2021 Greetings from NCB

Dear Colleagues,

New Year’s Greetings! On behalf of the Center for Victims of Torture National Capacity Building Project, and our partner, the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, we would like to convey our warmest wishes to all of you and your programs for a more hopeful and productive year.

Since March of last year, Survivors of Torture programs across the United States have had to rapidly adapt and innovate in order to effectively reach especially vulnerable clients – asylum seekers, immigrants, refugees, survivors of torture. They are among the least protected from and most impacted by the ongoing COVID‐19 pandemic, mental health crisis, and socioeconomic dislocations. Many are traumatized by these compounding crises and stressors that are personal, familial, and communal. Our Community of Practice is also experiencing multiple risk exposures, significant barriers to service delivery, and vicarious traumatization.

And yet, we can look forward to 2021 with a renewed sense of optimism and purpose, particularly with the advancement of COVID‐19 vaccines. The promise of the incoming Biden‐Harris administration to “reassert America’s commitment to asylum‐seekers and refugees” brings further hope and opportunity
for our clients and communities to heal, rebuild, and thrive.

We are also hopeful that, as a Community of Practice, these crises over the past year are bringing us closer together, in becoming even more deeply engaged with our clients and their communities. And we can emerge with greater creativity and collaboration, learning and sharing new ideas for improving our practices, and redoubling our commitment to refugee mental health overall and torture treatment in particular.

Lastly, we are grateful for these thoughtful words from our colleague, Dr. Hawthorne Smith of Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture, “Hope is something you do, as opposed to something you have. It is a behavior, a comportment, and a commitment that allows us to utilize the wisdom and courage we all

The NCB Team
Kirsten Anderson
Alison Beckman
Sara Bracewell
Ann Lundberg
Huy Pham


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