PACEs Connection announced today that it has named Ingrid Cockhren as CEO of the growing non-profit, a leading advocate for the rapidly expanding, global PACEs science movement.
Cockhren joined PACEs in 2018 as the Midwest community facilitator and then became director of the PACEs Connection’s Cooperative of Communities. She replaces Jane Stevens, who founded PACEs Connection in 2012 and who served as its CEO for the last 10 years.
Stevens, an award-winning health, science and technology journalist—who has written for some of the world’s most pre-eminent newspapers, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post, among numerous others—will retain the role of publisher of PACES Connection, a community of practice social journalism network, and as editor of the ACES Too High news site. She will return to her first love, explanatory journalism, to report and write stories about the remarkable changes occurring in organizations, communities, states and nations as a result of their work to integrate PACEs science.
With more than 54,000 members in 430+ communities in the U.S. and around the world, PACEs Connection provides vital and game-changing resources to integrate policies and practices based on the emerging and profound science of positive and adverse childhood experiences (PACES). The science of positive and adverse childhood experiences (PACEs) shows that childhood adversity is the root cause of the most prevalent and costly childhood/adult diseases, as well as most social, economic and mental health issues. Nearly two-thirds of adults have experienced at least one ACE.
The rapidly expanding social change network applies trauma-informed and healing-centered practices to childhood adversity in families (abuse, bullying, addiction to alcohol or other drugs), communities (witnessing violence, racism, historical trauma) and the environment (pandemics, hurricanes, wildfires). It supports individuals, organizations, communities and systems to solve our country’s most intractable problems. Members integrate trauma-informed, healing-centered practices and policies in all sectors, including schools, health clinics, rehabilitation facilities, law enforcement agencies, businesses and houses of worship.
Cockhren knows first-hand how impactful trauma and toxic stress can be for children and families and has dedicated her professional life to investigating and educating the public about the link between early trauma, early adversity, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), positive childhood experiences and the consequences that occur across the lifespan.
Specializing in creating equitable and inclusive environments within organizations, collective impacts and grassroot movements, Cockhren uses her knowledge of stress, trauma, historical trauma, human development and psychology to translate research concerning diversity/equity/inclusion (DEI) and trauma-informed practices into workplace and organizational solutions for in-person and virtual teams.
“We are thrilled to have Ingrid lead the PACEs Connection team as we scale up to grow our communities from the hundreds into the thousands,” said Stevens. “Her stellar background brings unique insights to our outreach and coupled with her existing, first-hand knowledge of our organization, uniquely positions her to further our expansion as we continue to evolve.”
“I am excited to work with PACEs Connection to usher in an era of collective healing,” said Cockhren. “PACEs Connection will continue to expand its work to raise awareness of PACEs science and, in addition, highlight how PACEs science can be applied to address the collective trauma of both COVID-19 and our current climate change crisis.”
Cockhren graduated from Tennessee State University with a B.S. in psychology and from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College with a M.Ed. in child studies specializing in minority and impoverished children. Her research areas are African-American parenting styles, positive and adverse childhood experiences, historical trauma, intergenerational trauma, brain development, developmental psychology and epigenetics.
Cockhren’s experience includes juvenile justice, family counseling, early childhood education, professional development, consulting, and community education. She is currently an adjunct professor specializing in Black psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology and personality theory at Tennessee State University.