February 14, 2017
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The ACEs movement in the time of Trump

As with any remarkable change, the 2016 presidential election, a swirl of intense acrimony that foreshadowed current events, actually produced a couple of major opportunities for the ACEs movement. It stripped away the ragged bandage covering a deep, festering wound of classicism, racism, and economic inequality. This wound burst painfully, but it’s now open to the air and sunlight, the first step toward real healing. The second opportunity is how the election and its aftermath are engaging more Americans from many different walks of life. The election brought out people who hadn’t voted in years; its aftermath has engaged people who’d counted on someone else to do their citizenship work for them. All these people – all of us – now have an opportunity to work together to solve our most intractable problems. That knowledge is embodied in the science of adverse childhood experiences.

The divide we start from is stark: an Electoral College that chose Donald Trump to be president by a vote of 306 to 232, and the voters who chose Hillary Clinton by a nearly three-million vote margin (65,844,610 to 62,979,636).

So, here we are with an administration, whether you agree with its policies or not, that often uses bullying to try to get its way instead of respectful negotiation, responds to decisions it doesn’t like with threats instead of respectful disagreement, describes events it doesn’t like by saying they didn’t happen, and is enacting some policies that harm children and families. Those actions are not a matter of being merely “politically incorrect”.

ACEs science is clear: bullying, losing a parent (to divorce, separation or deportation), emotional abuse, racist or religious discrimination, physical abuse and witnessing others being hurt – along with several other types of adversity -- damage the structure and function of children’s brains, which can lead to them becoming unhealthy adults who may harm themselves or other people, or help other people.

To continue reading this article by Jane Stevens, go to:
TUESDAY DIGEST: Over the last week, we posted many items of research, reports and news about ACE, trauma-informed and resilience-building practices. Here’s a link to all the summaries. And here’s Tuesday’s Daily Digest:
The School for Refugees []
A public school in Indianapolis is more than just open to students new to America—it was made for them.
Richard Besser, MD, former acting director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ABC News’ current chief health and medical editor, has been named president and chief executive officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest charitable foundation devoted exclusively to health and health care.
“These experiences are common, and their consequences are devastating in terms of emotional damage, biomedical disease, and the costs of health care.”
The study, published in the journal Health & Place, showed that older adults who lived in neighborhoods with more homicide and a higher poverty rate experienced more depressive symptoms.
Tomorrow, Gabriella Grant keynotes a one-day conference, “Trauma-informed services: Excellence through safety, self-regulation and self-care” in Placerville, CA, and PESI sponsors a one-day workshop on trauma-informed education in Sherman Oaks, CA. The PESI workshop is repeated in Pasadena, CA, on Thursday, and in Anaheim, CA, on Friday. Dr. Mara Gottlieb from the NYU School of Social Work is teaching a one-day workshop called “Racism and the Myth of Colorblindness” on Friday in Hamden, CT.
Barbara Machina is looking for critiques for her article on resilience. Nicholas Domingo wants to know of effective ways to teach resiliency to kids K-3. Janie Lancaster is working on a book about mind/body connection, and would appreciate feedback on how this affects trauma victims.
These horses help veterans after they come home [3 min -]Spring Reins of Life is a non-profit that uses horses and therapy to help veterans.
They call us monsters [2 min trailer - BMP Films] — Three teens between 14 and 16 face decades in prison. To pass the time, they join a screenwriting class and write a film about their lives. To their advocates, they’re kids. To the system, they're monsters.
#MyClitoris [5 min - Integrate UK TV] — A cheeky but very meaningful song by the young people of Integrate UK, making it very clear that no form of FGM is acceptable.
Mindfulness in the early grades [5 min - Erikson News] — How can schools buffer toxic stress for young children?
The science of adversity [10 min - Turnaround for Children]Dr. Pamela Cantor, CEO of Turnaround for Children, explains the science of adversity and how we can use this information to design better learning environments to help children reach their full potential.
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