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Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative (IL)

The Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative is a broad range of multi-sectoral stakeholders committed to expanding the understanding of trauma and ACEs and their impact on the health and well-being of Illinois children, families, communities, and systems. Through advocacy and mobilization efforts, we work to put the issues of ACEs, trauma, and resilience on the forefront of health equity in Illinois.

Hope and Progress, No Matter What! — an ACEs Connection/Cambia Health Foundation “Better Normal”, Oct. 22, 2020


Thursday, October 22, 2020, 12 noon PT - 1:00 PT
Register for this Zoom gathering:

The election is upon us. In two short weeks, we millions of voters in this country decide who will lead us for the next four years. We have the opportunity to embrace — as a national priority — the tenets of understanding, nurturing and healing that underlie the science of adverse childhood experiences and move in a direction that embraces cultural and racial equity and anti-racism. Or not.

What is clear is that no matter what, we can and will continue the amazing accomplishments that have occurred in individuals, organizations, systems, towns, cities, counties and states in developing stunning, sustainable solutions to our most intractable problems. The ACEs movement — this relatively new knowledge of a remarkable understanding of why we humans behave the way we do — cannot be stopped.

More than seven months ago, the COVID-19 pandemic began laying bare the great chasms of structural inequities in this country. Those fissures were wrenched wider by the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. As tragic as this time has been, it opened a startling and stunning vista of possibility and opportunity. Now, more than ever, there is a need for a new kind of hope, one founded in science and demonstrable, replicable progress. That hope lies in the science of adverse childhood experiences and the remarkable results from people who have used this new understanding of human behavior to solve our most intractable problems.

A few examples: Schools eliminate suspensions and expulsions. Patients and physicians successfully manage addiction to opioids so that 100% of patients are no longer addicted and can hold down jobs. Batterer intervention programs reduce recidivism from 60 percent to just one percent. Safe Babies Courts show that one year after participating, 99 percent of the children suffer no further abuse. Youth suicide drops 98 percent. Deaths from opioids drop 26 percent while deaths in an adjacent county that doesn’t integrate ACEs science increase 84 percent.

After the pandemic began its rampant run across every state, I often heard people ask: When will things get back to normal? The last months have clearly shown that we’ve entered a new era. We won’t get past this situation using the same understandings and tools we used before. Besides, at ACEs Connection we don’t want things to go back to normal. We want to help create a better normal, because “normal” has not been an easy, fruitful or healthy way to live for most people in this country.

Since March, we’ve been hosting two or three “Better Normal” conversations each week with our community that address how to create a better normal in areas such as education, domestic violence, community self-care, and building resilient communities.

Join us on October 22 for “Hope and Progress, No Matter What” — an ACEs Connection/Cambia Health Foundation “Better Normal”. We will provide examples of hope and progress in the ACEs movement and have a conversation about how  individuals, families, organizations, communities, and systems are continuing their progress, no matter what.

StevensJJane Stevens, Publisher and Founder of ACEs Connection, will review the stunning accomplishments of ACEs pioneers and the role ACEs Connection plays in supporting how people have used and are using ACEs science to solve some significant problems on an organizational level, how we’re supporting communities to do that work, and how we’re measuring progress so that the ACEs movement can tackle some significant systems change.

AIngrid CockhrenIngrid Cockhren, ACEs Connection Community Facilitator, will tell
the story of the intersectionality of racism, inequity, and other ACEs, and will explain how ACEs science can help us address how the pandemic and the awareness of racial and economic inequity are inspiring people.

Brian Semsem SrBrian Semsem is a pastor, drummer and trauma-informed consultant. Learning about ACEs science eventually led him to become one of the community managers of the Fresno County Trauma and Resilience Network. It comprises non-profit agencies; county departments of behavioral health, human services and public health; K-12 principals; colleges and universities; faith-based groups; philanthropists and community activists. The group joined ACEsConnection in 2017 and the ACEs Connection Cooperative of Communities in 2020.

Terri Allison, one of the founders of Resilient Santa Barbara County, is an early care andTerri-Allison-Headshot-(1) education consultant who is working with teachers on trauma responsive care and reflective practice. Resilient Santa Barbara held its first county-wide ACEs conference in 2016, followed by sold-out conferences every year since (except 2020). The group joined ACEs Connection in 2017 and the ACEs Connection Cooperative of Communities in 2020. She agrees that people who are part of the ACEs movement are in this for the long haul: "We're looking at systemic and cultural change," she says.

We'll save 10-15 10 minutes for your questions.

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