had about what it means to truly serve communities in meaningful and effective ways; expect dialogue and brainstorming around radical approaches.
October 29, 2018 at 8:30am - 11:30am
International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut St
Philadelphia , PA 19104
United States
Google map and directions
Zakya Hall · · 215-732-5829

Will you come?