2017 WISeR 9th Annual Celebration : "The Choice": Paths to Advocacy, Social Justice and Change; Choosing Healing, Resilience and Inclusivity

Thu, September 21 2017, 5:00 PM - Sun, September 24 2017, 5:00 PM [PST]

609 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA, United States



Dr. Eger Event, Speakers and Film Screening ONLY Sat Sept 23 6:00 P.M. Marines Memorial Theater San Francisco Partial Approval -$40.00

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Dr. Eger Keynote, Speakers and Film Screening Only

Military, Student, Senior, Disabled DISCOUNT Dr. Eger Keynote, Speakers and Film Screening Only Saturday Sept 23 6 P.M. Marines Memorial Theater San Franciso Partial Approval - $29.00

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Students, Seniors, Disabled Discount Keynote, Speakers and Film Screening Only (Saturday Sept. 23)


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Full 4-Day WISeR Resiliency Bay Area Conference Package Partial Approval - $199.00

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4- Day full Conference package: Opening and Keynote Receptions, paper presentations, book signing, Friday Film Screening and all workshops $275

ENROLLED WISeR STUDENT CONFERENCE PASS, generously sponsored by the WISeR Scholar Fund Partial Approval -$20.00

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Dr. Eger Resiliency Workshop Only, Sunday SEPTEMBER 24 10a.m.-1p.m. Western Institute for Social Research, Berkeley Partial Approval - $99.00

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Open to All. 4 CEU Credits offered for Therapists, Health Care Professionals, Counselors, and Educators

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Event Information

Thu, September 21 2017, 5:00 PM - Sun, September 24 2017, 5:00 PM [PST]

About the Events

September 21-24, 2017 WISeR 9th Annual Multidisciplinary Celebration

Saturday September 23 6 pm, join us in San Francisco with Dr. Edith Eva Eger for "The CHOICE"

Edith Eger is an acclaimed expert in trauma recovery, a thriving survivor of Auschwitz, and author. Dr. Edie is part of the Idea Architects Collective of thought and culture shifters. Her story of survival, freedom, and forgiveness is remarkable and inspiring.

'The Choice is a gift to humanity. One of those rare and eternal stories that you don't want to end and that leave you forever changed.' —DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


“I would take Edie Eger on an op with me any day.”
—U.S. Navy SEALs Commander (Ret.) MARK DIVINE, bestselling author of The Way of the SEAL and Unbeatable Mind


“I have learned from this gifted human being, this indomitable survivor, this accomplished therapist, more about humanity and suffering and resilience than from all my advanced degrees. This effervescent, brawny nanogenarian has more than a story to tell, a therapy to offer, a journey to guide; she brings us to a new way of being.”  
      —Dr. ROBERT KOFFMAN, former Director of Psychological Health, U.S. Navy



"The Choice"- Resilience Initiatives, The Power of Expressive Arts,  Peaceful Homes, Workplaces & Society; Psychology, Innovative Trauma Informed Care, Law, Education, Healthcare, Multiculturalism & Social Justice***



Internationally acclaimed psychologist Dr. Edith Eger—one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors—tells her unforgettable story in this moving testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of Choice in our lives.



Celebration Event, Conference, Presentation and Speaker Schedule:




  • Friday 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. : Professional & Academic Workshops, Academic Presentations and Papers: hosted at WISR Berkeley
  • Friday Morning "Self Empowerment in the Face of Emotional Trauma" Larry Berkelhammer Ph.D. & David Young, Ph.D. 

  • Friday mid-day: Panel on Racism, Social Justice, Multiculturalism and Resilience. Richard Lawrence shares his 60 year involvement in civil rights, his experiences at the Selma March and Chicago Housing March with Dr. King.


  • Friday late afternoon Arts and Social Change/Justice. 100th Anniversary Birthday Memorial Celebration of WISR Board Member, Scholar, Activist and Poet the late Fernando Alegria. Film, discussion presented by WISR Ph.D. Uwe Blesching and WISR Faculty Marcia Campos ¡Viva Chile M ...! 
  • Friday Evening 6 p.m. :  "In Utero",  In UTERO examines the connection between the science of epigenetics and the impact of “unconscious” memories throughout our lives. presented by Dr. Oana Marcu, PhD Biology; Oana works at the Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute, and NASA Ames Research Center International Space Station as an Astrobiologist.  Dr. Marcu has taught courses in developmental biology and is also a Systems-Oriented Traumatologist hosted at WISR in Berkeley.



  • Saturday Morning 9:30 a.m.- Noon: Multidisciplinary Panel: Hosted at WISR in Berkeley Memoir Writing, Personal Transformation and Social Change 


  • SUNDAY 10 A.M. - 1 P.M. : Dr. Edith Eger Resilience & Forgiveness Workshop***, All are Welcome, hosted at WISR in Berkeley
  • SUNDAY Afternoon Presentation
  • SUNDAY Closing Gathering

 ***note: Sunday Workshop CEU Credits are available for Educators, Teachers, Health Care Professionals, Therapists, and Counselors


Saturday, September 23, 2017 6 pm: Dr. Edith Eva Eger, Keynote Speaker

Dr. Edith Eva Eger, 2017 IRC Keynote


International speaker, and best selling  author Dr. Edith Eva Eger will share her inspiring story as a survivor of Auschwitz, and her incredible journey from Hungary to the United States, where she has risen to become an Eminent Psychologist, Best Selling Author, Human Dignity Advocate, and inspiring International Speaker. Dr. Eger has been featured on Oprah, TED Talks, and most recently offered the keynote for the California Legislature Annual Caucus. 

Edith Eger was sixteen years old when the Nazis came to her hometown in Hungary and took her Jewish family to an internment center and then to Auschwitz. Her parents were sent to the gas chamber by Joseph Mengele soon after they arrived at the camp. Hours later Mengele demanded that Edie dance a waltz to “The Blue Danube” and rewarded her with a loaf of bread that she shared with her fellow prisoners. These women later helped save Edie’s life.

One of the few living Holocaust survivors to remember the horrors of the camps, Edie has chosen to forgive her captors and find joy in her life every day. She combines her clinical knowledge and her own experiences with trauma to help others who have experienced painful events large and small.

Dr. Eger’s message is powerful and important: “Your pain matters and is worth healing: you can choose to be joyful and free.” 

Dr. Eger lectures frequently on the power of Love and healing. She is eighty-nine years old and still dancing.



Dr. Eger

Dr. Eger will offer tools you can use right away for developing your innate confidence, resiliency and supporting self-empowerment and healing from adversity. Her highly anticipated book, The Choice has received a distinguished and very personal recommendation from friend and mentor Bishop Desmond Tutu.


The Choice is a gift to humanity.  One of those rare and eternal stories that you don’t want to end and that leave you forever changed. Dr. Eger’s life reveals our capacity to transcend even the greatest of horrors and to use that suffering for the benefit of others.  She has found true freedom and forgiveness and shows us how we can as well. —DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

The Choice weaves Eger’s personal story with case studies from her work as a psychologist. Her patients and their stories illustrate different phases of healing and show how people can choose to escape the prisons they construct in their minds and find freedom, regardless of circumstance.

A powerful, moving memoir—and a practical guide to healing—written by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, an eminent psychologist whose own experiences help her treat patients and allow them to escape the prisons of their own minds.

“In this extraordinary chronicle of heroism and healing, Dr. Eger shows us how to escape the prisons of our own minds . . . Millions of people can learn from Dr. Eger’s inspiring cases and shocking personal story as well as her profound clinical wisdom to heal their lives.”
   PHILIP ZIMBARDO, PhD, Stanford professor emeritus of psychology and New York Times bestselling author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

Today Dr. Eger is 89 years old. She maintains a busy clinical psychology practice in La Jolla, California, holds a faculty appointment at the University of California, San Diego, and regularly gives lectures around the country and abroad, also serving as a consultant for the United States Army and Navy in resiliency training and the treatment of PTSD. Dr. Eger inspires and empowers diverse audiences, from Navy SEALs to clergy and religious groups to medical professionals to survivors of domestic abuse. She has appeared on numerous television programs including The Oprah Winfrey Show and a recent CNN special commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. 

Dr. Edie will offer a book signing after the keynote.






Film Screening and Talk with Filmmaker and Social Justice Activist Satsuki Ina shares her insight as  social justice activist and her pioneering work as filmmaker, producer, writer and clinical psychologist.  

And then They Came for Us


And Then They Came For Us

As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 which was signed by President Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942, the film documents through the use of photos taken by Dorothea Lange and others, the damage this order did to 120,000 people, two thirds of whom were American citizens.  Featuring George Takei and many others who were incarcerated, And Then They Came for Us, demonstrates the importance of speaking up and serves as a cautionary tale.   

Dr. Ina is Professor Emeritus in the School of Education at California State University, Sacramento. She was born in the Tule Lake Segregation Center, an American concentration camp, during WWII. As a licensed psychotherapist, her primary clinical work has focused on intergenerational families struggling with legacies of trauma.  Her research on the long-term impact of the WWII incarceration on the Japanese American family, has led her to produce two award winning documentary films, Children of the Camps, and From A Silk Cocoon. Both documentaries have been broadcast nationally on PBS. She is a community activist, educator, and spokesperson advocating for social justice. She currently continues her psychotherapy practice in Berkeley, California, addressing issues of community and historical trauma.  


Dr. David Yamada, Suffolk Law School

Dr. David Yamada, Professor of Law and Director of the New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, will discuss the intersection of workplace bullying and mobbing behaviors with psychological trauma.

Professor Yamada is an internationally recognized authority on workplace bullying. His model workplace bullying legislation, the Healthy Workplace Bill, serves as the template for law reform efforts across the U.S. His multidisciplinary work on work abuse includes collaborations with the American Psychological Association, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, and the Workplace Bullying Institute.

Professor Yamada has earned degrees from Valparaiso University (B.A.), SUNY-Empire State College (M.A.), New York University School of Law (J.D.), and WISR (Ph.D.). He serves on the WISR board of directors.






Diana Canant Ardicare FoundationHeidi Hardin Think Round Fine Arts Foundation

Diana Canant and Heidi Hardin present their work in developing a global grassroots community care initiative, Turning the Tide , a movement designed as a non-pathologizing, non-medical approach to utilizing the innate wisdom we all have within us to heal, recover and build resiliency. The Center for Human Family Paradise Project envisions a global movement wherein the innate wisdom of all the world's cultures and peoples come together as one human family, through the Expressive Arts, Grassroots Educational Initiatives and Global Conflict Resolution. 


Fine Artist, Educator and speaker Heidi Hardin presents her expressive arts therapy and visionary peacemaking initiative Paradise Project: Global Center for the Human Family 
Human Family Tree/A Walk through Paradise…, (Paradise...)  is an evocation of the universality of the human family through a multimedia meditation on the experiences we share, regardless of faith, culture, or ethnicity.


As a fine artist working in Southeast San Francisco community arts for the past twenty years, I have taught art and environmental science to children about the clean up and reuse of Hunters Point Shipyard. From this work and the thousands of children I have taught, I learned that no matter how traumatic or toxic one’s childhood might have been, there are those (visible and invisible) willing and able to help with the clean up and reuse of one’s life. My awareness of and trust in these processes were the heart of staying resilient as a human being while facing the darkest realities of my past, accepting them, and developing emotional maturity.     --Heidi Hardin


Resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well-being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided in culturally meaningful ways.

The focus on resilience for this conference is extremely empowering, positive, hopeful.  It articulates a goal... hope... a positive outcome and acknowledges strength, rather than weakness... wholeness rather than brokenness. 


"Strong communities help individuals to heal. Strong individuals help communities to heal."




This is a part of a four day Conference on resiliency, healthy workplace initiatives, multiculturalism, trauma informed care, social justice, human dignity and the expressive arts.  
Sponsored by Western Institute for Social Research, A Premiere Academic Institution Celebrating 40+ Years of Social Justice in Education and Multicultural Studies
In partnership with ThinkRound, Ardicare Foundation, The Tanya Project, and New Workplace Institute


Event Location

About the Organizer

A Multidisciplinary Conference Celebrating Multiculturalism and Social Justice. This year's Annual Conference will focus on themes of resiliency, trauma- informed care, social justice through human dignity and the use expressive arts therapies. ***CEU Credits offered for Healthcare Professionals, including Nurses, Administrators, Doctors, Educators, Mental Health Professionals, Therapists, and Counselors. Sponsored by Western Institute for Social Research, Ardicare Foundation, ThinkRound Fine Arts Foundation, New Workplace Institute, The Tanya Project, And Then They Came for Us, The Choice, and Turning the Tide of Trauma.


Event Speakers


Eminent Psychologist, International Speaker, Best Selling Author

To some people, Dr. Edith Eva Eger lost everything in Auschwitz during the Holocaust; but to Dr. Edie, she gained an understanding and compassion for others which has given her a beautiful life. Join


Documentary Filmmaker, Producer, Clinical Psychologist

Born behind barbed wire at the Tule Lake Segregation Center during World War II, Dr. Ina is Professor Emeritus in the School of Education at California State University, Sacramento and founder of the


Professor Emeritus, Suffolk University of Law, Founder International New Workplace Institute

Dr. David Yamada, Professor of Law and Director of the New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, is an internationally recognized authority on workplace bullying. His multidi


CEO Think Round Fine Arts, Arts Educator, Founder Global Center for the Human Family

Heidi Hardin’s twelve years of service as member of the Mayor’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee ignited a deep appreciation for public process and civic leadership by developing the sophisticated arts an


Founder, Ardicare Foundation; Founder Turning the Tide of Trauma CDSP Program

Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Diana Canant has also lived, worked and studied in the UK and the USA. She has global experience as a trainer teaching cross-cultural communication, cult

Ronald Mah, M.A., L.M.F.T., Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist, Author, Advocate and Educator

Ronald Mah, therapist, educator, author & consultant combines concepts, principles, & philosophy with practical techniques and guidelines for effective and productive results.

Danish Qasim, M.F.T. WISR

WISR Researcher, Author, Educator, Human Dignity Advocate Founder "In Shayk's Clothing"

Danish graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 2010 with a B.A. in Religious Studies. He is now completing his Master’s in education and community leadership at the Western Institute for Social Research in Be

Larry Berkelhammer Ph.D.

Larry Berkelhammer, PhD, Author, Educator, speaker, and talk show host covering explorations on the mind's impact on health.

Larry Berkelhammer’s book, In Your Own Hands—New Hope for People with Chronic Medical Conditions is based on his doctoral research at WISR. From 1990 to 2012, he taught people living with chronic medi

David Young, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist, Author, Educator

David Young received his doctorate in psychology at Saybrook University in 1986 and worked as a psychologist for 20 years. He has taught numerous courses in individual and couples therapy, existentia

Uwe Blesching, Ph.D. WISR

Fillmmaker, Author, Journalist, Mind-Body Medicine

UWE BLESCHING is editor-in-chief of CHI Magazine and author of Spicy Healing: A Global Guide to Growing and Using Spices for Food and Medicine. He is a medical journalist and regular contributor in th

Marcia Campos, Tenured Professor Anthropology and Sociology

Professor Universidad Autonoma Ciudad Mexico (UNAM), Filmmaker, WISR Faculty

Political Sciences Doctorate Program U.N.A.M. – Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 1978: Master of Arts in Sociology, FLACSO – The Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences. Mexico D.F. 1973: Ps

Oana Marcu, Ph.D.

Astrobiologist, SETI Institute, NASA Scientist, NASA Space Camp Founding Scientist

Oana has a PhD in biology and works at the Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute, and NASA Ames Research Center on biological projects for the International Space Station and astrobiology. She has taught

Richard Lawrence Ph.D.

Faculty Emeritus; Director, Institutional Development, WISR

Master of Divinity Degree in social ethics from the University of Chicago and post-graduate Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School. A retired Methodist clergyman whose minis

Sherri Kimbell, Ph.D.

Program Director, CBEM

Sherri is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources, majoring in Conservation & Resource Sciences. Sherri worked in the environmental / social justice movement in the Bay Area as a Camp

Sevgi Fernandez

Founder, Together We Stand

Sevgi began Together We Stand to unite people who were interested in advocating for social justice. After years of working with inner city and at risk youth in the Bay Area, Sevgi founded Diverse Worl

Sharon Caringal

Professor, Social Sciences University of the Philipines

Chair Department of Social Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines

Gabriela Hofmeyer

Disability Rights Advocate

Gabriela testified before the US Congress during Bill Clinton’s administration under Secretary of Labor Robert Reich regarding workplace accommodation and the Family Medical Leave Act.