News

Philadelphia school offers program on teaching traumatized children

Cheyney University, the Pennsylvania's state-owned historically black university is launching a new program this summer to train teachers on the ins and outs of helping traumatized children to learn. The certificate program “Trauma-informed Education,” or TIES will be offered at Cheyney's Center City campus in Philadelphia. Its launch comes as Cheyney, which boasts an identity as the nation's oldest historically black post-secondary education institution, struggles to climb out of a downward...

Mental health services for immigrants and refugees in Philly must be reworked [Generocity.org]

If the past several months of discussion and action around supporting immigrants and refugees in Philly has shown us anything, it’s that the city wants to help in as many ways as possible. Whether that’s by providing collective legal counsel or helping newly arrived immigrant professionals transition to familiar careers , socially minded groups and individuals are certainly doing their part to help these populations. Yet it can’t be understated that many immigrants and refugees, especially...

Op-ed: Philly schools must prioritize trauma-informed learning [NewsWorks.org]

Powerful and surprisingly prevalent horrors are blocking access to education and ravaging children’s lives. Sadly, they remain the elephant in the classroom: adverse childhood experiences . Adverse childhood experiences include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, including bullying; physical and emotional neglect; a missing parent, due to separation, divorce, incarceration, or death; witnessing household substance abuse, violence, or mental illness; and witnessing environmental violence.

Clergy embrace trauma informed training in Greater Philadelphia region

An exceptional all-day “Trauma-Informed Training for Clergy” event was held in Philadelphia in May 2017, organized by JSR Educational Enrichment Strategies, Inc. Founder and President Doris Smith-Ribner, Retired PA State Appeals Court Judge. Judge Smith-Ribner recognized the need for this training particularly for those on the front lines of dealing with the impacts of trauma and its prevalence within Philadelphia—the Clergy. Here is her report from that meeting. Highly-regarded trauma...

Philadelphia App Links Youth to Resources and Services [ChronicleofSocialChange.org]

For youth exiting the foster care system, finding a way to access supports and services can be hard. There are many organizations and agencies that offer service to transition-age youth, but knowing where to look for resources like crisis mental health services, computer access, mentoring opportunities and food banks can be a struggle. Many youth are facing unstable and stressful living situations, barriers that make locating help nearby a challenge. In Philadelphia, advocates hope that a...

Some Philadelphia Neighborhoods Are Walking a Line Between Boom and Bust [NextCity.org]

Meet Diane Richardson, achiever of the American dream. A Penn State graduate and the owner of a business that helps homeless veterans, Richardson followed a common trajectory for a child of the civil rights-era black middle class: She grew up in working-class neighborhoods alongside mostly black neighbors, and attended college, which was followed by a few years of working and saving while living with her parents. Then marriage and the search for a home of her own. Like her parents, she...

Philadelphia ACE Task Force Co-Hosts Screening of CAREgivers Film for Philadelphia City Council

In partnership with Councilwoman Helen Gym, Councilman Al Taubenberger, and documentary filmmakers Vic Compher and Rodney Whittenberg, the Philadelphia ACE Task Force co-hosted a screening of Portraits of Professional Caregivers: Their Passion. Their Pain. and briefing about Secondary Traumatic Stress for Philadelphia City Council on Friday, April 21 st . Councilmembers, their staffers, and other community leaders attended the screening and briefing. The audience was struck by the depiction...

Seed, Soil & Light: A Young Revolutionary's Journey (dailygood.org)

Three to four houses had recently burned down in Tommy Joshua’s North Philadelphia neighborhood. In an empty lot behind his home, Tommy came to figure out the origins. The youth of the neighborhood used that space to hop around on the furniture, play with the debris, and kick the wood. From an early age, Tommy questioned the suffering in the world. His earliest memories are of the broken school system, dysfunctional families, and homelessness. He turned to his mother for answers and she...

ACTION NEEDED: Expanding Access to School Breakfast in Philadelphia

As the nation’s poorest big city, it is common knowledge that tens of thousands of students struggle with food insecurity. The federal Community Eligibility Program makes it easy to provide every student in Philadelphia with free breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately, too many of Philadelphia’s students attend schools that don’t prioritize increasing access to these meals. Students who eat school breakfast perform better in school than children who don't, yet: Only 39.6% of public school...

Philadelphia ACE Task Force members educate Baltimore funders about trauma-informed practice

On Monday, March 27th my fellow Philadelphia ACE Task Force member, Suzanne O'Connor, and I visited the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers to educate them about using a trauma-informed approach in their grantmaking. It was a phenomenal opportunity to speak with dedicated and passionate advocates for trauma-informed care in a neighboring city. We hope that this will open the door for our two cities to share best practices and lessons learned about the growing trauma-informed movement!

Penn study finds teen trauma raises depression risk in menopause [phillyvoice.com]

Women who experience multiple traumatic events and chronic stress during their teenage years face a higher risk of depression during menopause than those who don't—even without a history of depression, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. In a study conducted by the Perelman School of Medicine, the first of its kind to focus on the role of childhood adversity in the onset of major depressive disorder (MDD) during menopause, researchers concluded that hormonal changes...

One on One With the Police (nationswell.com)

The organization, Pennsylvania Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC), trains Philadelphia cops to empathize with inner-city youth. Its seminars aren’t a certain fix to rebuilding trust between police and the communities they serve, but data collected from DMC and other case studies around the country, suggest they are making a difference. These types of meet-ups, which are formally known as “facilitated dialogue,” also appear to be associated with a drop in crime. After forums in a Boston...

Philadelphia Principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman transforms Strawberry Mansion High School [Modern Heros]

Meet Principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman, who tells about her journey to work with the students and teachers to bring peace and learning to Philadelphia's Strawberry Mansion High Shool. "With passion and perseverance, Linda Cliatt-Wayman, principal of Strawberry Mansion High School, rescued one of the most dangerous schools in the country. Listen and share her incredible story of resilience and transformation" here in this 7-minute video . Philadelphia ACE Task Force members who have worked on...

New report identifies neighborhoods in need of behavioral health services [thenotebook.org]

At first glance, the Philadelphia neighborhoods in zip codes 19148 and 19120 might seem to have little in common. The 19120 zip code is on the northern edge of the city, bordering Cheltenham Township and including parts of the Olney, East Oak Lane, and Lawncrest neighborhoods. The 19148 zip code is along the Delaware River in Southeast Philadelphia, just below the Pennsport neighborhood and bisected by Interstate 76 before the highway links to the Walt Whitman Bridge. But these two areas...

What’s Killing America’s Black Infants? [The Nation]

"Racism is fueling a national health crisis." The author, Zoe Carpenter, examines the infant mortality, with a close look at the city of Milwaukee, whose health commissioner has identified reducing high infant mortality a primary health priority. Racial disparities in infant mortality continue and "a growing body of evidence points to racial discrimination, rather than race itself, as the dominant factor in explaining why so many black babies are dying." " Chronic stress raises amounts of...

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