On the 27th of April 2018, Rowan-Salisbury School System hosted a showing of the movie Resilience at the Norvell Theater in Salisbury, North Carolina. Upon entering the lobby of the Novell Theater, shortly after 6pm that evening, the amount of enthusiasm and partnership surrounding the showing of Resilience and the trauma work being done within the community was breathtaking. The lobby was filled with teachers and social workers and many key community stakeholders, all working together to create a trauma-informed community in Rowan County. The sheer amount of investment in the trauma movement in the Rowan County community was easily noticed and felt in the crowd. Since the start of the program 4 years ago, Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence had made a lasting impact on the lives of many, evident from the number of agencies in the room that had chosen to become partners over the last 4 years and the number of partnerships that had been formed throughout the community.
Carol Ann Houpe, Director of Student Services at Rowan-Salisbury School System, introduced the film while holding and shaking her box of TIC-TACs. She created a sense of understanding and community within the audience as we all shook our TIC-TAC boxes together. “We use TIC-TACs to represent a Trauma-Informed Community and Trauma Aware Community”, she exclaimed. Carol Ann also told the audience to feel free to shake their boxes of TIC-TACs during the movie if they felt particularly touched by any of the information they had received.
I certainly did not expect to hear TIC-TAC boxes shaking throughout the movie, but the soft clicking sound of TIC-TACs within their boxes throughout the audience, during the movie, let everyone know that we were all on the same page. “I get it”, “Wow, that was powerful”, or “I definitely agree” was communicated throughout the audience without the need for words, just the shake of a TIC-TAC box.
Jenny Cooper, closed out the evening with a phenomenal speech about the strides taken over the last few centuries, in order to create a more equality-based society. Jenny stated that her dream in the end was to ensure that a child’s past did not predict their destiny. It is great to be able to say that every single person in the audience felt that sentiment in some way or another.