Blogs

Be the Spark: Igniting trauma-informed change within our communities

Authors note: This piece is co-authored by @Lara Kain (ACEs Connection Staff) and @Cissy White (ACEs Connection Staff). Though we had never worked together or met, we were asked to co-present on creating t rauma-informed changes in communities by the Attachment Trauma Network for the first national (now annual) Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools Summit in Washington, DC. This article is an expanded essay version of that presentation). Be the Spark Oprah Winfrey helped mainstream discussion about...

Beyond Paper Tigers Presenter Showcase! The Impact of Data on Community Growth: ACEs Connection's Framework and Tools

What can organizations do to be successful in growing their ACEs initiatives and trauma-informed communities? This is the question that Jane Stevens, founder of the social network ACEsConnection.com and news site ACEsTooHigh.com , helps to answer. For the last several years, Jane and her team at ACEs Connection have been collecting information from communities as they start and grow their ACEs initiatives. ACEs Connection staff watched and reported on communities like Walla Walla as they lay...

Beyond Paper Tigers Presenter Showcase! Lincoln High School’s Trauma-Informed Strategies: Jim Sporleder Reflects on Lessons Learned

“We had no clue whatsoever what it would turn out to be” Jim Sporleder, former Principal, remarks as he looks back on Lincoln Alternative High School, the growing movement of CRI’s trauma-informed community initiative, and the production of the documentary Paper Tigers. Jim’s story is an iconic one. In fact, many have inevitably heard of Jim’s work if they have seen the documentary Paper Tigers; it chronicles the profound impact on Lincoln Alternative High School as Jim, the staff, and the...

Beyond Paper Tigers Presenter Showcase! Embracing Our Vulnerabilities: Art and Authenticity with Brigette Phillips and Shasta Meyers

In Japan, there is a form of art called Kintsugi, the process of repairing a broken piece of ceramic with gold, filling in its cracks. Such a technique renders the piece more beautiful in the eyes of the artist; it celebrates the object’s history, its unique story, and emphasizes the beauty of damage instead of disguising it. To feel this truth about ourselves, however, requires an accepting space and practice. When upcoming Beyond Paper Tigers conference presenter, Brigette Phillips, began...

Lincoln High School Mentorship Program [WhitmanWire.com]

I n January 2018, Whitman sophomore Sophia Webb spearheaded a mentorship program between Whitman students and seniors at Lincoln High School–Walla Walla’s only alternative high school–to build relationships between the two groups in context of preparing Lincoln seniors for post-grad life. Rewind back a few years. In 2006, only four people graduated from Lincoln High School. The school was plagued by drugs, violence, suspensions and drop-outs. “It was a disaster, basically,” Webb said. The...

Beyond Paper Tigers Presenter Showcase! Embracing Our Vulnerabilities: Art and Authenticity with Brigette Phillips and Shasta Meyers

In Japan, there is a form of art called Kintsugi, the process of repairing a broken piece of ceramic with gold, filling in its cracks. Such a technique renders the piece more beautiful in the eyes of the artist; it celebrates the object’s history, its unique story, and emphasizes the beauty of damage instead of disguising it. To feel this truth about ourselves, however, requires an accepting space and practice. When upcoming Beyond Paper Tigers conference presenter, Brigette Phillips, began...

Cookie Monster launches Sesame Street Family Fun Night at Head Start!

Head Start/ECEAP families enjoyed our Sesame Street Community Toolkit launch by engaging in four stations with their children on skill-building activities. Cookie Monster wandered the halls and visited the guests, and shared pizza and of course cookies with the children. Every family left with a Sesame Street book and big smiles! We are excited to now move into a six module series with Early Learning Coalition members, and spread the word of how Big Bird and Friends manage trauma by building...

Hope Heals: Lighting Hope for Walla Walla's Homeless

“Four and a half years ago when I started Hope Heals, I helped two people. By the second year, I had helped 28. Then 321 in the third year. In 2016, I helped 2031 people, and in 2017, I helped 2131 people.” Hope Heals, now a bright light in the Walla Walla community and preparing for its first large fundraiser on Friday, has been growing exponentially since its conception. Yet it began as a faint lightbulb. On March 26th 2008, Dr. Robert Anda visited Walla Walla on behalf of CRI to present...

Beyond Paper Tigers Presenter Showcase! Teaching Employability in Prisons: Tony McGuire’s Harmony of Emotional Resilience and Building Instruction

Tony McGuire- a member of Community Resilience Initiative, and an instructor for Walla Walla Community College at the Washington State Penitentiary- had divided his Building Maintenance class into random groups where white supremacists may be working on the same team as Native Americans. This choice was intentional; “there’s no affiliation on a job site, so you don’t get that here,” Tony told his students. Yet not long after the start of such teamwork, tools began flying. One student was...

CRI's Third "Beyond Paper Tigers" Conference

Community Resilience Initiative's third Beyond Paper Tigers Conference is now open for registration! A social/network event kicks off the conference on June 26, with two full days of keynotes and breakout session June 27 and 28 at the Red Lion Hotel Conference Center in Pasco, WA. Our conference theme is the power of relationship--“the mutual and interdependent respect that results when people feel safe, believe that everyone has something to offer, and are confident that each person is...

A new response to child abuse [Union-Bulletin]

Seated on a child-sized chair, Brooke Martin looks right at home. That’s intentional, she said. Martin is a social worker with the Walla Walla office of Child Protective Services. While her office is under the umbrella of Washington state’s Division of Children and Family Services, she works in the Walla Walla Police Department’s headquarters right next to a child-friendly forensic interview room. That’s the spot where most troubled kids 13 and younger in Walla Walla County end up talking...

Friends organization pairs mentors with area kids [Union-Bulletin.com]

Friends of Children of Walla Walla focuses on the well-being of children in the area, by providing school- and community-based programs that help youths socially and academically through one-on-one relationships. “We are purveyors of hope and resilience for kids,” said Jim Byrnes, executive director. Many children have adverse childhood experiences, called ACES, including verbal and physical violence, poverty, neglect, bullying and more. And many parents have their own set of emotional ACES...

Oh what a night! Expressing emotion through mindful art!

What can be better than dinner together and mindful art as a way to express our feelings! Walla Walla families left with smiles on their faces and wet canvases in hand after spending a delightful two hours with Brigette Phillips https://www.facebook.com/mindfulart2016/ and the CRI Team, creating beauty. Breathing buddies, feelings charts, and "how do I feel" were additional activities available for the children (one youngster actually drew 28 "faces" of how he feels!). Thanks to Brigette for...

Walla Walla County Commissioners recognize CRI

It was a great honor to be recognized by the Walla Walla County Commissioners for our community-wide work in mobilizing action for a resilient community. This is the first proclamation by the county, and it was initiated through the efforts of Michael Bates, director of the Department of Court Services, Juvenile Justice Center (JJC). Mike has been involved throughout the development of Walla Walla's response to ACEs through resilience, and was one of the first partners to implement...

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