Elizabeth Brillon

BASW, LCSW, DSW Candidate

Embracing Loudness: An Examination of Ethical Trauma-Informed Latina Leadership in Hypermasculine Settings


This comprehensive study addresses the escalating presence of Latinas in social work leadership and the ethical imperative to address cultural and gender barriers within the profession. Utilizing a systematic literature review methodology, the research identifies best practices for trauma-informed Latina leadership, emphasizing potential benefits such as barrier reduction and enhancement of social work principles. The practical application paper intricately weaves the historical trajectory of the Latina cultural diaspora, emphasizing the need for trauma-informed leadership strategies in hypermasculine settings. The conceptual paper builds a historical and analytical case supporting Chicana Feminist Epistemology and Trauma-Informed Leadership Theory convergence to a novel conceptual framework, guiding future social work practices and establishing culturally compliant safeguards. The final paper responds to the existent need for practical applications in hostile hypermasculine environments for Latina social work leaders. Through a case study approach, an overview is provided on the ethical development and implementation of a collaborative cohort model training program and organizational policy based on the new framework. This synthesis offers a comprehensive exploration of Latina leadership in social work, spanning historical context, theoretical frameworks, and practical applications, providing valuable insights for both scholars and practitioners in mental health and beyond.


Elizabeth Brillon, BASW, LCSW, C-DBT, CCTP-II is currently the President and owner of Healing Horizons Therapy, where your path to peace begins. Actively licensed in Pennsylvania and Virginia, Elizabeth supports the profession as Board Member of the National Association of Social Workers Pennsylvania Chapter, Central Division Chair and as Chair of the Violence Against Women and their Children Track for the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting. Elizabeth is a well-rounded social worker, actively practicing since 2008 and recently shifting gears to write a Letter to the Editor calling attention to the epidemic of gun violence through a multicultural lens, published in The New Social Worker Magazine’s March 2023 edition. As a minority business owner, she is a graduate of the 2023 Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship cohort at Cornell. She is a first generation doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky, where she is studying administration and leadership, and is a recent inductee of Phi Alpha, the National Social Work Honor Society. Elizabeth’s current Capstone research is titled, “Trauma-Informed Latina Leadership in the Social Work Setting.” She earned a graduate degree in Social Work Golden Key Honors from Temple University, College of Public Health and an undergraduate degree in Social Work Magna Cum Laude from the University of Memphis. She endeavors to expand her private practice, contribute to current research with a focus on marginalized social workers and trauma, and flourish in leadership through engagement in pedagogic mentorship of future social workers.