Tuesday, April 5, 2022 – 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm ET
Virtual Event
Dr. Adam Ellis

In this workshop, and drawing on Dr. Adam Ellis’ (2020) Trauma-Based Theory of Gang Violence, we will explore the relationship between street trauma and ‘crime’. Drawing on the author’s first-hand experience with gangs/street life, correlated with his theoretical understanding of the streets, this workshop will provide an alternative explanation into why young people join gangs and use violence within the street context.  Challenging the often cited crime-oriented lens on gangs, this workshop will utilize a socio-psychological approach to understand how pre, peri and post-traumatic factors may lead to street ‘beef’/violence specifically, and the emergence of street markets more generally.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to appreciate the following:

  1. why young people join street gangs
  2. why these individuals engage in street violence
  3. how these individuals survive and navigate a street life
  4. how these individuals remember and cope with the memories of street violence/conflict
  5. what can be done to mitigate youth from joining a street life.

Adam EllisDr. Adam Ellis, PhD was named a 2016 Vanier Scholar in support of his doctoral project “Reconceptualizing Urban Warfare in Canada: Exploring the Relationship between Trauma, PTSD and Gang Violence”. Adam’s doctoral work is inspired by his own lived experience within the ‘street’ sub-culture.  He has worked on several research projects focusing on urban marginality, youth mental health and ‘crime’; the socio-psychological impact of colonialism and the ‘justice’ industrial complex; street trauma, collective memory and violence; street indoctrination, mental health and identity; anti-colonial criminology; and decolonizing/arts-based research. He has provided consultancy on mental health and criminal justice-related issues with a variety of public and private institutions including the City of Toronto, United Nations, At Home Chez Sois Project, the Provincial/Federal Courts, the Ontario Review Board, and community organizations interphasing between mental health and justice.  Adam recently completed his first edited text “Thug Criminology". Adam is also’ currently designing and implementing a number of community programs to disrupt street-related violence in the GTA.



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