Liberating Science: Intergenerational Trauma and the Social Nervous System

telomeresTalk of trauma is becoming increasingly prevalent, especially with the ongoing and shocking rise of racist police violence. While science has historically been used to oppress and silence many groups of people, emergent studies in neuroscience and epigenetics offer explanatory models and empirical evidence of how oppression and discrimination harm us down to the cellular level and how harm is passed intergenerationally.

This lecture provides an overview of research of over 10 years on the neurobiology of the social nervous system
and explores the causal dynamics of intergenerational trauma in individual and collective behavior, social norms
and social forms. This lecture uses science as a tool of liberation to help people understand how trauma lives in
the body and the mechanisms by which it is passed from generation to generation. It will invite participants to
consider how healing trauma individually and collectively can help create new power and possibilities for social change to emerge.

About the Presenter:

Mordecai Cohen Ettinger, MA, has over 20 years experience as an educator, holistic healer, and social justice change maker. He serves as faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he is currently
creating a new Science, Technology and Society Studies Program.

His academic research focuses on the neurobiology of the social nervous system, and its implications with regard to collective trauma, healing and social change. Trained in Somatic Experiencing, Reiki, and Cranial Sacral therapy, he has studied with Dr. Peter Levine, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Dr. Raja Selvam and MaryEllen Sperling, PT.

Mordecai has served as Interim Executive Director of Caduceus Outreach Services, Interim Co-Director of Justice Now and co-founded the Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project in 2004. Other organizations Mordecai has had the gift of working include Advocates for Informed Choice (AIC), The Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Community United Against Violence (CUAV) the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, People’s Durham, San Francisco Women Against Rape, and Sins Invalid.

Space is limited! Please rsvp at

For those that cannot attend, there will be a live streaming webcast. More details to come!