top of page




S. Elizabeth Snyder, PhD
Thomas C. Cunningham, US Army (Ret.)
WFNC-AM Small Business Spotlight - Unknown Artist
00:00 / 00:00


Stephen Snyder

(910) 364-9845

221 1/2 Hay Street
Fayetteville NC 28301

Founding Director, Elizabeth Snyder, PhD

Chief Operating Officer, Thomas Cunningham, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army (Ret.)


Applied Culture Group LLC draws its name from Applied Anthropology, which is the practical application of anthropological method and theory to the needs of society, and Cultural Anthropology, which is the study of how culture affects individual experience and seeks a rounded view of the knowledge, customs and institutions of a population. 



ACG’s vision is to transform the way individuals and societies address conflict, trauma and healing. ACG is committed to whole-of-community solutions and actively promotes inclusive, creative leadership fostering relationships, facilitating communication, encouraging innovation and engendering trust and respect.   



Fayetteville’s Applied Culture Group LLC, headed by Elizabeth Snyder, PhD, an applied anthropologist, and Thomas Cunningham, a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran, works to transform the way individuals & societies address conflict, trauma & healing, through immersive training environments that promote self-discovery, shared wisdom, and collective empowerment.

Dr. Snyder has spent her career studying conflict in Europe and Latin America and along the U.S.-Mexico border. Applied anthropology, or “practicing anthropology,” is putting the practical application of anthropological methods and theories to use to solve society's problems. 


In 2010, Snyder left academia and her job as a university professor to work as a pre-deployment trainer to special operations soldiers, who need cultural training as well as language training to successfully form coalitions with indigenous security forces and civilian populations. 


Dr. Snyder’s current projects highlight her passion for trauma awareness and healing, both domestically and internationally. She and her ACG team conduct customized trauma response workshops for military families, U.S. colleges and universities, as well as humanitarian and civil society organizations. 


Applied Culture Group Program Manager Thomas Cunningham served 26 years in the United States Army with 24 of those in Special Forces. Thomas focuses on increasing trauma understanding and healing by connecting and informing health practitioners and survivors of combat or other trauma at the individual, community and national levels. 

Cunningham’s leadership and relationships with over 20 agencies, non-profits, and civilian organizations helps service members and their families shorten the time between seeking help and finding solutions. 

Thomas advocates for greater soldier and veteran care through multiple pathways, including the foundational Responses to Trauma (R2T) initiative. He leads similar efforts guiding clients towards a place of healing by facilitating understanding trauma exposure and encouraging self-reflection, a community of understanding and openness to the potential benefits of counsel with professional behavioral health practitioners.

Recent trainings have been provided to members of the Syrian National Coalition, the Syrian Free Medical Association, conflict zone journalists and other professionals.


Applied Culture Group works locally and globally in diverse, dynamic settings to 
•    Support communities disrupted by conflict
•    Address cycles of trauma and harm
•    Facilitate communal reconciliation and healing


At Applied Culture Group we harness the power of community to create positive social change. Our trainings ignite a passion for learning – about ourselves and others. We stimulate insight and action by engaging participants in a journey of discovery. Our projects champion the power of experiential learning through collective dialogue, storytelling, mindfulness, somatic healing and the creative arts.

Applied Culture Group employs a range of modalities and settings to provoke community awareness and promote change. Our interactive, immersive trainings break new ground by creating open forums for participant-driven exploration and outcomes. Participants enjoy a safe space for self-reflection and self-expression, while continuously building collective bonds for immediate and ongoing application and support.

Applied Culture Group works at the local, national and global level to cultivate transformative bridgebuilding efforts among diverse stakeholders: U.S. and foreign militaries, civil society organizations, first responders, academic institutions, public health officials, the justice sector, and faith leaders.


Applied Culture Group's customized training programs provide immersive learning environments that promote self-discovery, shared wisdom and collective empowerment. We work with diverse communities in dynamic settings to facilitate innovative, participatory solutions, and bring together thought leaders and change agents from academia, government, civil society organizations and the security sector.



ENACT is a series of customized programs that help groups design and implement constructive, action-oriented dialogues about divisive or complex social issues. The goal of ENACT programs is to strengthen and advance inclusive decision-making across all sectors of society. ENACT programs employ a wide range of innovative communication and facilitation strategies to promote thoughtful, effective conversation between diverse stakeholders. ENACT partners include governmental agencies, academic institutions, media professionals, environmental advocates, community organizations, arts councils, and more. 



Responses to Trauma (R2T)
The Responses to Trauma program supports individuals and communities by proactively addressing traumatic exposure and building capacity for increased well-being. This interactive 5-day workshop applies the latest research from psychology, neurobiology, mind-body medicine, mindfulness and the creative arts. The R2T workshop examines the physical, cognitive, behavioral and spiritual impacts of trauma. Participants explore their own trauma histories and identify sources of resilience and strength. Participants gain powerful tools to regulate their responses to trauma and to release trauma energy in healthy ways. 


Applied Trauma Awareness for Practitioners (ATAP)
ATAP is a research-supported trauma awareness and response training specially designed for frontline professionals. This customized educational and experiential workshop brings together theory and practice to:

  • Identify types of trauma and responses to trauma (physical, psychological, emotional, relational, spiritual)

  • Examine impacts of trauma on individuals and communities in conflict and post-conflict environments

  • Explore links between unhealed trauma and cycles of violence

  • Discuss strategies for trauma healing and reconciliation for families, communities, organizations and nations

  • Create ways to integrate trauma awareness and healing modalities into practitioners’ daily life and work


MFC empowers communities by awakening participants’ innate ability to be fully present for themselves and others. This customized program cultivates individual and community well-being by applying scientifically proven principles to reduce stress, increase energy and focus, restore relationships and strengthen gratitude, compassion and happiness. Mindfulness for Change taps the power of contemplation and action to benefit ourselves, our loved ones, our friends and neighbors, our co-workers, and our organizations.


The Courageous Campus Project (CCP)
The Courageous Campus Project is a training program for colleges and universities that equips students to constructively address and transform current issues affecting their campuses and communities. CCP inspires and enables students to be thought leaders and change agents on topics ranging from race, religion and identity to immigration, security and campus-based violence. 

Navigating Justice
Navigating Justice: Restorative Practices for Caring Communities empowers, strengthens and heals communities by facilitating alternative solutions to conflict or harm. The Navigating Justice program applies core principles of inclusion and collaboration to engage all stakeholders in the resolution of communal division or wrongdoing. Navigating Justice brings together victims, offenders, family members, concerned citizens, law enforcement personnel and the justice sector. 


Border 360 
Border 360 is a strategic dialogue initiative that optimizes whole-of-society partnerships to address current border challenges. The increased securitization of international boundaries presents a compelling need for collaborative efforts. Border 360 bridges sectoral silos, bringing together leaders from across border communities: security personnel, business professionals, the justice sector, civil society organizations, faith leaders and academics.

bottom of page