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March 2018

How to Think about "Implicit Bias" [scientificamerican.com]

When is the last time a stereotype popped into your mind? If you are like most people, the authors included, it happens all the time. That doesn’t make you a racist, sexist, or whatever-ist. It just means your brain is working properly, noticing patterns, and making generalizations. But the same thought processes that make people smart can also make them biased. This tendency for stereotype-confirming thoughts to pass spontaneously through our minds is what psychologists call implicit bias.

How America’s prisons are fueling the opioid epidemic [vox.com]

For once, Casey is optimistic about his future. After 16 years of struggling with drug addiction, he no longer feels the need to use. He has a steady job doing hazard tree removal for a Fortune 500 energy company. He’s working on getting specialized training for a license to help him land better-paying jobs. He’s even going to the gym. But Casey, who asked that I only use his first name for this story, knows this could have turned out very differently. In fact, it had the past few times he...

“Pain is pain”—Experiencing gun violence in Parkland, FL, South Side Chicago, Marshall County, KY

Mary Rojas and Jan Fenty (wearing sunglasses) on the bus with me and other neighbors on the way to the Saturday’s March for Our Lives in Washington, DC ______________________________________________________ For Saturday’s March for Our Lives in Washington, DC, Jan Fenty repurposed the signs she uses for the weekly Monday morning anti-gun demonstrations in front of the White House, giving me an extra sign as we rode the bus to the March site. As I reflected on the day—an event full of...

To Understand Probation, Youth Need Other Youth Who Have Been Through It [jjie.org]

The deliberative portion of juvenile court proceedings focuses intently upon the “actor,” or minor respondent, once the facts of the “act” have been adjudicated by an affirmative plea or after a trial where a finding of delinquency has been entered. Juvenile court judges then weigh the facts of the act on the same scale that considers all the aggravating and mitigating life circumstances present in the “actor’s” life before determining the most appropriate disposition (sentence). In most...

Childhood Disrupted: How My Biography Became My Biology [nationalpainreport.com]

I am no electrician but I can certainly replace a wall switch if I have to. But I have one switch in our home, the light over our mantle, that, when it is turned on and even sometimes when it is turned off will come on without any prompting and turn itself off. I am perplexed, and after throwing cuss words at it, which I have yet to figure out why that doesn’t work, and replacing the switch with a new one, it is still coming on and going off. I think it is haunted frankly or as “Paw-Paw”...

Crow Wing Energized: Why connected relationships matter [brainerddispatch.com]

From birth, we are told implicitly and explicitly that there are "rules" to how we must conduct ourselves within our community. But what are these rules? Can you sit down right now and make a list? Would your list be the same as that of someone living on the other side of the planet? On the other side of town? Even on the other side of your dining room table? The truth is, there are as many interpretations of relationship rules as there are individuals on Earth. Much human conflict is the...

Building Community Resilience - Policy Guide & Webinar

Blog Written by Jeff Hild Policy Director, Redstone Center for Prevention and Wellness At the Building Community Resilience (BCR) collaborative and network — based at the Redstone Center for Prevention and Wellness , George Washington University School of Public Health — we are working to improve the health and wellbeing of children, families and communities across the country. We do this by working to align systems to address the “Pair of ACEs”  — adverse childhood experiences in the...

“Decolonization Starts Inside of You” [yesmagazine.org]

Colonization, at its core, is about creating separation—separation among people and separation from spirit and our connection to the Earth. Humans have been taking more than we need, and we haven’t been giving enough back. Decolonization starts inside of you. It is a lot about finding compassion and kindness, and less about anger and fear. We should remember that it begins with an internal process of healing and reconciliation. Once we find that peace, then we will be able to move forward...

Why Are So Many Women Dying From Pregnancy in D.C.? [theatlantic.com]

Maternity Desert, a new documentary from The Atlantic, follows Amber Pierre, a 24-year-old African-American woman living in southeast D.C. Pierre is pregnant with her second child. After two previous miscarriages, she is navigating a high-risk pregnancy that, combined with her Medicaid coverage, requires she visit a hospital every two weeks to be seen by an Ob-Gyn. Following the 2017 closures of Providence Hospital and United Medical Center, Pierre must travel to Medstar Washington Hospital...

Drug-related mortality rates are not randomly distributed across the US [sciencedaily.com]

Drug-related deaths have grown to be a major US public health problem over the past two decades. Between 2006 and 2015 there were more than 515,000 deaths from drug overdoses and other drug-related causes. The economic, social, and emotional tolls of these deaths are substantial, but some parts of the US are bearing heavier burdens than others. Evidence from the first national study of county-level differences suggests that addressing economic and social conditions will be key to reversing...

Why black girls are taking a leading role in the fight for gun control [vox.com]

When tens of thousands of Americans took to the streets on Saturday to demand more gun control in the wake of a high-profile school shooting last month, several young black women were at the front of the protests. In addition to calling for stricter gun control policy, they had a more nuanced message to deliver: America has failed to focus on black victims, especially black women and girls, who are disproportionately affected by gun violence. “I am here to acknowledge and represent the...

Working With Veterans: Trauma-Informed Lawyering [law.com]

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Military Assistance Project (MAP) was established in 2011 to provide free legal services for active duty, reserve component, or veteran military personnel and their widow/spouses in the form of pro bono consumer and selected veteran’s administrative law services. We serve all branches, include spouses and widows, and accept clients with every level of military discharge. Military Assistance Project utilizes a trauma-informed approach to lawyering...

John Swinney: Scotland is taking new approach on childhood trauma [thenational.scot]

WHAT happens to us as children can have a huge impact on the rest of our lives. When young people have adverse or traumatic experiences growing up, this impacts on their emotional and physical development, their capacity to learn and thrive. The experiences we have during our childhood shape who we are and how we interact with the world, especially if those experiences are harmful, and without the right support the effects can last a lifetime. The first adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)...

When Parents Have Experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences, What is the Effect on Their Children? [aappublications.org]

Our journal and others have published a myriad of studies on the deleterious effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on the developmental and physical well-being of infants and children. But what about the generational effect on offspring of parents who experienced ACEs growing up? Two studies we are early releasing this week shed some light on answering this question. First Racine et al. ( 10.1542/peds.2017-2495 ) present the results of their examination of maternal ACEs on the...

What happened when a professor called his class "white racism" [pri.org]

In an era of “us” and “them,” be an “other” -- someone trying to understand how we all live together. Journalism about the multicultural nation America will become -- with Otherhood, a PRI podcast created and hosted by Rupa Shenoy. March 26th Episode: What happened when a professor called his class "white racism." Two words made him the target of death threats. [To listen to this Otherhood podcast by Rupa Shenoy, go to...

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