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Hope and Progress, No Matter What! — an ACEs Connection/Cambia Health Foundation “Better Normal”, Oct. 22, 2020

The election is upon us. In two short weeks, we voters in this country decide who will lead us for the next four years. We have the opportunity to embrace — as a national priority — the tenets of understanding, nurturing and healing that underlie the science of adverse childhood experiences and move in a direction that embraces cultural and racial equity and anti-racism. Or not. What is clear is that no matter what, the ACEs movement will continue.

Hope and Progress, No Matter What! — an ACEs Connection/Cambia Health Foundation “Better Normal”, Oct. 22, 2020

The election is upon us. In two short weeks, we voters in this country decide who will lead us for the next four years. We have the opportunity to embrace — as a national priority — the tenets of understanding, nurturing and healing that underlie the science of adverse childhood experiences and move in a direction that embraces cultural and racial equity and anti-racism. Or not. What is clear is that no matter what, the ACEs movement will continue.

"NEAR Science in Partnership with Communities": Local ACEs Collaboratives Grow Across Minnesota

The third annual gathering of Minnesota ACEs collaboratives—“Growing Resilient Communities: Collaboratives Addressing ACEs”—began with a sober recitation of inequities: We acknowledge that the wealth of this country was built on stolen land and with enslaved and underpaid labor of African American, Native, and Immigrant people…We acknowledge that the recent global uprising, which was sparked by the murder of George Floyd right here in Minnesota, paired with the COVID-19 pandemic, makes for a...

“Unite in a Common Cause”: Minnesota Tribal Communities Use NEAR Science to Address Trauma and Promote Healing

As the Minnesota trainers expected—and welcomed—the ACE trainings in tribal settings began late and lasted for hours: multiple generations of people from the White Earth and Fond du Lac communities gathering around simmering Crock-Pots of food, sharing stories, standing in line to talk with the trainers afterward. Once, a White Earth elder was the only person to show up for a presentation, recalls Linsey McMurrin, Director of Prevention Initiatives and Tribal Projects for FamilyWise Services...

Spreading the Science: Michigan's NEAR Collaborative Aims to Infuse ACEs Science into State Departments and Agencies

Mary Mueller likes to call herself an “opportunistic infection.” What that means is that Mueller, project coordinator for trauma-informed systems in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), is determined to share the science of ACEs and resilience wherever she goes. After Mueller attended the state’s first ACE master trainer two day session hosted by the Michigan ACE Initiative , she wanted to bring the foundational science shared by ACE Interface back home—to her MDHHS...

Ripple Effect: Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Partners with Schools and Service Providers to Build Trauma-Informed Community in Michigan

The week of the fall equinox was Mino-Bimaadiziwin Wellness Week at the Saginaw Chippewa Academy (SCA) in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, a pre-K through 5th grade school of about 130 students. “Mino-Bimaadiziwin” is an Anishinabe phrase meaning “to live the good life.” At the school, it started with “Mindfulness Monday”—students were encouraged to wear their favorite “thinking cap”—then segued to “Take care of our bodies Tuesday,” a “Love Your Community Wednesday" that included talking circles, and...

The Best for our Children: Considering ACEs in Voter Engagement.

The presidential race is a big-ticket item, but hundreds of other state and local races will impact critical issues like school funding, childcare and early education, nutrition programs, and health care. Every seat in the NC General Assembly is on the ballot, along with the Governor’s race, a US Senate seat, congressional races, and more. When it comes to elevating the importance of racial equity, voting is vital to make marginalized voices heard. Policies and systems can be changed by our...

Youth-Led Advocacy Creates Healing Opportunities in Baltimore City

After a shooting at a historic Baltimore high school in February 2019—a 25-year-old man, angry about the school’s treatment of his sister, who was a student there, shot a special education assistant with a Smith and Wesson handgun—conversation in the city centered on whether school resource officers should be armed. Students said that was the wrong question. When City Council’s education and youth committee, chaired by council member Zeke Cohen, held hearings on school violence following the...

"Who's in Your Canoe?": Ho‘oikaika Partnership Draws on Hawaiian Values to Promote Protective Factors

Title image: Jeny Bissell, Ho‘oikaika Partnership founder and Core Partner, gives a shaka at a Child Abuse Prevention Month mayor's proclamation and concert. A brochure from the Ho‘oikaika Partnership shows four people paddling a slender boat, their bodies silhouetted against an apricot-hued sky. The tagline: “When it comes to parenting, who’s in your canoe?” The image and the metaphor are intentional, says Karen Worthington, coordinator of the 60-member, cross-sector Ho‘oikaika Partnership...

Data-Driven, Cross-Sector: Bounce Coalition Boosts Trauma-Informed Change in Kentucky

Student suspension rates dropped. Teacher retention rose. Membership in the PTA swelled from zero to more than 200. More kids said in a survey that there was at least one adult at school whom they could talk to if they had a problem. The data—a comparison of the Bounce Coalition’s pilot school and one with similar demographics—told the Kentucky resilience-boosting group that they were on the right track. The Bounce Coalition formed in 2014; the catalyst was a grant from the Foundation for a...

LAUNCH Together Supports Social Emotional Well-Being in Southwest Denver

As the COVID-19 pandemic blurred from days into months, the leadership team of LAUNCH Together Southwest Denver began hearing about the sense of anguish and confusion felt by directors of early-childhood learning centers: Should I re-open? Is that financially feasible? Is it ethical? And how do I decide, in a sea of fast-changing information about a virus scientists are still struggling to understand? LAUNCH Together SW Denver, a collaborative formed in 2016 to boost community capacity to...

Pathway for Trauma is Pathway for Resilience: Fresno Network's Message Inspires Hope

In Fresno, volunteers from local churches were already working with the schools, mentoring kids and running weekend recreation programs. Community-based non-profits were in conversation with educators; pastors were talking to social-service providers. The problems were clear: nearly 30% of Fresno’s residents living in poverty (the rate tops 40% for Black residents), with a 20-year gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest parts of this sharply segregated city. For several years,...

"It's All Connected": NJEA ACEs Task Force Reaches Beyond Educators

The March meeting of the New Jersey Education Association’s ACEs Task Force opened without an agenda. It was a virtual gathering with more than 50 people—educators, social workers, professionals in pediatrics, juvenile justice and child abuse prevention. The pandemic had landed emphatically close to home, with a governor’s order to close all schools on March 18, and participants were grappling with what that meant for their students, their families and themselves. So ACEs Task Force co-chair...

New ACEs initiatives learn about strategic plan development from from New Hanover (NC) Resiliency Task Force executive director Mebane Boyd

The desire to see other ACEs initiatives grow and flourish was evident at a recent meeting of the Resilient Columbus County (North Carolina) ACEs initiative when Mebane Boyd, executive director of the New Hanover Resiliency Task Force (also in North Carolina), shared with the Columbus County and neighboring Pender County groups how New Hanover created and works on its strategic plan. In the spirit of sharing, Boyd agreed to let ACEs Connection post the strategic plan and the video of the...

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