We at Right To Health, Inc believe that racism and the teaching of it to children is an ACE.  We'd like the ACEs community to join our campaign and share to your networks.  If, as DHS and CDC are saying, they truly believe in prevention, then we believe it needs to start here and we ask that you join us.  I'm happy to discuss or answer any questions, but the practice of medicine for nearly 20 years has taught us that to truly focus on prevention, it needs to start with the children.  I've included a video on the matter below.    Join us - https://petitions.moveon.org/s...fb&r_by=16228964


Original Post

Thank you for posting this, Leslie. I have been concerned for years that people in the ACEs movement think that we only need to consider the 10 ACEs from the original ACE Study. Here at ACEs Connection, we always say that there are more ACEs than the original 10. In this country, racism is a very important ACE.

Although the original CDC-Kaiser Permanente ACE Study focused on 10 types of ACEs that were most prevalent in the mostly white, college-educated participants — all of whom were employed and had great health care — the co-founders always recognized that there were other ACEs.

Since the original ACE Study others have included racism in their surveys and analyses. Most prominent is the Philadelphia Urban ACE Study, which is attached here. It added racism, bullying, living in an unsafe neighborhood, witnessing violence outside the home, and involvement with the foster care system. (It's attached here.)

Many pediatricians have followed Dr. Nadine Burke Harris' lead and included additional ACEs, including racism and gender discrimination, in their ACE screenings of children and their parents.

The World Health Organization includes racism, and many social service agencies that are integrating trauma-informed and resilience-building practices based on ACEs science are including racism.

Many family and child-serving organizations are asking the people they serve what ACEs they have experienced, to make sure they're including those that affect them. For example, Roseland Children's Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA, which serves a mostly immigrant population, has included this question: Have you lost a family member to deportation.


Racism is a toxic stressor that has been linked to adverse behavioral/mental health outcomes in children and behavioral and physical health outcomes in adults. As a toxic stressor, it likely contribute to long term physiological dysregulation (allostatic load), which then may lead to increased incidence of chronic illness such as cardiovascular disease, premature birth, endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes), hypertension, etc....the same chronic disease in which we see racial and ethnic health disparities.

I've attached a review paper on the effects of racism on child health, as well as another paper that describes the development of a questionnaire that measures perception of racism in children and youth (PRaCY).  The questionnaire also measures variables such as attribution, emotional response, and coping responses to racist/discriminatory events.  Anyone interested in the questionnaire can contact me.




Leslie - Thank you for sparking such an important discussion!  Racism is so insidious, that sometime I cannot even see it as I look at the world through my lens of white privilege.  But I am trying .... 

I love your idea, @Iya Affo Let me know, and I would be happy to get the page started!  Many ACEs champions are similarly expressing the need to bring racism and ACEs into the light.  Especially now. 

Thank you!

THanks, Karen - could you share the campaign with those folks you're describing?  I've found that the campaign is going rather slowly because I don't have time to post it and have been shut down by Facebook.  If you have a cadre of folks you know who'd share, tweet and comment on it and endorse it to their networks, that would be a great share!





@Iya Affo and Leslie - I think you two could be a powerful duo!  Please reach out to each other - if you'd like.  To send a private message - click your profile picture and go to private message.  Please know that me and @Donielle Prince (ACEs Connection Staff) are here to support your dreamy ideas!  Karen  
*sorry for the delay ... I was out of the office ...   

Hi Leslie - just checked out your video. Very much agree that racism is further "upstream" from "social determinants of health." It's a broad cultural "norm" like the air we breathe that impacts the health and wellbeing of everyone in our society.  Defining and treating racism as a national public health crises would bring to bear powerful public health tools and resources (CDC, NIH) to find ways change minds, hearts and motivate our society to action.  Sharing this with my co-workers and network!   

This is my first post - but, as I am getting acquainted with the ACEs community, have seen the Pair of ACEs graphic from the Building Community Resilience folks at George Washington University's Miliken Institute School of Public Health.  I'm including a link here.  It lists both Adverse Childhood Experiences AND Adverse Community Environments, the second which lists discrimination (not specifically racism, though) among other conditions that when compounded with the first create worse outcomes.  https://publichealth.gwu.edu/s...of%20ACEs%20Tree.pdf


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Sharon Bell-ArmstrongLaura Norton-CruzKaren Clemmer (ACEs Connection Staff) FM Alicia Doktor (ACEs Connection Staff) KA