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.

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:

  • When you join ACEsConnection, you automatically receive a Daily Digest and a Weekly Roundup. They 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 group in a state or nation, please contact:

Jane Stevens, jstevens@acesconnection.com

To start a group in a community outside California, or to start an interest-based group, please contact:

Jane Stevens, jstevens@acesconnection.com

To start a group in California, please contact:

Southern California: Dana Brown, dbrown@acesconnection.com

Northern and Central California: Gail Kennedy, gkennedy@acesconnection.com


The ACEs Connection Network Team

Dana Brown

DANA BROWN is the Southern California 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), is the project director of TICS (Trauma Informed Community Schools), a commissioner on the Commission on Gang Prevention & Intervention, and has been vested with several boards and advisory councils, including the San Diego Trauma Informed Guide Team, HHSA (Health, Human Service Agency) Trauma Informed Systems Integration Champion Work Group, and USD'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.

Gail Kennedy

GAIL KENNEDY 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 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 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 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.

Sarah Rock

SARAH ROCK joined ACES Connection Network in March 2016 as the Director of Strategy. Sarah brings many years of experience working directly and indirectly with children, families and communities to prevent and address trauma and effectively develop, manage and move organizations forward. After working with abused and neglected children in psychiatric settings and representing them in court as their attorney, Sarah shifted her focus to supporting families and communities to determine and develop their own solutions to adverse childhood experiences and to prevent child maltreatment. She is the former chief of the California Office of Child Abuse Prevention, and founded several nonprofit corporations that conducted youth development, did parent leadership training, provided cooperative child care, and many other programs and services that promote resiliency. Sarah lives in Davis, CA, with her husband Chris Rock (really) and a menagerie of animals. She has three children.

Samantha Sangenito

SAMANTHA SANGENITO is the daily admin and editor of the Daily Digest for the ACEs Connection Network. Samantha has worked in communications for nonprofit organizations since graduating from college in 2012. In addition to her work with ACEs Connection, Samantha also works for KPJR Productions and arranges screenings of the documentary film Paper Tigers, which chronicles a year in the life of an alternative high school that adopted a trauma-informed approach to education. When Samantha is not at work, she can usually be found judging college debate teams, reading, sewing, or obsessively re-organizing her closet. Samantha resides in Philadelphia where she is currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jane Ellen Stevens

JANE ELLEN STEVENS 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.

CISSY WHITE 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.