Mary Fabri

Chicago, Unites States

"In keeping with The Hopi Foundation's mission to promote traditional values of stewardship and care for all of life, we are pleased to honor the healing work of Mary Fabri." - Barbara Poley, The Hopi Foundation 


Dr. Fabri has worked on the frontiers of human compassion and commitment for and with torture survivors. Besides her outstanding clinical work, Dr. Fabri has made significant contributions as a co-founding clinical member of the Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center, the torture treatment program in Chicago, serving as president of the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs, clinically administering the Bosnian Mental Health Program, and being an advocate and trainer in the field of torture treatment. Over the years, Mary has contributed significantly to efforts to provide mental health treatment to survivors in Guatemala, Haiti, Rwanda, Iraq, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The scope of her efforts on-site in the international arena have greatly broadened individual and community therapeutic capabilities, reflecting innovative approaches, and have touched the lives of many.


How I used the cash award

In 2004 I began working with an NGO in Rwanda called Women’s Equity for Access to Care and Treatment (WE-ACTx) as a mental health trainer and consultant. WE-ACTx cares for women and children living with HIV/AIDS and whose lives were drastically altered by the 1994 genocide. Funding is always an ongoing challenge and the $10,000 that accompanied the Barbara Chester Award in 2009 allowed me to complete a cultural and linguistic translation of a manual for a trauma-informed cognitive behavioral intervention for use in Rwanda. The process took two years of working with local providers and conducting forward and backward translations to create English and Kinyarwandan versions. The Barbara Chester award helped me to fund two trainings in 2011, one in Kigali and one in Butare, with a total of 38 mental health providers participating. The opportunity to have an intervention focused training increases the capacity of local providers to address the long-tern consequences of the trauma of the genocide. I am so happy to have completed this project and the support I received from the Hopi Foundation was crucial for its completion. I am so grateful.

Where I keep my award

The beautiful silver feather eagle sculpture handcrafted by Floyd Lomakuyvaya that represents the Barbara Chester award is kept on my bedside table as a symbol of the amazing humility and respect the Hopi Foundation demonstrates through their commitment to the needs of their people and their honor for the life of Barbara Chester, an incredible role model for all who work in the field of torture rehabilitation. It is an award that I cherish.