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New York City’s Wounded Healers: A Cross-Program, Participatory Action Research Study of Credible Messengers

Please join the Urban Institute for a presentation of the purpose, activities, methods, findings, and accompanying recommendations of New York City’s Wounded Healers: A Cross-Program, Participatory Action Research (PAR) Study of Credible Messengers.

Credible Messengers share unique lived experiences, primarily criminal legal contact, with the people and communities they serve. Viewed as people who have transformed their lives, Credible Messengers are called on to help vulnerable people do the same. Nationally and locally, the use of Credible Messengers has grown in various contexts, and the groups they serve are diverse in their ages and types of system contact.

This cross-program PAR study assesses the evidence base for the Credible Messenger strategy, including the historical and systemic context surrounding the field, the current landscape of Credible Messenger programming for justice-involved populations in New York City, and common challenges and best practices related to implementing this strategy. This comprehensive review of Credible Messengers is crucial to understanding their present use and contributions to effective programming and services and how best to incorporate them in future efforts. In this presentation, attendees will learn about topics spanning how Credible Messengers are defined, their goals, services, recruitment, training, challenges, perceived impact, and more. During this webinar, we will also offer recommendations for increasing the capacity of Credible Messenger programming at various levels. 



  • Lauren Farrell, Policy Analyst, Urban Institute
  • Azhar Gulaid, Policy Analyst, Urban Institute
  • Mel Langness, Policy Analyst, Urban Institute
  • Rod Martinez, Research Associate, Urban Institute
  • Mari McGilton, Research Associate, Urban Institute
  • Romel Shuler, Community Research Assistant, Urban Institute
  • Helen Skipper, Community Research Assistant, Urban Institute
  • Davon Woodley, Community Research Assistant, Urban Institute




Support for this event is provided by the New York City Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. For more information on the Urban Institute’s funding principles, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Date & Time Monday, March 28, 2022

  • Deputy Director, Community Engagement Resource Center
    Policy Associate
  • Policy Program Associate
  • Research Analyst
  • Research Associate
  • Research Associate
  • Community Research Assistant
  • Community Research Assistant
  • Community Research Assistant
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