Dr. Wendy Ellis and the Center for Community Resilience partnered with Joining Forces for Children, All In Cincinnati, the University of Cincinnati Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, Cincinnati Public Schools, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to create, “America’s Truth: Cincinnati,” a documentary exploring how structural racism in policies and practices harmed four Black communities in Cincinnati. This documentary was created as part of our cross-coalition effort to bring truth and racial healing to our community in 2021. The documentary features many Joining Forces for Children partners, including the Avondale ROOT Ambassadors. The documentary offers a vision for policy and practice transformation in support of racial equity here in Cincinnati and beyond. You can now view the documentary for free by registering at https://ccr.publichealth.gwu.edu/americas-truth with your email address!
As knowledge about the science of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) spreads, ACEs initiatives have launched in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Hundreds of cross-sector collaboratives are educating and engaging organizations and policymakers about ACEs science. In turn, these organizations are implementing trauma–informed and resilience-building practices and policies based on ACEs science; many legislatures are passing resolutions and/or bills.
Joining Forces for Children, part of the Building Community Resilience initiative, spans counties in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. More than 50 organizations and 200 members from school systems, social service agencies, medical providers, parenting support organizations, early childhood professionals, Home and visitation services participate in the collaborative, led by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
An open community that allows individuals to share resources and best practices in pediatrics to address ACEs in children and their parents or caregivers.
At its core, Trauma Informed Community Building (TICB) aims to increase the readiness of the community to sustain personal and
neighborhood change. TICB strives to promote social cohesion and foster resiliency so that residents will have the capacity to adjust to changing circumstances, including the transition to a mixed-income neighborhood. Informed by the socio-ecological model, TICB acknowledges the interplay of
individual, interpersonal, community and system level factors on residents’ experiences, and aims to simultaneously target each of these levels in all aspects of community building efforts (Weinstein, Wolin, & Rose, 2014).
Pervasive current and historical trauma demands a community building approach that takes into account residents’ emotional needs and avoids
re-traumatization triggers, which “traditional” models of community building may ignore or exacerbate. Just as a “trauma informed approach” is now
accepted as essential for effective service delivery to many individuals living in these communities (SAMHSA, 2012), a trauma informed approach to
community building is required to create sustainable improvements to their social and physical environment.
Educators across the nation recognize the importance of fostering positive, healthy school climates and helping students learn from their mistakes. Increasingly, they are partnering with parents, students, district officials, community organizations, and policymakers to move away from harmful and counter-productive zero-tolerance discipline policies and toward proven restorative approaches to addressing conflict in schools
Experiences of social bias, persistent poverty, and trauma can directly undermine brain development and the EF skills most needed for success. The areas of the brain affected by adverse experiences of social bias, persistent poverty, and trauma remain plastic well into adulthood and, through proper coaching, may be strengthened and improved.
By examining factors that promote or hinder children’s healthy development, this policy report draws on recent studies to illustrate the importance of parent resiliency in the development of social-emotional competence among low-income children. The report concludes with program and policy recommendations that have proven effective in promoting the development of protective factors, reducing vulnerabilities, and cultivating resiliency among low-income parents and, consequently, their children.
Many children experience adversity in the form of poverty, abuse or neglect, homelessness, or other conditions that make them vulnerable to the damaging effects of chronic stress. New research reveals that chronic stress alters their rapidly developing biological systems in ways that undermine their ability to succeed in school and in life. The good news is that we have strong evidence for programs and approaches that policy makers could use to help these children overcome the effects of stress.
This report offers a groundbreaking framework for understanding the relationship between community trauma and violence. Until now, there has been no basis for understanding how community trauma undermines both individual and community resilience, especially in communities highly impacted by violence, and what can be done about it.