Conversations about Community

Narratives of Resilience

With Dr. Raphael Travis, Jr., LCSW and guest, Dr. Alex Crooke

In music, especially Hip Hop, resilience narratives include “the story about the problem to overcome, or what was overcome.” It is the personal struggle, the handling of business, and the reflexivity about “how” you cope/coped (i.e., recognizing the existence of both low-risk and high-risk coping). At the same time, these stories can be a validation of the inequities and injustices within people’s social environments often directly contributing to the problems, struggles, and adversities. Thus, these stories are simultaneously about community resilience; they are often “collective” narratives about population-level coping with historical traumas, threats, and marginalization. In practice, it is often missed that Hip Hop integrated strategies are an amalgamation of the expressive arts. They are highly engaging, dynamic and multidimensional, with attention to physiological, social and emotional, and cognitive concerns. This provides a rich landscape to explore the roots of adversity in resilience experiences, the array of strengths and resources that help facilitate resilience, and the necessary micro and macro realities to help individuals and communities thrive.

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Dr. Raphael Travis, Jr. & Dr. Alex Crooke offer a preview of the conversation you get to participate in.

Your Presenter

Dr. Raphael Travis, Jr., LCSW

Dr. Travis is a Professor and MSW Program Director in the School of Social Work at Texas State University. His research, practice, and consultancy work emphasizes healthy development over the life-course, resilience, and civic engagement. He also investigates creative arts, especially Hip-Hop culture, as a source of health and well-being for individuals and communities. He is author of the book The Healing Power of Hip Hop. His latest research, linking arts engagement and well-being, appears in a variety of academic journals and book chapters. The Collaborative Research for Education, Art, and Therapeutic Engagement (CREATE) Lab, at Texas State University led by Dr. Travis, partners with researchers, educators, artists, and community-based organizations focused on better understanding the educational, health, and therapeutic benefits of music and art engagement. The CREATE Lab has multiple active research projects including studies that build upon the lab’s on-campus music studio. The studio, complete with professional quality music technology, hardware, and software, makes constructing, recording, remixing, and other ways of engaging music possible. Research outcomes of interest are healthy development, empowerment, and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Travis is also the founder and Director of FlowStory, PLLC. FlowStory promotes the empowering aspects of Hip-Hop culture as a critical tool for learning, growth, and well-being across all ages, but especially with youth in family, education, therapy, afterschool, and summer program settings.

Session Guest

Dr. Alex Crooke, PhD

Dr. Alexander Hew Dale Crooke holds a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne, in which he is investigating the sustainability of school-based arts projects. He has completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne in the fields of music therapy and social policy.

Dr. Crooke also has an academic background in sociology, political science, and behavioural science. He has undertaken research on numerous projects spanning the fields of music therapy, social science, psychology, social services, epidemiology, community services, and policy development. With publications in a range of areas, his current focus is on the benefits and challenges of school-based arts programs, specialising in issues of sustainability, psychosocial wellbeing, and policy. Dr. Crooke has a strong interest in multidisciplinary collaboration, and commitment to undertaking work which promotes social justice, community development, psychosocial wellbeing, as well as cultural recognition and diversity. Dr. Crooke is open to collaboration in meaningful research, as well as social and artistic endeavours.


Other Content by Our Presenter and Guest


The Healing Power of Hip Hop

Article by Dr. Crooke and Dr. Travis, Jr. appearing in The Conversation (2017)

What Young People Think About Music, Rhythm and Trauma: An Action Research Study

Article by Katrina McFerran, Alex Crooke, Zoe Kalenderidis, Helen Stokes, & Kate Teggelove, appearing in Frontiers in Psychology (2022)