About This Site

ACEs Connection

ACEs Connection is a social network that accelerates the global movement toward recognizing the impact of adverse childhood experiences in shaping adult behavior and health, and reforming all communities and institutions -- from schools to prisons to hospitals and churches -- to help heal and develop resilience rather than to continue to traumatize already traumatized people.

ACEs Connection Network, comprising ACEs Too High and ACEs Connection, receives generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment. The network achieves this by creating a safe place and a trusted source where members share information, explore resources and access tools that help them work together to create resilient families, systems and communities. A companion site, ACEsTooHigh.com, provides news to the general public as part of the ACEs Connection Network.

People who join ACEsConnection:

  • Automatically receive a Daily Digest and a Weekly Roundup. These are sent via MailChimp, so if you don’t want to receive a Daily Digest or a Weekly Roundup, just scroll to the bottom and unsubscribe.
  • Can find and message other ACEsConnection members.
  • Can join existing city, county or state groups that are implementing ACEs-, trauma- informed and resilience-building practices; or can start a group in their community.
  • Post blogs, participate in surveys, join discussions and chats.
  • Access a resource center that includes information about ACE surveys and training, as well as a Roadmap to Resilience Toolkit for communities to use as a guide in their journey to becoming trauma-informed.

If you have any questions about ACEsConnection.com, feel free to contact any one of the team members listed below.

To start a community site in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic states, please contact: 

Cissy White, cwhite@acesconnection.com

To start a community site in the West or Northwest, except California, contact:

Karen Clemmer, kclemmer@acesconnection.com

To start a community site in the South or Midwest, contact:

Jane Stevens, jstevens@acesconnection.com

To start an interest-based community site, please contact: 

Gail Kennedy, gkennedy@acesconnection.com

To start a community in California, please contact:

Southern California: Dana Brown, dbrown@acesconnection.com

Northern California: Karen Clemmer, kclemmer@acesconnection.com

San Francisco Bay Area: Donielle Prince, dprince@acesconnection.com

Capitol Region and Central Valley: Gail Kennedy, gkennedy@acesconnection.com

The ACEs Connection Network Team

Dana Brown

DANA BROWN [dbrown@acesconnection.com] is the Southern California Regional Community Facilitator for ACEs Connection Network. A social entrepreneur, Dana has founded a character development program at Tierrasanta Elementary in San Diego, CA; co-founded Youth Voice and OurSOLES (Our Students of Leadership ~ Empowerment ~ Service), founded Youth Leadership with TICS (Trauma Informed Community Schools) and Youth Leadership with McGill School of Success, a commissioner on the City of San Diego Commission on Gang Prevention & Intervention and Chair of the Youth Committee, and has been vested with several boards and advisory councils, including the San Diego Trauma Informed Guide Team, HHSA (Health, Human Services Agency) Trauma Informed Systems Integration Champion Work Group, and University of San Diego's Character Development Center. Receiving the Joy McAllister Advocacy Award from Mental Health America in 2014, President Obama's USA Volunteer Presidential Award in 2013, and the City of San Diego's Human Relations Commission Award in 2009, Dana is living her soul's purpose of co-creating with like-minded individuals our systems change in a socio-ecological model through advocacy, prevention and resiliency building. An Iowa farm girl, she has been married twice, has two wonderful young adult daughters, an ACE score of 7, and is devoted (workaholic) to bringing healing to our humanity through collective impact.

Karne Clemmer

KAREN CLEMMER [kclemmer@acesconnection.com] is the Northern California Community Facilitator. Before joining ACEs Connection, Karen Clemmer was a public health nurse with 20 years of experience in maternal child adolescent health, most of that time with Sonoma County, California. There, she collaborated with community partners — including more than a dozen health centers, three WIC agencies, various parenting and early infant organizations, and public health home visiting programs — to improve the lives of women, children and families. In 2014 Karen cofounded Sonoma County ACEs Connection, which rapidly grew from a grassroots organization to a structured coalition with 75+ members representing a wide variety of sectors including juvenile justice, public policy, child advocates, physicians, behavioral health professionals and others. Sonoma County ACEs Connection is one of 14 communities nationwide to receive a Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities grant. Karen completed her undergraduate nursing degree at San Jose State University in 1994, and earned a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Washington in 2005.

ALICIA DOKTOR [adoktor@acesconnection.com] has spent most of her career serving communities as public librarian. A recent transplant to Sacramento, CA, Alicia grew up in Southern California all over the Inland Empire, but is proud to call Riverside her hometown. She received a BA in history from Cal Poly Pomona and a Masters in library and information science from Cal State San Jose. As a Queer-identified person, Alicia firmly believes that liberation is a collective process and approaches her work from a place of social justice, solidarity and intersectionality. She finds mindfulness in cooking, riding her bike around midtown and practicing yoga. She’s still trying to figure out how to sit still long enough to meditate. Alicia began working with the ACN group Resilient Sacramento about two years ago and found so much support, kindness and knowledge that she began dreaming of making this work her full time job. Alicia is looking forwards to learning about and connecting to the many communities on ACN. Alicia is here to answer any questions you may have about the network and to listen to any suggestions you may have to make your experience on the site engaging and effective.

Gail Kennedy

GAIL KENNEDY [gkennedy@acesconnection.com] is Director of Programs for the ACEs Connection Network. Gail, who has an Masters in Public Health, has over 30 years of public health experience. For nearly 20 years she worked at the University of California, San Francisco, where she conducted research and managed international HIV collaborative efforts, and assisted countries to collect and use data to respond to the needs of their communities. But Gail's public health interests started while working as an advocate in a child abuse prevention and rape crisis center; her work with ACEs and resiliency research is like coming back to her roots. Gail has been with ACEs Connection Network since May 2015, and brings to this community her passion for community engagement and facilitation, and her appreciation of the power of getting data into the hands of communities. After nearly 20 years working on international projects, Gail is thrilled to be working in her own community and helping to grow the Yolo County ACEs Connection group where she lives in beautiful Davis, CA, with her husband, teen-aged daughter and dog. With multiple ACEs, she recognizes how important yoga is in her life, has just gotten hooked on SpinFit classes and tries to get out in nature any chance she gets.

Val Krist

VALERIE KRIST [valjkrist@outlook.com] is the graphic and web designer for ACEs Connection Network where she finds new ways to make visual content and makes sure ACEsConnection.com runs smoothly. For the past 17 years, Krist has collaborated and created web, print and illustration design projects for the University of California Foundation Plant Services - UCD; the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley; Oceans Foundation; California Department of Fish and Game; Stanford University, University of California, Santa Cruz; Yahoo!; Google; University of California, Davis, Health System, as well as privately owned businesses and corporations. She is currently enjoying her web and design work with the ACEs Connection Network while continuing her most important job -- raising her three young children with her husband, Karl, in Woodland, CA.

EMERALD MONTGOMERY [emontgomery@acesconnection.com] is the Resource Analyst and Administrator for ACEs Connection Network. She is a data scientist and health researcher who seeks to harness the power of data to drive positive social change. She is passionate about translating complex datasets into a relatable narrative that tells the story of our most vulnerable communities and individuals. Emerald is Louisiana native with a soft-spot for humidity, Dixieland jazz, and pastries covered in powdered sugar. She is a Hurricane Katrina survivor, and her experiences upon returning to her New Orleans home inspired her to pursue a graduate degree in public health and a career in population health improvement. Emerald now lives in Davis, CA.

Sylvia Paull

SYLVIA PAULL does marketing, writing and strategic communication planning for the ACEs Connection Network. She specializes in publicity, branding, and business development services for high-tech start-ups and nonprofits. She also founded and is host of the INFUSION technology lunch, held monthly at the Berkeley Repertory Theater; the Berkeley Cybersalon, a periodic event focusing on technology and culture; and the Last Friday Ladies Lunch, featuring women who are changing the world, held at the Hillside Club in Berkeley. She lives in Albany, CA.

Elizabeth Prewitt

ELIZABETH PREWITT [eprewitt@acesconnection.com] is a community manager and policy analyst for the ACEs Connection Network. Prewitt started her career in Washington, DC, as a staffer on Capitol Hill, where she worked for members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. She held positions involving grassroots organization, policy development and government relations, and specialized in health and mental health policy and advocacy. She grew up in Kentucky, lived for several years in New York, and has spent most of her life in Washington, DC, where she now resides. She did the ACE survey recently with three of her four siblings. The oldest and the youngest have ACE scores of 5; she has a score of 3, hiding out in the middle of a large family and being very well behaved. The work with ACEs Connection is a healing experience for her. Being a mother and grandmother (grandson shown here) and trusted friend are roles she relishes.

Donielle Price

DONIELLE PRINCE [dprince@acesconnection.com] is the community facilitator for the San Francisco Bay Area in California. She first learned about ACEs science while working as a program evaluator for a local coalition in Philadelphia that was planning a conference on trauma and toxic stress. At the time, she was also working as a children’s therapist in southern New Jersey. Everything she learned in the conference planning struck a cord for her work as a therapist, where she was learning first-hand the impact of trauma on individuals' and families' readiness for healing. When she moved to Sacramento, CA, Donielle became a CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate), supporting a foster youth through court appointments, difficult placement transitions, and navigating teenage life in tough circumstances. In part to support her foster youth who was reading behind grade level, Donielle trained to become a literacy tutor with the Sacramento Public Library, work that she soon discovered also needs to be trauma-informed. Most recently, Donielle completed the training to become a volunteer facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Project, which provides free experiential workshops on non-violent communication and relational skills. Donielle has spent 20 years as a program evaluator, helping educational and youth development programs develop tools to track and meet their goals. An avid reader and school nerd, Donielle’s educational background includes 10 years of all girl/women's schooling (from age 10-21), making feminism inevitable; as well as expertise in educational policy, psychology, sociology and cultural studies — each worldview providing essential insight into the challenges to, and pathways toward, truly resilient communities. Donielle grew up with one brother and one sister, but comes from an enormous extended family that includes 62 first cousins, with whom she could form a resilient community of their own!

Samantha Sangenito

SAMANTHA SANGENITO [ssangenito@acesconnection.com] is the Data Science and Sustainability Lead for the ACEs Connection Network. Her focus at ACEs Connection is primarily quantitative methods of measuring community progress, performance management, and fiscal sustainability. When Samantha is not at work, she can usually be found judging college debate tournaments, reading, sewing, or obsessively re-organizing her closet.

Jane Ellen Stevens

JANE ELLEN STEVENS [jstevens@acesconnection.com] is founder and publisher of the ACEs Connection Network. A journalist for more than 30 years, Stevens focuses on health, science and technology. Her articles have appeared in the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and National Geographic. She began reporting about the ACE Study and related research in 2005. She has lived and worked in Kenya and Indonesia, and has been to Antarctica – in the winter -- three times on reporting fellowships. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers, Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS), the Authors Guild, and the Online News Association. She lives with several cats, does the occasional sprint and Olympic-level triathlon, devours mysteries, loves movies, and hangs out with her friends as much as possible. True to her 7 ACEs, she has engaged in thrill sports (bull riding, car racing, skydiving, and being a Raiderette), has been married three times, and is a workaholic. She's certain that there's a link between high ACE scores and becoming a cat lady.

LAURIE UDESKY [ludesky@acesconnection.com]has been a reporter and editor for more than 25 years. She has reported on adverse childhood experiences through the lens of health, social welfare, and public policy. Her work has appeared in many outlets, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, salon.com and Kaiser Health News and has been broadcast on National Public Radio. She’s earned a number of honors for her work, including awards from Investigative Reporters & Editors, the Sidney Hillman Foundation and the Association of Health Care Journalists. She spent five years as a foreign correspondent in Turkey, and now lives in San Francisco. She enjoys wandering around northern California’s hiking trails, relaxes by cooking and hanging out with friends and family, and loves reading fiction and books about the brain.

CISSY WHITE [cwhite@acesconnection.com] is Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Community Facilitator for ACEs Connection Network, and also is group manager for Parenting with ACEs. Cissy is a writer, health activist, trauma survivor, and mother. She started journal writing at age 11 and hasn’t put the pen down since. Her articles have appeared in The Boston Globe, Spirituality and Health, Ms. Magazine, To Write Love on Her Arms and the Elephant Journal. She founded Heal Write Now in 2014 hoping to create the survivor-led community she craved her whole life. She’s led Parenting with PTSD & ACEs workshops for trauma survivors and treatment providers in the belief that everyone benefits when coming together as peers to listen and learn. Articles about her survivor-led advocacy appear in the Atlantic, Huffington Post, and The Mighty. She collects sea glass and quotes and is learning to love humans almost as much as animals, which is not always easy with an ACE score of 8. She's astounded by her amazing daughter, loyal friends and supportive partner and grateful for the family she now has. Spreading the word about ACEs science, for her, is a personal and professional calling. With it, we can understand the past, heal pain, improve health and relationships while creating personal and social change all at the same time.