2018 National ACEs Conference

Felitti and Burke Harris inspire 850+attendees at National ACEs Conference

After three days of inspiring presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions at the National ACEs Conference, the crowd of 850 people was eager to hear from two of the ACEs movement’s pioneers: Dr. Vincent Felitti and Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris. During a luncheon plenary on the last day of the conference, which was held Oct. 15-17 in San Francisco, Felitti related a story about what happened when he first broached the subject with colleagues of asking patients to fill out a...

Mapping the ACEs science movement — How close are we to a tipping point?

[Note: This is most of a keynote presentation I gave at last week's sold-out National ACEs Conference in San Francisco. The energy at this conference was incredible. To all who attended, thank you for doing so. To those of you who weren't able to attend, we hope the posts about the conference give you some idea of the speakers and sessions.] We have come an extraordinarily long way in spreading the word about ACEs science. During the first National ACEs conference in Philadelphia five years...

ACEs pioneers recount pivotal moments that turned them into change agents

Liz Huntley framed by a photo of her as a 5-year-old Liz Huntley is a passionate children’s advocate who believes that all children should have access to preschool. It could make a life-changing difference in a child’s life. It did for Huntley. The attorney and author described her childhood to a rapt audience of more than 800 gathered on Oct. 16 for the two-day 2018 National ACEs Conference in San Francisco. She was one of four speakers at a plenary session that touched on foundational...

Passing the Torch: Increasing Access to Support the Whole Child From Birth to Five

More than 100 people gathered at a session entitled “Passing the Torch: Increasing Access to Support the Whole Child" at the 2018 National ACEs Conference held in San Francisco Oct. 16-17, 2018. We heard from four panelists that do varied work around trauma in prenatal, infant care and early childhood. Julie Kurtz, the Co-Director of Trauma-Informed Practices for Early Childhood Education at the Center for Family & Child Studies at WestEd, started off by giving a tour of the neurobiology...

ACEs Science in Education: The Next Big Challenge is Systems Change #ACEsCon2018

One of the first sessions of the 2018 ACEs Conference: Action to Access discussed the barriers and opportunities for increasing access in the field of education. The main question was: "How can one achieve systematic changes within the field of education?" The session was moderated by Michelle Flowers, a passionate advocate, and the principal of Kinney High in Rancho Cordova, CA, which is part of the Folsom Cordova Unified School District. It included a dynamic and diverse panel of education...

Mining the “lessons learned” from trauma legislation successes

L to R: Afomeia Tesfai, Rep. Geran Tarr, Jeff Hild _____________________________________________________________________ The planned agenda for the “Learning Series: Policy Approaches to Childhood Adversity” workshop at the 2018 ACEs Conference: Action to Access went out the window when an unexpected guest— California Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, MD —was invited to open the session and join the other participants in lively exchanges about their advocacy experiences and perspectives on...

Documentary Broken Places uses archival footage to tell stories of ACEs and resilience over time

Why do children exposed to the same level of adversity in childhood have different outcomes? Why do some thrive and others become completely damaged? These were the kinds of burning questions that prompted filmmaker Roger Weisberg to produce the documentary Broken Places , which was shown in a private screening at the 2018 National ACEs Conference in San Francisco. The film delves into the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that each of the adults profiled in it endured first as children.

The Relentless School Nurse: Notes from the 2018 ACEs Conference

I am sharing the notes I took during the ACEs Conference as a snapshot of the collective wisdom of this event. Feel free to add to the list. Let’s create a shared document that archives the notes that each of us took. What messages resonated with you so strongly that you took a moment to write it down? I would love to read what others found to be helpful, hopeful and memorable. ACEs is a social justice issue We do this work because it is personal We are building the ship as we are sailing it...

The Relentless School Nurse: "We Do This Work Because it's Personal" - Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris

"Change moves at the speed of trust, and trust moves at the speed of relationships." - Dr.William Dietz It is ALWAYS about relationships, always and forever. That has never been clearer to me than this moment, as I sit at the San Francisco International Airport waiting for my flight to depart back home to Philly. I really don't want to go home and break out of the incredibly loving, supportive and trauma-responsive bubble that I have been in the last 48 hours at the 2018 ACEs Conference. I...

2018 National ACEs Conference: TRIGGER, the stage play

On days one and two of the 2018 National ACEs Conference attendees were wowed by an excerpt of the stage play, TRIGGER. Written and directed by @DeAngelo Mack and performed by youth actors, Mercy Lagaaia and Alana Smith (pictured with Mack), the play illustrates the emotional and mental trauma experienced by youth. The play premiered in Sacramento in March 2017 and was inspired by Mack's work providing trauma-informed care to youth impacted by violence through the WellSpace...

2018 National ACEs Conference: Morning Movement Session

Friend and trauma-aware health and fitness coach Renee McLaughlin created this 20-minute light stretching and brain-body connecting workout for ACEs Conference 2018 attendees. We shared it this morning in a session hosted by ACEs Connection. Click to join Renee in a series of moves to get your day off to a relaxed but “woke” start, or to wake up anytime you’re feeling stressed or foggy. That Renee says, “you can’t build strength in tense muscles” makes me think of why these moves would be...

A private screening of a work-in-progress unveils the personal struggles of SNL veteran and comedian Darrell Hammond

L-R Jane Stevens and Michelle Esrick/photo by Donielle Prince Cracked Up , a documentary by filmmaker Michelle Esrick premiering this November in New York City, powerfully documents the personal struggles of comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” actor Darrell Hammond as he struggles with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The film was shown in a private screening at the 2018 National ACEs Conference in San Francisco. It was followed by a Q&A with Esrick and Jane Stevens, founder...

How cities, counties and states are integrating ACEs science

A panel on integrating ACEs into communities at the city, county, and state level was held on October 16 at the 2018 National ACEs Conference in San Francisco. It was followed by a Q&A with the three presenters on the panel and chaired by Gail Kennedy, the community lead for ACEs Connection. Andi Clements, professor and assistant chair of the Psychology Department at East Tennessee State University, described a project to create toolkits for communities to implement ACEs. She partnered...

Grassroots resilience: Rural communities tackle ACEs

Rt to left—Adrienne Coopey, DO, Billings Clinic, MT, Lorenzo Lewis, The Confess Project, Little Rock, Ark, and Mendy Spohn, MPH, public health administrator in several counties in Oklahoma ________________________________________________ The three presenters for the “Grassroots Resilience: Rural Communities Tackle ACEs” workshop brought to life the unique challenges of addressing ACEs and trauma in rural communities and shared some valuable lessons for communities of any size. Mendy Spohn, a...

Radical Inquiry: Research Praxis for Healing and Liberation

RYSE Center in Richmond, CA was born of out of young people of color (YPOC) organizing to shift the conditions of violence, distress, and dehumanization in which they suffer, survive, succeed, dream, and die. We center the lived experiences of YPOC, we lead with love and sacred rage to cultivate healing and build movement, and we take risks as an essential part of transformation and justice, of liberation. We do this in a physical space that feels safe, welcoming, and affirming; that is...

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