Reese, Wendy, Class of 2009 – (Vermont, United States)

Practicum Summary:

Fighting for Survival: Healing the trauma of a broken community through capacity building in Nuestro Barrio, Phoenix, AZ

Reese’s research examines the process of social change and healing in a low-income, primarily Hispanic community in a Voluntary Acquisition and Relocation Sound Mitigation program (VARS) implemented by Sky Harbor Airport and the City of Phoenix. The VARS program offered relocation opportunities for those affected by aircraft noise in the Nuestro Barrio neighborhood adjacent to Sky Harbor Airport. The study explores how residents who chose not to participate in the VARS program and remain in their neighborhood improved the quality of life within their community. Reese uses her experience as a nonresident, societal action science researcher to address how structural violence, or constraints placed on human potential due to economic and political structures, is affected by capacity building, community mobilization, trauma healing, and the development of community partnerships.