Welcome to the TRF Book Club

The Trauma Research Foundation invites you to Book Club, a free event open to all members of the TRF community, aims to provide a space to connect, discuss, and share the work of leading experts in the field of trauma. We seek to amplify the voices of both new and established authors and expand our organization’s reach to all members of the public interested in trauma and healing.

Registration is free and open to everyone. TRF will host a discussion panel of up to 8 selected Book Club Members each week. The meetings will be broadcast live on the TRF YouTube Channel and FacebookLive. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with each other and the panel via the live chat.

Season 1: The Body Keeps the Score
Season 2: Becoming Ms. Burton
Season 3: Let Your Light Shine
Book Club (1024 × 1024 px)
Season 4: To Be Announced

The third season of the Book Club will meet to discuss Let Your Light Shine: How Mindfulness Can Empower Children and Rebuild Communities by Ali Smith, Atman Smith, and Andres Gonzalez, founders of the Holistic Life Foundation.

This story of three men’s work helping traumatized kids in one of America’s most underserved cities reveals how mindfulness tools can help children and communities not only survive but thrive

Register once to attend as many of these sessions as you are able. Recordings will be available for any missed weeks. 

In this inspiring book, founders of The Holistic Life Foundation Ali Smith, Atman Smith, and Andres Gonzalez describe how they have spent the past twenty years teaching yoga, meditation, and breathwork to thousands of at-risk kids in Baltimore schools helping them to develop deep reserves of patience, empathy, resolve, and—when needed—the righteous anger that fuels deep structural change. Their work has received wide national attention due to their remarkable results: The schools that have participated in their programs have seen suspension rates plummet and graduation rates go through the roof.

Ali and Atman discovered as young children the power of mindfulness practices to sustain them through the challenges of growing up in a neighborhood in Baltimore struggling with poverty and violence—a community they now serve. The Holistic Life Foundation’s mission is to empower kids to find this same stillness and light within themselves and to let it shine out to help change the world. In this book, Ali, Atman, and Andres share hands-on mindfulness and meditation tools readers can teach kids that will empower them to do this same work in their communities. Let Your Light Shine is essential reading for parents, educators, activists, and anyone looking to make a difference in the lives of young people.

Learn more about The Holistic Life Foundation’s work and vision via their TedX Talk

Play Video

Achara Tarfa, BS, IFS L1, CTRC-S

As a former Speech Language Pathologist, Achara Tarfa is a highly skilled and dedicated Certified Trauma Recovery Coach-Supervisory Level, recognized by the International Association of Trauma Recovery Coaches. As an instructor, with her extensive knowledge, empathetic nature, and personal experience, Achara provides invaluable support to trauma survivors as they navigate their healing journeys.

Drawing from her own experiences as a trauma survivor, she founded Compassionate Coaching for Complex Trauma to help individuals reclaim their lives and thrive beyond trauma. As a board member of PATH, a program that addresses addiction and underlying trauma using an IFS-informed approach, Achara demonstrates her commitment to holistic recovery. She actively contributes to the program’s mission of providing comprehensive support to individuals, recognizing the interconnectedness of addiction and trauma.

Currently serving an eight-year term as a locally elected district supervisor, Achara brings a self-led trauma-responsive voice to local policy, ensuring the needs of families in her community are heard and represented. Through her role, she advocates for the needs of trauma survivors and actively works towards creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all.

With her unwavering commitment to trauma recovery and personal development, Achara continues to expand her knowledge and skills. She remains at the forefront of the field, staying informed about the latest research and best practices. Achara’s dedication to continuous learning and professional growth enables her to provide the highest level of support and guidance to her clients.

Dr. Keisha Siriboe, PhD, MA

Dr. Keisha Siriboe is the CEO of Dr. Keisha Cares Consulting & Coaching and specializes in Public Speaking, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Consulting and Trauma-Informed Mindset Coaching. With a passion for racial literacy education and leadership development, she brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and global perspective to the table.

Dr. Keisha’s accomplishments have made her a prominent figure in the realm of public scholarship. Through TEDx talks, Instagram, Youtube, international conference lectures, published academic works, and programmatic initiatives, she has emerged as a catalyst for change, championing racial literacy and inclusive leadership. Boasting over 20 years of experience, her scholarly pursuits and advocacy work have garnered a discerning global perspective on educational research and diversity.

Embodying the essence of perseverance and dedication, Dr. Keisha Siriboe has made history as the first African-American to obtain a master’s degree from Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China, and the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Hong Kong. These achievements exemplify her unwavering commitment to academic excellence and her determination to transcend cultural boundaries.

Dr. Keisha Siriboe’s leadership journey epitomizes her devotion to education and its impact on society. She has held pivotal roles within prestigious organizations, such as the American Education Research Association (AERA) and the World Education Research Association (WERA). Furthermore, she has contributed to the development of global policy during her three-year tenure with the Education 2030 Project.

Become a Panelist


Book Club Members are invited to be a panelist and play an active role by asking questions and sharing reflections during the live-streamed discussion on our YouTube channel. Our Moderators guide the conversation with questions from the Complimentary Study Guide. Register to receive yours!

There are no requirements to be a panelist in The Book Club. Each week we will be selecting a diverse array of participants, all are welcome to apply. 

Panelist applications are OPEN!

Study Guide will be made available closer to the start of the Book Club

Registration is free and open to everyone!  

The meetings will be broadcast live on the TRF YouTube Channel. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with each other and the panel via the live chat.

Donation amount: ${{ donation_amount }}