If We Aren't Grieving, We Aren't Healing: Grief as a Trauma-Informed Praxis
Sharim Hannegan-Martinez

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of Michigan

Primary Discipline

The rates of child trauma continue to catapult exponentially year after year. In response to this health crisis, over the last decade there has been burgeoning research on traumainformed pedagogies and practices in schools, and more recently, grief. While this scholarship has made important contributions to the field of education and to educational practice at large, it often addresses these phenomena separately and does little to interrogate the relationship between grief and trauma or to situate grief as a trauma-informed and healing practice. The purpose of this study is to add to the growing body of trauma-informed and healing-centered scholarship by centering a component of healing from trauma that is often looked over in educational scholarship and practice: grief. Through engaging in different iterations of Chicana Feminist Pláticas (individual, peer, communal) with Teachers of Color from across different geographic regions, I seek to understand the spatial and political landscape of grief and trauma for both Teachers and Students of Color. Moreover, I seek to support the healing of Teachers of Color collaborating on this project by utilizing communal pláticas as a methodological and pedagogical opportunity to model grief-centered healing practices.
About Sharim Hannegan-Martinez
Hannegan-Martinez, Sharim
Sharim Hannegan-Martinez is an assistant professor of Critical Studies in Education at the University of Michigan. Informed by her experiences growing up on the San Diego-Tijuana frontera and her time as a high school English teacher in East Oakland, her scholarly agenda seeks to expand justice-centered pedagogies to consider the role of healing and overall wellbeing as a part of liberatory praxis. To that end, she draws on critical race and Chicana feminist theories and methodologies to examine the relationship between trauma, loving pedagogies, literacy, grief, healing, and wellness, particularly as it relates to Students and Teachers of Color. Her work has been published in several journals including Teachers College Record, Urban Education, and Urban Review. Sharim is a founding member of the People’s Education Movement, Bay Area, and earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where her dissertation was recognized by the Ford Foundation’s predoctoral and dissertation year fellowships. This scholarship was awarded ‘dissertation of the year’ by American Educational Research Associations’ Division G: Social Contexts in Education in 2022. Most recently, she completed her Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color fellowship with the National Council for Teachers of English.

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