In this special interview in the "How to talk policy and influence people" series of Law and Justice, I speak with Dr Wendy Ellis, Director of the Center for Community Resilience at The Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University. We discuss journalism, data gathering, analysis and stories. We talk about the significance of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) evidence, resilience/protective factors, structural inequity, adverse community environments, the "Pair of ACEs" graphic and the Building Community Resilience (BCR) model. We talk about race, social mobility, food insecurity, housing quality and affordability in terms of public health outcomes. We explore how deliberate social policies in the United States have led to the Covid-19-related high death-toll among African American and other marginalised groups. We examine the controversial issue of screening for ACEs, and whether the ACEs questionnaire is a suitable diagnostic tool. We also discuss the importance of raising public awareness about the impact of ACEs and how an overdose of stressors - especially in the absence of an emotional buffer in childhood - can cause dysregulation of the stress response system, with drug abuse and mental health problems emerging as normal, predictable consequences of toxic stress.