Future Healers return from trip to Washington DC to meet with FBI
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville nonviolence advocate Christopher 2X and his team returned from their trip to Washington DC Thursday, where they talked to the FBI about their Future Healers model.
2X joined with UofL surgeons and the Louisville Zoo’s education curator to participate in a panel discussion on June 21 at the J. Edgar Hoover Building for FBI leadership as part of the agency’s training program, the release said.
Jody Cohen, special agent in charge of the FBI Louisville Field Office, also participated.
“It was the perfect way to say, you know what, if you’ve got a hospital in your city, and they do; if you’ve got a zoo in your city, and they do; you can mimic this situation,” 2X said.
The Future Healers program was created in partnership with the UofL School of Medicine and the UofL Health Trauma Institute helping youth affected by violence to learn about healing opportunities and become inspired to combat patterns of violence.
”We assess it where we don’t follow this detrimental pathway to destruction... of staying angry and mad because of gunplay in neighborhoods.. where we grow a certain age, then we want to pick up that gun and hurt somebody else because we feel hurt,” 2X said.
Their goal is to help children, ages 4 through 13, affected by violence, learn about healing opportunities and become inspired to combat patterns of violence.
”The medical side provides that motivation for goals and ambitions in regards to careers,” 2X said. “Equally, at the same time, the zoo is essential to dealing with these kids pain as it relates to coping.”
Future Healers Got Zoo Buddies is a program partnership between the Louisville Zoo and 2X’s Game Changers organization, that was created to explore the healing and therapeutic power of animals with young kids, and aims to teach children to have empathy for one another.
At the day camp, kids explore the healing power of animals and are taught how to have empathy for one another. 2X said the FBI seemed impressed to hear they never go through a medical or zoo lesson without talking about violence to the kids, and that they always make sure to spread love to the kids.
“You get to smell that fresh air,” 8-year-old Shane Richardson, who was attending the Future Healers camp on Thursday said. “We was talking about when they was getting the pollen on the flowers.”
“My zoo buddy is a penguin,” Richardson added.
The Future Healers leaders said they hope other hospitals and cities will use their program as a blueprint to help kids dealing with the same trauma.
”At the end of the day, we are most proud of the progress that the kids have made,” UofL Trauma Surgeon Dr. Keith Miller said. “I mean, that’s what it’s all about.”
To learn more about the Future Healers Program, click or tap here.
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