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PACEs in the Criminal Justice System

Discussion and sharing of resources in working with clients involved in the criminal justice system and how screening for and treating ACEs will lead to successful re-entry of prisoners into the community and reduced recidivism for former offenders.

Register Now for Inaugural Statewide Summit: Leveraging North Carolina’s Assets to Prevent Childhood Trauma — Virtually & In Raleigh April 27-28!


Information from Summit Brochure and registration site available here.

North Carolina’s first Statewide Trauma Summit – a virtual and in-person summit – will beheld Thursday and Friday, April 27-28, in Raleigh, at The McKimmon Conference and Training Center, Summit leaders announced recently.

“Momentum is growing in NC for building trauma-informed systems that strengthen resilience and weed out systemic and often intergenerational sources of child trauma. To advance this work, it is critical that community-research-policy partnerships are forged to promote the widespread adoption of science-based strategies and encourage a transformational shift from a reactive to a preventative approach, said Diana Fishbein, PhD, Director of Translational Neuro-Prevention Research in the FPG Child Development Institute at University of North Carolina, and founder and director of the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives.

This inaugural Statewide Trauma Summit will stimulate dialogue between community stakeholders and members, researchers, practitioners and clinicians, as well as legislators and agency officials to advance and inform a strategic plan for North Carolina to implement best practices to prevent child trauma,” Fishbein said, adding, “Installing multilevel solution-based strategies into mindsets, practices, and policies is essential to the health, development, and wellbeing of NC's most important asset – our children."

The in-person and virtual summit event takes place at North Carolina State University, in Raleigh. Register online at There is no charge for virtual attendance. The cost for  in-person attendees is $50.  As a limited number of places (150) are available for the in-person Summit, it is recommended that reservations be made immediately.

The summit begins with a virtual dialogue between community representatives, clinicians, researchers and agency officials to set the stage, defining trauma from their perspective and discussing their approach to its prevention.


A virtual roundtable event is planned for Wednesday, April 26 from 6:30 to 8 p.m, and will feature a diverse group of participants with different viewpoints regarding types and origins of child trauma they believe are most important to address and that require different prevention approaches.

  • Facilitator: Vernisha Crawford, Chief Executive Officer at Trauma Informed Institute
  • Rev. Dr. Dawn Baldwin Gibson, Executive Pastor of Peletah Ministries
  • Kara Kai Sanders, Lived Experience
  • Dr. Ernestine Briggs-King, Duke University, National Center for Child Traumatic Stress
  • J’vanete Skiba, New Hanover Resiliency Task Force
  • Dr. Jonathan Livingston, Benjamin S Ruffin Distinguished Professor of Civic Education & Social Justice and Professor, Department of Psychology, NC Central University
  • Dr. Milicia Tedder, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, NC Central University
  • Victor Jones, LCSW, ROI, Valiant Families of Rocky Mount
  • Dr. Frank Castelblanco, MAHEC
  • Dr. Anka Roberto, UNC Wilmington
  • Jenni Owen, Director, NC Office of Strategic Partnerships

TWO-DAY SUMMIT Topics Include

  • Vision for preventing child trauma in North Carolina.
  • Effects of early life experiences on children’s brain development and health, and trauma’s intergenerational effects on mental health across the lifespan.
  • The role of partnerships between the community, researchers and policymakers in preventing exposure to adverse experiences and strengthening resilience.
  • Viewing social and racial inequities and involvement with the child welfare, educational, health care, and justice systems. as trauma and opportunities for population level change to promote equity.
  • Understanding how agency level and legislative policymaking can protect our children.
  • Understanding the processes by which systems change can occur to increase their trauma-responsiveness.
  • Promoting better aligned community care systems and incorporating community perspectives and lived experience on change from the ground up.
  • Evidence-based policy change and legislative efforts and opportunities to address trauma, informed by prevention science, with NC’s opioid use prevention policy as an exemplar.
  • Statewide agency initiatives to support trauma-informed practices and policies.
  • Understanding the costs and benefits of evidence-based programs and policies shown to reduce exposure to trauma.
  • Building trauma-informed societal systems.



8:00 am Breakfast and registration

8:30 Welcome

  • Dr. Diana Fishbein, Director of FRONTIER and the Translational Neuro-Prevention Research and Senior Research Scientist, Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Dr. Aysenil Belger, Professor and Director of Neuroimaging Research in the Department of Psychiatry, and Professor in the Department of Psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University

8:50 KEYNOTES – Vision for the State

  • State Official TBD
  • Dr. Lisa Amaya-Jackson, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Child & Family Mental Health & Community Psychiatry Division, Duke University Medical Center. Current research on assessment, treatment, and effective implementation of child trauma-informed, evidence-based interventions in the care of children exposed to trauma.
  • Dr. Kelly Graves, Executive Director & Co-Founder, The Kellin Foundation. 8-pt Strategic Approach to a Resilient North Carolina elucidates the intersecting roles of Backbone Support; Local Coalition Support; Shared Measurement; Policy and Advocacy; Cross-Sector Partnership; Public Private Partnership; Public Awareness and Strategic Communication; and Training and Technical Assistance.

9:40 Brain Break Conducted by Rural Opportunity Institute

9:55 Trauma & Child Development Presentation of research establishing how the effects of early life experiences—positive and negative—can affect children’s brain development leading to risk for emotional disorders; the long-term effects of childhood experiences on adult physical and mental health functioning; and how early adversities are biologically embedded in the child and their descendants via epigenetic changes.

  • Dr. Margaret Sheridan, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Dr. William Copeland, formerly at Duke and currently Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont

10:35 Trauma & Mental Health Trauma’s intergenerational effects on mental health over the life span viewed from clinical and community-based perspectives, bringing into play the role of family-systems and the impact of trauma and systemic inequities on children, youth, and families.

  • Dr. Angela Tunno, Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine
  • Dr. Ilana Berman, Postdoctoral Fellow, FPG Child Development Institute and Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, UNC at Chapel Hill

11:05 Trauma, Inequities, & Racism Types of trauma emanating from implicit bias and economic, educational, and social inequities, and opportunities for systems-level change and community empowerment.

  • Dr. Jennifer Neitzel, Executive Director at Educational Equity Institute
  • Dr Iheoma Iruka, Research Professor, Department of Public Policy, UNC; Founding Director, Equity Research Action Coalition at FPG Child Development Institute, UNC

11:35 System-Specific Trauma Trauma originating in or exacerbated by experiences in the child welfare/foster care, juvenile justice, health care, and other systems, and interventions that work at the family, community, and systems levels.

  • Dr. Aidan Bohlander, Manager of Outreach and Product Development, National Infant-Toddler Court Program at Zero to Three
  • Dr. Kimberly Cook, Professor in Department of Sociology and Criminology, UNC- Wilmington with Frankie Roberts at LINK–Restorative Justice Model

12:05 pm Lunch

1:05 Policy Realities and Opportunities

Understanding legislative processes, barriers and current opportunities in NC to trauma-inform policymaking.

  • Introductions by Jesse Kohler, CEO of the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy & Practice (CTIPP)
  • Representative Ashton Clemmons (D-NC)
  • Senator Jim Burgin (R-NC)

1:45 Brainstorming Roundtables

Open communication and networking between community members, researchers, and policymakers to share unique perspectives on childhood trauma. Objective is to generate a sharable list of ideas and suggestions to be presented to the entire group and combined into a master list.

  • Adam Sotak, UNC Rural, Moderator
  • Diverse groups of eight at a table, each with a facilitator

3:00 Systems Change

Ongoing work in NC to co-create and implement agency processes and care systems that are better aligned with community needs to support healthy development of children, prevent trauma, and advance equitable outcomes.

  • Sharon Hirsch, President and CEO, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina
  • Elizabeth Star, CEO, HopeStar Foundation
  • Kimberly Friedman, JD, Managing Director of External Relations at Family Connects International

4:00 Dashboard and Assessment Tool

The NC Healthy & Resilient Community Initiative's Resilience dashboard and assessment tool for multi-sector community coalition culture will be presented.

  • Mebane Boyd, Resilient Communities Officer, NC Partnership for Children
  • Nick Pylypiw, Cape Fear Collective

4:40 Wrap Up of the Day

  • Vernisha Crawford, Trauma Informed Institute

5:00 pm Adjourn

FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2023


8:00am Breakfast

8:30 Community Perspectives

9:30 Representation from diverse NC sectors suggests directions for system improvement via cross-community collaborations that inform policy change.

  • Dr. Dawn Baldwin Gibson, Executive Pastor of Peletah Ministries
  • Dr. Jada Brooks, Associate Professor at UNC Chapel Hill
  • Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, minister, founding Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality
  • Tamra Church and Dr. Jennifer Matthews: Resilient North Carolina Collaborative Coalition (RNCCC)

Agency Level Policy Reform

Agency officials explore the practical aspects/“nuts and bolts” of evidence-based policy change that is informed by prevention science and incorporates community lived experience.

  • Jenni Owen, Director, NC Office of Strategic Partnerships
  • William Lassiter, Deputy Secretary for Juvenile Justice, NC Department of Public Safety

10:15 Public Policy Efforts to Address Trauma and Childhood Adversity

  • Erica Palmer-Smith, NC Child
  • Crystal Kelly, VP, Programs and Policy at Prevent Child Abuse NC

10:55 Department of Health and Human Services Initiatives to Support Trauma-Informed Practices and Policies

  • Amy Eaton, MS, Children's Health and Development Coordinator, DSS, NC DHHS
  • Dr. Charlene Wong, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families at NCDHHS, Executive Director, NC Integrated Care for Kids, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Public Policy at Duke University
  • Ingrid Bou-Saada Department of Public Health, NC DHHS
  • Saarah Waleed, MS, LCMHC, Department of Mental Health, NC DHHS

12:00 pm - 1:00 Lunch

1:45 Emerging Public Health Models to Build Trauma-Informed Systems and Policies Cost/Benefits Analysis of Trauma-Informed Policies

  • Facilitator: Whitney Marris, CTIPP
  • Dr. Jane Cooley Fruehwirth, Professor of Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill, Fellow of UNC’s Carolina Population Center, and Adjunct Associate Professor in Public Policy
  • Dr. Stephen Marshall, Director of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center Building Trauma-informed Societal Systems
  • Judicial System: LaToya Powell, JD, Deputy General Counsel at NC Department of Public Safety
  • Health Care: Dr. Frank Castelblanco, Mountain Area Health Education Centers
  • Education: Dr. Rodney Trice, Deputy Superintendent for Teaching & Learning, Systemic Equity, & Engagement, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
  • Cross-sector community coalitions: Ingrid Cockhren, CEO at PACEs Connection

2:55 Body Break Conducted by Rural Opportunity

3:10 Opioid Use Prevention Policy As an exemplar of trauma-informed work, current NC and national strategies in opioid use prevention as well as implementation and scaling up of effective strategies in all 100 NC counties.

  • NC Attorney General Josh Stein (via video)
  • Dr. April Bragg, Dogwood Health Trust
  • Dr. Linda Richter, Partnership to End Addiction

3:55 Opportunities for Policy Change Legislative, gubernatorial and agency policy staff, along with community representatives, clinicians and researchers, will address questions about how best to accommodate the information presented during the summit to reform statewide policies that support community efforts to prevent child trauma. The goal is to identify common ground and practical, take-away tips on working at the state level to further the development of trauma-informed systems.

4:55 Wrap Up

  • Dr. Diana Fishbein, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill

5:00 pm Adjourn

For complete information on Continuing Education Credits, special considerations and more, please see the attached brochure. Questions? Contact Kristen Murphy at

Register online at


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