Blog

Teaching in America’s Prisons Has Taught Me to Believe in Second Chances [jjie.org]

In 2007, I gave someone a second chance. I was in Danbury (Conn.) Federal Correctional Institution recruiting women for a new program for people returning from prison that I was running in New York City. A woman approached me and handed me her portfolio. It was basically a detailed resume of her accomplishments, skills and goals for the future. Over a two-year period before this, I had visited at least six female facilities in New York and Connecticut and met hundreds of women looking to...

A Smart City Is Rarely Smart Enough to Account for People’s Feelings [citylab.com]

Can technology solve cities? During economic booms, we tend to apply the philosophy of the zeitgeist too broadly. But what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander. The intersection of cities and technology is a perfect example. While well-applied technology and data analysis can vastly improve cities’ livability, relying on those tools to create a healthy, vibrant city is crazy. The tech sector’s focus on data collection and analysis locks them into a narrow definition of...

Watch Out For Wine Mom

“Surviving Motherhood – One sip at a time.” “Liquid Therapy.” “I wine because they whine.” A popular meme this past Mother's Day read: "If you aren't screaming 'BARTENDER' at your husband all day, you're doing it wrong!" The “wine mom” sayings go on and on. They are mounted on glasses, t-shirts, cell phone cases, key chains, etc. You’ll find them on chalkboards outside of restaurants and bars, posters on store windows, or signage on end-caps in grocery stores that sell wine and beer. Social...

West Africa ACEs CONNECTION: Chasing solutions for own ACE Score

Even though I have excelled in practically all endeavors that I set out to do and have succeeded in new learning, I continued to have flash backs of certain events from my past and residual anger on certain things. I was first introduced to Trauma theory when I was working in an Outpatient clinic for Men in 2001. The Trauma Recovery Empowerment Model TREM was the philosophy practiced in conjunction with Boston model of psychiatric rehabilitation at the clinic. The concept of recovery made...

The Trauma of Sanctuary [nytimes.com]

I believe all sentient beings should be free to roam. It’s our birthright. Both Karla, the Harvard-educated, formerly undocumented immigrant journalist and advocate featured in this film, and I share this view about the human migration, so we open this film with a radical declaration: “If you crossed, if you made the journey, if people did what it takes [to survive as an] immigrant in America, which is a lot, then you deserve to be here,” says Karla. She goes on to profess that recent desert...

FREE WEBINAR: "Segregation Stress Syndrome": From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin

Wednesday May 29 th , 2019 10:00-11:30 CST/ 11:00-12:30 EST Join the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative for this important webinar with sociologist Ruth Thompson Miller to discuss the enduring traumatic legacy of Jim Crow and how this trauma is reflected in the United States today. Dr. Thompson Miller will discuss her idea of “Segregation Stress Syndrome”- the chronic, enduring, and extremely painful responses to collective trauma that occurred during Jim Crow, and whose effects are still...

When Mental Illness Is Your Family Heirloom [The Root]

Psychiatric disorders definitely have a genetic component. And that, in addition to the trauma that most black people, particularly black women, endure in their lifetimes means that what may lie dormant is invariably loosed. Sometimes it looks like your auntie, who has barely left her room in 15 years. Sometimes it looks like your daddy, whose rage is so palpable that you can actually feel it; sometimes it’s drinking every night to take the edge off. Read more .

MAY 15TH- Trauma-Informed Awareness Day in Illinois!

The Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative is excited to honor the first Trauma-Informed Awareness Day in Illinois! Conceived by the Community Behavioral Health Association of Illinois and supported by research conducted by the Collaborative, Trauma-Informed Awareness Day is sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison of Deerfield, as well as numerous others who have joined the senator in recognizing the importance of trauma-informed care and resilience. Trauma-Informed Care Day calls upon the...

Therapy Dog Thank You: Sammie Brings Joy to Schools

Every Tuesday morning this school year, Sammie and I have visited the kids at Terrace Park Elementary school. Sammie melts my heart as I witness her work her therapy dog magic with these sweet little humans. The idea of helping a child who is experiencing anxiety or feelings of overwhelm touches me on a soul level. I know how much small gestures of kindness and gentle acceptance meant to me as a child.

Who's Legally Responsible for Prison and Jail Suicides? [psmag.com]

When Jose Luis Garza was arrested for threatening his brother during an intoxicated argument, his mother begged the police to keep watch of him. "I'm afraid of him hurting himself," she told the arresting officer early one morning in February of 2016. Watchfulness did not ensue. Despite his mother's warnings, the local jail in the border town of Donna, Texas, took no mental-health precautions. Instead, in the hours after Garza covered the camera in his cell with wet paper towels, no one...

Virginia Suburb Shows That Diversion, Victim-centered Agreements Work [jjie.org]

Over the last several years, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (JDRDC) of Fairfax County, Va., has been working on transformative efforts around juvenile justice in an effort to keep low-risk youth from entering the system and address disparities for youth of color. One large area targeted by these efforts was the diversion programming and Juvenile Intake Office. In Virginia, intake officers are decision-makers. It is their responsibility to review charges from petitioners...

Firing Up the Neural Symphony [nytimes.com]

The research on brain stimulation is advancing so quickly, and the findings are so puzzling, that a reader might feel tempted to simply pre-order a genius cap from Amazon, to make sense of it all later. In just the past month, scientists reported enhancing the working memory of older people, using electric current passed through a skullcap, and restoring some cognitive function in a brain-damaged woman, using implanted electrodes. Most recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved a...

The Impact of Environmental Chronic and Toxic Stress on Asthma [link.springer.com]

Several factors have been associated with the development of asthma and asthma-related morbidity and mortality. Exposures in the environment such as allergens and air pollutants have traditionally been linked to the risk of asthma and asthma outcomes. More recent literature has identified chronic psychosocial stress as an additional environmental exposure to consider in relation to asthma. Adverse childhood events (ACEs) and chronic and toxic stress have been associated with chronic diseases...

Why Trauma-Informed Care Is Creating Hope For Kids In Wisconsin [wiscontext.org]

In 2012, Waupaca County's health and human services department was hemorrhaging employees, particularly within its child protection and juvenile justice programs. "There was just a lot of turnover," said Chuck Price, who took over as director of the department around that time. "We needed a culture of change." Price and his colleague, deputy director Shannon Kelly, recalled a culture that seemed to place a higher value on bureaucratic outcomes than on fostering positive human connections.

The Relentless School Nurse: Meet Annie, Edutainer & Creator of Blooming Buddies Workshop

Once in a while, you come across a special person who lights up a room, even virtually. This describes Annalyce D'Agostino (Annie) who is the creative mind behind Blooming Buddies Workshop. Imagine Blue's Clues meets Tinker Bell, that is what I think of when I watched Blooming Buddies first episode. Annie is our guest blogger this week. I am passionate about early education and bringing the best and most innovative experiences to my students. When I showed my preschool students Blooming...

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