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Building the Movement Session 6: Foundations and the Trauma-Informed Movement

Host Organizations: CTIPP, PACEs Connection, National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives

Moderators & Speakers: 

  • Dr. Diana (Denni) Fishbein, President, National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives, 3:30: Introduction; 5:31: Review of Agenda for the day 

  • 9:08: Jesse Kohler, Executive Director, CTIPP

  • 2:36:31: Dan Press, Legal Counsel, CTIPP

Share Your Story Speaker:

  • 2:38:17: Natasha Guynes, Her Resiliency 


  • 14:15: Caitlin O’Brien, Scattergood Foundation

  • 43:46: Suzanne O’Connor, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

  • 1:11:38: Anthony Biglan, Oregon Research Institute and Values to Action

  • 1:33:36: Dr. Susan Mims, Dogwood Health Trust

  • 1:50:43: Rumeli Banik, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

  • 2:09:58: Betty Adkins, Amalia Mendoza & Carli Mosby-Smith, Kentucky Bounce Initiative


9:08: Jesse Kohler, CTIPP

9:52: Really what CTIPP is focused on is supporting communities for a healthier, more just, and resilient society. 

9:58: We do this by shaping policy, empowering advocates, and amplifying community voices. You’re input in the work that we do is so important as we work to move mountains and create social reform over the long haul of time, we need a ground swell of support and all of you, the coalitions that you are a part of, as individuals play a role both in terms of your feedback process of what you see as needs as well as your participation through outreach to elected officials, other key stakeholders, and more people in your own network to create that ground swell of support. 

10:39: We want to help create conditions that empower you to all feel like you have a role in the movement and also amplify those voices so that it is community led. While often times we hold up microphones in the speeches that we give, I like to say that we also want to hold up a megaphone so that all of you feel like your voice is important in this movement as well because it truly is. 

11:02: Our approach is to build relationships across all levels of government, across all sectors, as I think has been illustrated throughout this workshop series. We like to foster dialogue and will continue to deepen ways so that way we can engage further with you beyond the CTIPP CAN calls and just the breakout rooms after these calls. 

11:20: We continue to try to invest more in opportunities to hear from you, learn from, and for you all to learn from each other, and that will continue to become more apparent moving forward. 

11:32: We seek strategic opportunities for growth, both on the policy side and the practice side. And we drive racial and social justice. Social justice is key to the trauma-informed, resilience focused, and healing centered movement. We cannot be a trauma-informed society if we are discriminating against and marginalizing others. 

11:54: It takes all of us to make this happen. We have big dreams, but we need for all of you to be a part of that movement and to invite others both through the education, the advocacy, the networking, and other opportunities as we continue to expand this movement across the country and hopefully some day also, around the world. 

12:41: What we ask for all of you to do is for you to join the National Trauma Campaign

13:28: CTIPP wants to engage with you, please reach out if you have any ideas you want to discuss, we want to help build coalitions, we want to help foster and empower advocates, and it’s going to take all of us to reach our big dreams of creating a trauma-informed, resilience-focused, and healing-centered society for all. 

14:15: Caitlin O’Brien, Scattergood Foundation

14:46: At the Scattergood Foundation, we think, do, and support in order to shift the paradigm and practice for behavioral health and recognize the unique spark and basic dignity in every human. 

15:47: As has been discussed through the series…build a movement for trauma-informed care really requires an all-hands-on deck approach and every sector playing a role. What I, and so many of the other presenters who are joining today, are here to discuss is really what is the role that funders can play in preventing trauma and promoting healing and resilience. 

16:13: Funders really are a critical resource for the nonprofit organizations that are providing services across communities and in that way we’re in a unique position with access to capital and resources that can catalyze innovative approaches to make change. 

16:33:  When it comes down to it, there are really very few restrictions on how philanthropy can use its dollars and it gives us tremendous flexibility and opportunity. Our challenge to funders is really how do we use this opportunity to address adversity and trauma and knowing that that is the underlying cause of so many of the outcomes that philanthropy is ultimately trying to change.

17:02: What we know is that, whether we know it or not, all funders are doing work that impacts individuals who have experienced trauma, and that our goal, with a guide, is to make sure that funders can be more effective in how they address the issue. 

17:27: Just to expand that what we all know here, is that trauma is so prevalent and ultimately impacts everyone because of its prevalence, either directly or through its ripple effects. We know that through programming, we can choose to ignore that fact and label people who are exhibiting symptoms of having experienced trauma as problematic, or we can do the work to address the causes of those symptoms and prevent trauma from happening in the first place. 

18:14: We have developed a series of two guides and a companion infographic about trauma-informed care and the role that funders have in building the movement in trauma-informed practice. 

18:41: About six years ago, funders in the greater Philadelphia region really started asking more questions about trauma-informed practice and they had been hearing from their grantees that, they were wanting trauma training and that they were really seeing the impacts of trauma in the communities that they were working with and as a behavioral health funder that had invested in trauma-informed care, many of the funders were coming to us to learn more about trauma-informed practice, what all this was. 

19:18: Especially for folks who weren’t in the health or the behavioral health space, they were having trouble connecting ACEs and trauma to the work that they were doing. And, at the same time as a significant funder of trauma training in the region, United Way of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, they were also getting a lot of requests from funder peers to learn about trauma. 

19:55: We came together with our local regional association with grant makers, the Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia and we hosted a session on trauma adverse childhood experiences and talked a little bit about what the role of funders was in advancing the trauma-informed movement. 

20:16: One of the things I really remember from that conversation was that I think a lot of folks were thinking, OK, we have to add a new portfolio of funding to address this trauma problem. And really, what the message was there was this is a lens through which we can see all of our work, and we don’t have to change our strategic plans or do anything of that nature, have a big overhaul of our grantmaking, but really let’s add a layer to our existing portfolios and use a trauma-informed approach to all of the work. 

21:11: After the fact, funders were really excited to learn more. So, we decided to write it all down…that led to the first volume of the trauma-informed philanthropy guide. 

21:43: Many folks were looking for a checklist of funding trauma-informed organizations. And we were really wanting to get funders to engage with the principles of trauma-informed care and really think deeply about what that all means and think about the process as much as the outcome, so that is something that we really tried to focus on more in the second volume of Trauma Informed Philanthropy. 

22:13: We’re working with the Health Federation of Philadelphia and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to really think about cross sector networks and how philanthropy can play a critical role in those cross-sector networks, which then led to a companion infographic that I’ll share with you all today. 

22:54: Across the guides we focus on three core areas: the first being understanding ACEs and trauma science, applying trauma-informed principles to grantmaking, and then leveraging resources and relationships. 

23:14: In the first guide we start with an overview of ACEs and trauma science. 

23:28: I do want to talk about what we want funders to understand. So, first we want them to understand the basics of ACEs and trauma science, and how prevalent are and the impact it has on the life course. I think this is particularly important for helping funders who don’t work in the health or behavioral health space, to connect the dots between ACEs and trauma and their work. We also talk about different types of stress and the mechanisms through which traumatic events can bring about challenging health and social outcomes, and we also talk about solutions, and what trauma-informed care and what resilience, and protective factors and how…the programs that they fund can really prevent and mitigate the impact of trauma. 

24:35: In the second area of the guide, is how to apply these trauma-informed principles to grantmaking. We try to emphasize that this is not only in what we fund, but also how you are funding, and the practice of grantmaking.

24:56: Of course, we start with the six principles of trauma-informed practice and try to provide some examples of how organizations can exemplify that they are practicing each of these principles. One of the things that we really try to emphasize here is that these principles are a helpful framework and that again…not to have funders use this checklist approach, but these principles can be operationalized in so many different ways depending on the program, its strengths, the community, all of that and to really be flexible in our thinking about how these principles are operationalized. 

25:49: In the second guide we also highlighted SAMHSA’s 10 implementation domains and look at case studies from organizations that have done a lot of work and pull out some specific domains in each of these case studies, and really wanting to show that we have to be operationalizing these principles throughout all the aspects of an organization and that it’s not really just about having a referral process to a therapist who practices TF-CBT, but that we really want to building a deep trauma-informed infrastructure.

26:36: In doing those case studies, really three cross-cutting domains stood out. The first was leadership and building leadership at all levels of the organization. Of course, you want to build buy in of the executive leadership of an organization to use a trauma-informed approach, but also how are you working with folks at all levels within an organization or service provider to be empowered to be practicing those trauma-informed principles. 

27:14: The second was culture change, I think that really goes with keeping with that leadership domain, that we’re shifting paradigm within an organization, and we have to re-organize how the work is done. We also have to be doing continual knowledge building. We all know that the science of ACEs and trauma is always growing and building on itself and that we’re learning new things all of the time about approaches that work and trauma-informed practices and how and why they work to prevent and mitigate the impact of trauma. 

28:05: In the development of the first guide, we were also fearful of encouraging funders to screen for trauma-informed programs, sort of saying that this is what you should be looking for, that there might be a punitive approach that could be taken, and that organizations that weren’t fully realized in their trauma-informed journey would not get a grant because of that. 

28:35: We drew upon the Missouri model to say this is really about how do we get organizations to move along the spectrum and that funders should take the opportunity to work with their grantees to move along the spectrum so it’s not about looking for the organizations that are already there and investing in them, but saying how do I work with this grantee who is still maybe struggling on the internal policy side and they need some work to move towards being fully trauma-informed. 

29:19: And also recognizing that to be trauma-informed, it is a life-long journey and you’re constantly having to iterate. One of the case studies we talk about is the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center in Philadelphia that they implemented the sanctuary model well over a decade ago, but still have bi-weekly meetings about how they are implementing trauma-informed care throughout their organization. 

29:56: Finally, to get to not just what you’re funding, but how you’re funding, we talk about these principles for trauma-informed grantmaking. Start with the acknowledgement of power structure and that there is an inherent imbalance between funders and their grantees, acknowledging that and having some self-awareness as the funder can go a long way to build the kind of relationship that is more in partnership with your grantee rather than this sort of more transactional relationship. 

30:40: And then deeply rooted in that is that we have to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into all of our work, and that starts internally at foundations and thinking about all of our Board and staff, how do our staff and board reflect the communities that we’re working with, how can our organization be more inclusive of voices that have been historically oppressed and remain silenced even to this day, and asking those tough questions about hiring, promotion, and pay equity, and that can ultimately set a different tone by doing that internally for your work externally. 

31:23: We also have to think about how this translates to the grant dollars that we’re giving. Does our grant portfolio reflect our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Are we giving to organizations that have largely white leadership. Do the organizations that we are funding, do they consider how our nation’s history of racism and oppression really impacts our work. 

32:03: This leads us to think about empowerment and voice, and thinking about how we are ensuring that communities and organizations have the opportunity to shape our funding strategies. How much impact are organizations that are ultimately the beneficiaries of our dollars shaping where those dollars are going.

32:25: Our work ultimately requires a lot of patience and flexibility and that integrating more voices will take more time and that it is not just a rush to outcomes, but also how do we take pride in the process and recognize process as an outcome in and of itself. 

32:50: We need to be thinking about transparency and demystifying philanthropy that often times it can be really challenging for organizations to understand what’s going on behind closed doors in conversations about who gets dollars, so thinking more about how we can be transparent about our process, and also providing feedback to everyone regardless of whether they are receiving a grant, not receiving a grant, and having those tough conversations with folks. 

33:31: Also, that we must be responsive. In that events don’t happen in grant cycles, and we learned that really starkly with COVID-19. That we can use discretionary funds instead of rapid response funds and we saw that a lot of the abandonment of sort of the old way of philanthropy during COVID and really thinking about how to keep that moving forward. 

34:07: We also have to think of creativity and risk taking and that we’re not always going to be funding evidence-based practices that really in our role in philanthropy we have the space to try out new approaches and test them out and see if they work and if they’re scalable. We have the opportunity to catalyze innovation and catalyze new programs that can ultimately bring about greater change.

34:40: Finally, all of this requires that we really listen and be humble and really start listening to our grantees and our communities and integrating their feedback into all of our work.

34:55: There are many trends in grantmaking recently that I think are heading in a great direction. The first of which being trust-based philanthropy, which focuses on a set of core values to advance equity, shift power, build mutually accountable relationships, and how to use those values to shape your work across your culture structure’s leadership and practice. 

35:25: The Trust-Based Philanthropy project has identified six key practices for grantmaking that really can help to build a safer, healthier relationships between funders and grantees and it…is really similar to the trauma-informed principles and can really help funders to think about how to operationalize a trauma-informed approach. 

36:08: Another trend that we’re seeing and that we’re testing out a lot at the Scattergood Foundation is participatory grantmaking, as this is as it sounds where you have community organizations and community members really have a seat at the decision-making table and in looking at this continuum here, you see informing at what end where grant makers are telling and non-grant makers are receiving in a much more traditional version of philanthropy and moving us more towards the deciding end where there is much more a partnership between grant makers and grant seekers.

36:47: One of our projects that we have at the foundation is called the Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness where in we have a community advisory board and decision-making group that set a grantmaking strategy and our foundation pools dollars together with other foundations that then these organizations and individuals actually are developing request for proposals, and coming together to make decisions about where the grant dollars are being spent rather than that happening at the staff and board level at the foundation.

37:33: Finally, the last element of the guide is leveraging resources and relationships. We advocate that funders can do a lot more than just those individuals grants and working with individual organizations but that through advocating for broader systems change and supporting cross-sector collaboration, and building the field through evaluation we can have a much broader impact. 

38:12: There is a really nice framework for preventive policies for trauma, specific policies in the first guide that is very helpful. 

39:38: Caitlin shares the companion infographic to the guide on cross-sector collaboration and the role of philanthropy on a slide. 

39:51: We can provide funding for staffing and for projects and also evaluation support. We can champion these cross-sector networks by really amplifying their work and that we can foster collaboration that philanthropy really sits in this unique space of not having to do be seeking out dollars, so we can do the work to really convene partners and may not otherwise come together. 

40:27: Finally, we really think that evaluation is absolutely critical in all of this work and that we really need to be thinking about how we evaluate the programs that are using a trauma-informed approach and how do we continuously grow upon the work that we have been doing. 

40:53: One of the things that we have been doing at the foundation is a capacity building initiative around evaluation called RISE and we have worked with over 100 organizations in the greater Philadelphia region to build their internal capacity for program planning and evaluation. A part of that has really been talking with these organizations about how they integrated trauma-informed approach in their work and how ultimately trauma-informed practice can really be a tool to achieve the outcomes that you are seeking to achieve.

41:33: Often funders will impose metrics upon an organization and say you have to meet these specific metrics without that conversation with the grantee to say what is it you all are looking to achieve and how can we be a partner in helping you achieve that and helping you understand how that was or was not achieved, and why. 

43:46: Suzanne O’Connor, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

44:13: The name of my talk today is Because of Preschool Expulsion, Ten Years of Trauma-Informed Investment Priorities & Outcomes at a local United Way. 

44:53: Suzanne shares a photo in her presentation of two different school settings. A little bit about me, I’m a teacher by trade, an early childhood teacher. When I first started out, the photo on the left is of the Child Development Lab at Penn State University, I was a teacher where children in my programs where the children of professors, and we would convince professors to let their children play…it was just a beautiful, wonderful setting with its own unique set of challenges. 

45:22: After I left there and relocated back to Philadelphia, I worked in Head Start and ultimately was the director of what you see at the top right, it was the YWCA of Germantown, it lost its charter, this used to be an old bank. The Y was down the street and when I came into this program we had about 15 kids, we had some grants, and then the opportunity to work with United Way an quality improvement came along and that’s how I ended up at United Way.

45:54: Coming into this work you can see that I have a very keen eye on privilege and why the children on the left that have access to so much and then the children on the right hand side really didn’t we really struggled. 

46:41: My title changed about five years ago to be the advocate for a trauma-informed region. I started this work in childcare and came to United Way in 2004 so I’ve been there for 18 years now…I came to United Way right from the childcare field to help with quality improvement. 

47:11: So, we did have at our United Way a long track record of support for early childhood in that sector and parenting education. But it’s here that we ran into preschool expulsion. All of the money that we poured into helping our childcare centers improve their quality, we were still getting reports of children being expelled…staffing challenges, and that was really the reason why our United Way took that turn because we were like, what’s going on here, why aren’t these children thriving, what’s happening? 

47:48: In 2009, a longtime United Way supporter came to United Way and wanted us to get parenting education training into childcare centers. Now what I forgot to mention here…one of the things that happened to me at the Germantown Y was that I got a grant to do parenting education at my childcare center from the city of Philadelphia. One of the requirements was that I had to attend professional development with Lakeside Global Institute. 

48:36: In 2009, we got money to bring those classes to other childcare centers, and since I had already sampled it, I felt like I had won something. I was asked to even be in charge of it, so how can we bring this rich parenting information into a childcare program where typically nobody knows about that information, we’re not trained to work with parents, or challenging or difficult children.

49:01: Philadelphia at that time was at the center of cutting edge. We had local experts like Dr. Sandy Bloom, Diane Wagenhals, who wrote all of the curriculum for Lakeside…and Dr. John Rich. 

49:45: Our guiding principles at this time for the work was that, as Caitlin mentioned, a big paradigm shift, we knew we were against a very solid mental model about behavior and why people behave the way that they do. We knew that it had to be cross-sector, and we knew that this was a new field and there was much to be evaluated. 

50:12: The other key part, was that I learned that trauma training, can also be traumatizing and that United Way, our budget, most of our budget that we spent, we spent about a $1 million a year on trauma, about 80% of that went specifically to training. 

51:07: Suzanne reviews a slide that details the original goals, including: Trauma Training, Champion Building, Early Childhood Development, 0-5 Interventions. 

52:46: I’m going to talk a little bit about the training. And why I think this is so important because as communities take this on, as funders take this on, there is a range training that you can take. Not everybody needs a lot of training. So, what Diane at Lakeside did was something she created something she calls the “Continuum of Sophistication with Regard to Trauma Education”. 

53:15: It serves as a construct to enhance overall awareness and understanding of what it means to be trauma-informed. Not everybody has to move along a continuum of trauma-informed training. But each of these areas that I’m about to show you presents knowledge levels and multiple domains. So, as people move along this continuum they become better equipped to meet trauma-related needs. 

53:40: This is also a non-clinical model to bring levels of trauma education to large numbers of people who impact children and families. It’s very much our belief that you don’t necessarily need a clinician to help somebody heal from trauma. That through the education that United Way was funding, we were teaching people the skills around active listening and those types of skills…this is why training is so important to us. 

54:10: Suzanne reviews the trainings involved with the Continuum of Sophistication. 

56:03: And now I’m going to talk about a clinical intervention that United way invested in, and it’s called the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, many of you may know this, this is Dr. Bruce Perry’s work from the Child Trauma Academy. It’s not a therapy, it’s an assessment. “It’s a developmentally sensitive, neurobiology-informed approach to clinical problem solving. It’s not a specific therapeutic technique or intervention. It is an approach that integrates core principles of neurodevelopment and traumatology to inform work with children, families, and the communities in which they live.”

56:38: Why we went in this direction, first of all, we read his book in Diane’s classes. But this particular assessment you can do on a one-year-old, a two-year old, a three-year-old, a four-year-old. This is what the early childhood field needs, is this understanding. 

57:00: Suzanne shows NMT map graphic and discusses the assessment process. 


59:10: The other thing that we’ve done, is build coalitions around trauma-informed care. 

1:00:00: Why this is important is because at a state-wide level there is a lot of movement around Pennsylvania becoming a trauma-informed state, but we all know that once we get new Governors that momentum at the state policy level can fade and that’s why we wanted United Way to be the champion and help lead this work through all of those changes.

1:00:32: What we did at United Way, because we’ve been working on this for ten years, is that we invested in doing a retrospective of the work from 2009 to 2019…so what happened over those ten years. The approach that we took was…we had 18 interviews with 20 different individuals familiar with aspects of United Way’s work. So, whether you were involved in the coalition, you were involved in the training, you were involved in the NMT work, independently we had some interviews…I have that report available…happy to share what we learned. 

1:02:19: We were able to successfully publish those results in JAMA and a follow up with what really happened with the more qualitative work was published in the Childcare Neglect journal. 

1:02:35: We were able to publish research and I keep getting google alerts, and this research does keep getting cited, so as Caitlin mentioned, it’s really important for funders to fund research. 

1:02:53: A big outcome with Lakeside, and this was intentional, has grown over the last ten years into a nationally-known authority on trauma. In this retrospective, these were quotes, that attributed us to their success in being able to (develop high-quality content), even internationally. 

1:03:17: Overall, the interviewees…everybody agreed trauma awareness has drastically increased over the last ten-year period. Lots of reason for that, including mainstream media. My friend Shannon Thomas in DELCO said, “If it wasn’t for United Way, coming into Delaware County and sharing all of this knowledge and resources with the counties in the state…I don’t know where everyone would be, there’s been a lot of growth around the understanding of trauma, how we train families, our youth, our stakeholders”, so this has really spread, and we’re really excited. 

1:04:14: Some of the barriers to our work, obviously time and resources. Again, the trauma training takes a long time. The NMT training take a long time. And it’s expensive, but we were able to pull it off. 

1:05:01: One other thing that we were able to help produce at our DELCO trauma coalition, Widener University sent several faculty to join us and my coalition, how do we tell if organizations are trauma-informed, and they developed and it’s being put online and there will be a free version, is the Trauma-Informed Services Assessment Survey…a cross sector way to assess the different programs in your organizations to see if they are trauma-informed.

1:07:17: United Way has a brand and if we advertise training, people come and that’s the advantage of being at a United Way. Again, our results…we’ve impacted 14,000 individuals, 4000 organizations, 2 sectors, Early Childhood, and I didn’t get into it too much, Out of School Time, 4 coalitions that we’ve started, 7 evaluations and published 3 papers, and we have our new assessment tool. 

1:07:50:  Moving ahead, there’s lots to be done through this work. Fortunately, the COVID crisis has really lifted this topic along with the racial justice movement. It’s forced innovation, the whole pandemic…we have money coming to support mental health, so this is a really good time for this movement to begin to scale. 

1:08:23: I’ll end with these two thoughts, where I feel our work is moving, is around this blog post that CTIPP that just shared around racism, and to be anti-racist is to be trauma-informed. When we talk to people about what gets in the way of implementing trauma-informed practice, there is really deep seeded racial, structural, cultural issues that prevent people from even thinking and talking about it. My next few years is really digging in deep to this work..

1:08:59: And then also, my early childhood work. I’m calling it the Evolution of Early Childhood, from where we were thinking cortex, prepare for kindergarten to the social, emotional movement to use your words in the 90s, and that movement has a long way, but what I’m trying to share is there’s an evolution that is going to go deeper in the right brain around sensory motor development.

1:11:38: Anthony Biglan, Oregon Research Institute and Values to Action

1:11:45: So, my journey starts in 2008/2009, I was on the National Academy of Medicine report on prevention. We came to the conclusion in reviewing all of the evidence, that we really have science to ensure that virtually every young person arrives at adulthood with the skills, interests, values, and health habits they need to lead a productive life in caring relationships with others. 

1:12:14: That sort of got me on a journey, I was also on the 2019 National Academy report, where we said yes, that progress has been made, but we still haven’t translated it into changes throughout the country, throughout societies. 

1:12:30: The 2009 effort led me to write a book called, the Nurture Effect. I would argue that nurturing environments are the key to human thriving and the most effective way to reduce trauma is to focus on creating environments that nurture wellbeing. 

 1:12:49: I think there are four qualities that make for nurturing environments…the first aspect of nurturing environments is that they minimize toxic biological and social conditions, toxic biological conditions like high levels of Omega 6 in the diet, or high levels of airborne lead, but also and perhaps most importantly, social conditions that involve aversive and coercive, punitive, discriminate, discriminatory behavior towards people. We need to minimize those kinds of conditions. 

1:13:36: And basically, if you look at all of the family and school and community interventions that have been shown to have benefit, what they fundamentally involve is reducing those kinds of biological and social toxins and replacing those with a lot of positive support for caring and development. 

1:13:57: The second aspect of nurturing environments is that they richly reinforce all kinds of prosocial behavior. I’m not talking about M&Ms and stickers, I’m talking about listening and caring and joining and cooperating and appreciating and showing gratitude and so on. And these are I think vital to the development of children and to the development of all of us. 

1:14:21: The third aspect of nurturing environments is that they limit opportunities and influences for problem behavior. Opportunities like kids being home alone without adult supervision in the after-school hours, and influences on problem behavior, like the marketing of cigarettes, and alcohol, unhealthy foods, and opioids, that are causing as much as a million excess deaths a year.

1:14:46: Last but not least, nurturing environments promote psychological flexibility, which is the ability to mindfully pursue one’s values, even in the context of thoughts and feelings that are distressing and make us move away from valued living.

1:15:07: This is one of things that I’ve been working on is to try to advance these conditions. The second is I wrote a book called, Rebooting Capitalism, how can we forge a society that works for everyone. And that book talks about how the U.S. developed a rapacious form of capitalism and what we can do about it.

1:15:45: We created a nonprofit called Values to Action and it’s dedicated to evolving more nurturing societies. The main way we’ve been working is to create action circles and I would argue that they are one strategy for addressing our many problems. I’m not saying it is the strategy, I think we need varieties of ways of trying to do this and select over time the ones that work best and keep those and build those and back off from the ones that aren’t working.

1:16:13: Our proposition to people who have joined Values to Action, and there are about 200 people who have joined, is that if you’re not satisfied with the state of the world, action circles give you an opportunity to do something about it. They consist of the small group of people who come together to advance a very specific improvement in society and typically they work about two months, they ask people to devote no more than an hour or so a week, and we work together to produce a product…that’s a foundation for building the society that we need.

1:16:47: By being time-limited, they give you a way to contribute to change that doesn’t require you to quit your job, your education, your family, or your recreation. It’s put you in contact with like-minded nurturing people. 

1:17:00: Tony reviews the Actions Circles that have been created thus far. 

1:19:13: Let me just talk a little bit more about one of these as an example, Reducing Disparities in Reading Skill. We’ve had effective methods for teaching reading that we’re established over 40 years ago. We know how to make sure that every child learns how to read, but we’ve done a terrible job in making that instruction available.

1:19:34: As a result, the National Assessment of Educational Progress found that, in 2019, only 35% of 4th grade students were proficient in reading, while 36% lacked even basic skills. A child who lacks basic skill in reading in third grade is very unlikely to ever become a competent reader and it begs the likelihood of intergenerational poverty greater, it really sentences a child to failing in school.

1:20:05: The proportion of Black and Hispanic children who lack basic skills is significantly higher for the population as a whole. These reading disparities are a fundamental factor in the disparities in health and wellbeing that we have in society. 

1:20:22: We identified a menu of evidence-based strategies for improving reading skill. One of it involves educating parents in the community about the importance of reading skill using traditional community organizing methods. The second is training and consultation for effective reading instruction for teachers who aspire to improve their outcomes in reading. 

1:20:45: The third, however, is supplemental instruction in reading using evidence-based methods that are provided by using community volunteers and parents. We are seeking to develop this system such that we can help communities improve the success of kids in reading. 

1:22:04: Tony presents a slide and reviews the generic features of Action Circles that Design Local Action Circles.  

1:23:31: The last thing I’ll talk about is nurturing communities. We’ve come to the conclusion that the optimal way to improve wellbeing is to work at the community level. A careful reading of the state of the political system in this country suggests that, as a nation, we are in for years of conservative control of the federal government and the government of many states. 

1:23:54: I have a citation here, a book by Hacker and Pierson, Let Them Eat Tweets, and I suggest that you read that, and if you do, you will how much our democracy is threatened by the efforts to take control by conservatives. It convinces me that we are unfortunately likely to have a takeover of the Federal government and many states by conservative forces that are opposed to all of the things that the last speaker was talking about in terms of reducing trauma, in terms of discrimination and so on.

1:24:33: So, we have that effort to defend democracy. If you go to our website, you can find out more about that and you can join that. We’re trying to reduce the attack on democracy, but I’m not optimistic. I think that we’re going to as a result, it will be impossible to implement policies and programs that increase nurturing at the national level or in those states, so that brings us to working with individual communities. 

1:25:03: In the context of the situation in the nation, we can help to evolve islands of nurturing communities, even while conservatives are in control of the federal government. I also think that it is important to include rural White communities in this. 

1:25:48: So, what are we doing? We think that the foundational thing for helping a community would be to help a community come together around shared values. We’re using what is called the PAX vision. 

1:26:28: The first step of the PAX good behavior game is a PAX vision, where kids are simply asked to say if this were the most wonderful classroom that you can imagine, what would you see more of, what would you hear more of, what would you do more of, what would you feel more of. And then kids are…asked to say, well, what would you like see, feel, hear, do less of. The teacher makes a poster of all of the things that they want to see more of, and they label that as PAX, and they work cooperatively to increase PAX. They also have on the chart the things that they don’t want to see, and they work to reduce those. 

1:27:06: We think that is useful in communities and with adults so we’ve gone ahead and done this. We’re working with a community in Oregon where there has been a lot of conflict, conflict surrounding all of the issues…that people are arguing about in this country. 

1:27:27: We’ve gotten, so far, a diverse group of community leaders to come together around a vision of what they want to see, hear, do, feel more of, and what they want to see, hear, do, feel less of in the community. 

1:27:50: It’s only when people participate in their governance that they really get involved and that we really make progress. 

1:28:00: Tony shares a word cloud of positive things that people have offered. 

1:28:38: The next steps in this are promoting the behaviors that people aspire to see more of in the community. 

1:28:52: What we’re starting with is posting praise, thanks, and recognition for people who already doing these things that exemplify it, we’re doing that in social media and on the Nurture Newberg website. 

1:29:06: Through a participatory process we hope to develop goals that would advance the vision. And once the community members have specified specific things they think will advance the wellbeing in the community and the values that they’ve named, we hope to develop action circles to work towards specific goals that advance the vision. 

1:33:36: Dr. Susan Mims, Dogwood Health Trust

1:34:29: We’re a healthcare conversion foundation created through the sale of Mission Health, which was a regional hospital. We became operational in 2019 and we grew out of healthcare and we’re called Dogwood Trust, and you can see our mission here, to dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of all people and communities of Western North Carolina. 

1:35:24: We’re going to focus on social determinants of health, so we are not funding healthcare services as much as really trying to go upstream. 

1:35:37: Dr. Mims shares a slide that highlights the service areas of Dogwood Health Trust

1:36:06: In thinking about how do you really make a different in health of folks, and that is what truly makes people healthy or not, and we know that the social determinants of health, and I love what I think Tony said, creating environments that nurture wellbeing, I think that just sums it up, what social determinants of health are and it’s these conditions and the absence of these factors we know can make people and individuals more vulnerable to trauma.

1:37:10: My background before I was with Dogwood and previously, I was a pediatrician, as many of you probably know, pediatricians are very familiar with adverse childhood experiences and what that means in a developing individual, and a developing brain, and the effects that those experiences have for a lifetime, and actually through multiple lifetimes as they can spread through generations, and how important that is. Addressing resiliency is incredibly important in this work. 

1:38:02: When we think about ACEs and when we think about trauma, we are thinking about creating those systems that provide safety for trauma survivors, minimizing risk of re-traumatization and then prevention. And when we think about social determinants of health as those conditions that effect a wide range health functioning and quality of life, I’ve had a lot of fun since coming in of thinking about the intersection of these two concepts and how they constant interact. 

1:38:46: We know that traumatic events can actually change the chemical makeup of a brain and increase the risk of developing a variety of health issues, and that traumatic events make that change and the social determinants can increase the risk of experiencing traumatic events, things like poverty, neighborhood crime and violence, racism, and these things really need to be considered together.

 1:39:21: So, as we’ve come together as a foundation, we’re really thinking about how are we promoting resilience and building protective factors, not just in our work in our community but as we setup an organization.

1:40:02: I am very grateful that our Board has expressed a commitment to equity in every aspect in our work. We’re considering how that looks in equity with a broad definition and some very specific definitions within that. We’re considering in our organizational development what that means around internally for our staff, for our board, learning about equity and trauma, and thinking about bringing people with lived experience into our organization, whether that’s lived experience with trauma themselves, or coming form direct service provision in working with families who are struggling with those issues. 

1:40:56: Our initial granting focus as we were developing our first guidance with the team was to really listen and learn, and build relationships, and do no harm, that was one of the factors I brought from my medical background, and I think it’s so important as we talk about trauma because we know we can retraumatize people easily if we’re not paying attention. 

1:41:25: And we did this through as we were doing our initial granting, we engaged the community in our initial planning process, and really found people who are the influencers in the ground making change, and have the trust of the community, and as we’re doing our investments in the social determinants of health, we’re really thinking about how we can have a high touch relationship our partners so that we’re co-developing and co-creating. 

1:42:00: And one other point that I wanted to call out is that we are granting in a way that we can ensure that our partners our paid a living wage all the way through trying to pass that along. 

1:42:13: Our strategic priority areas are in housing, education, economic opportunity, and health & wellness, and as I mentioned with equity, really incorporated in everything that we do. 

1:43:40: We have a big focus on not just creating not only affordable housing, which we’ve invested heavily in, but also thinking about revitalizing in supportive communities, that will help mitigate some of those factors…where there are trauma exposures in those communities. 

1:44:08: Education is another focus, and we know that in all levels that is a predictor of good health. 

1:44:59: our economic growth opportunity arm, just a lot of work here to help with work readiness all the way from high school, giving people opportunities, and the real productive opportunities to have mentors, which we know…having that one or multiple caring adults to show interest in the lives of children makes such a difference, thinking about how we are supporting that all along, and continuing that through high school and working with community colleges on life coaches and getting people ready for the jobs that are so needed in Western North Carolina.

1:46:20: In our health and wellness, there are many opportunities, we’re working on healthy engaged communities, and we actually have a very specific portfolio on racial equity as that has many unique factors. Within our health and wellness we have many objectives and I won’t go through all of them, but there are a few I wanted to point out, and that is our 1.1 to decrease adverse experiences and improve individual and family resilience. 

1:47:01: Another 1.2., is thinking about community resilience and how we can support that, we’re looking at interpersonal safety and organizations that address that, and many other aspects. 

1:47:33: Addressing trauma and preventing it cross almost every area, all of our strategic priority areas, including that we know that disparities are important to address. 

1:48:27: Lastly, I wanted to mention another program that we’re involved with through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which is a very interesting experiment to try to see what it’s like to use Medicaid dollars to pay for the services that address social determinant of health and some of those trauma-services. This is a pilot, we have a sister organization that we’ve helped to setup to implement this pilot that will allow human services organizations to provide services in the areas of housing, addressing food insecurity, transportation, and interpersonal safety and be able to submit a bill through a billing system through Medicaid to get paid for that. 

1:49:44: Our goal is to create a Western North Carolina where every generation can live, learn, earn, and thrive with dignity and opportunity for all. No exceptions. 

1:50:43: Dr. Rumeli Banik, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF)

1:51:41: I’ll start with what DDCF’s vision is, which is supporting the well-being of people and the planet for a more creative, equitable, and sustainable future. We do this through our mission of improving lives through grantmaking in the fields and areas that Doris Duke was interested in, including the performing arts, environment, medical research, we have a program that fosters connections between Muslim and non-Muslim cultures in the U.S, and the child wellbeing program, which I lead. 

1:52:35: Around ten years ago, we underwent a major strategic shift, recognizing that while it’s important to prevent child maltreatment, we also want to promote health and wellbeing and thriving of children, families, and communities. Our mission is to promote children’s healthy development and protect them from abuse and neglect. 

1:53:02: Through our strategy shift, we’ve also been moving more upstream in how we want to create and support an ecosystem that promotes child and family wellbeing and strengthening families. 

1:53:26: I wanted to talk a bit about our framing, and what our overarching approach is to our work. We take a public health prevention lens to the efforts that we support, recognizing that we need to partner across systems, and across sectors, and with families, and that in order to promote healthy development and address trauma and foster resilience, we really need to take a more holistic approach for children and families. 

1:54:11: The two-gen or whole family framework is also core to our approach where we look to support efforts that serve and advance outcomes for children and their caregivers together. Many of our grantees work in areas of early childhood and workforce development, really looking more holistically at families. 

1:54:47: We also take a strengths-based approach to the work, recognizing that there are assets in individuals, in families, and in communities that we can build upon and enhance and grow rather than looking at and focusing on the deficits of the communities that we aim to serve. 

1:55:17: We also look to build capacity around data and evidence use for our grantees, whether they are individuals or organizations with the theory that better use of data and evidence will result more effective and impactful funding and better outcomes.

1:55:50: And, finally, equity is centered in all of our work. To get to equity we also recognize we need to be more inclusive and include diverse people and perspectives and include those from underrepresented groups who historically haven’t had the voice or the seat at the table or the decision-making power to determine how to achieve their goals and how we can support thriving communities.

1:56:30: I mentioned that we have three strategic areas, which are across the top, I’ll say a bit more about each one. Our first area is around system strengthening and coordination, and this is really for the public systems that serve families. We also have a portfolio around place-based initiatives, where we’re looking to support the backbone organizations of collective impact efforts that are working at the neighborhood or community level. And our third area is around building capacity and sharing knowledge. This is through building capacity of both individuals and organizations, supporting leadership development, supporting the generation and use of research and evidence to inform decision making.  

1:57:30: We do have some priority populations that include indigenous communities, youth that are in and transitioning out of foster care as well as low-income communities. 

1:57:43: In our first strategic area, System Strengthening and Coordination, this is with the understanding that the families we seek to serve touch multiple systems, so how can they work better together, how can they align and coordinate their services, and really center families and center the needs of families to better serve them and meet them where they are. 

1:58:19: So, examples of grantees in this portfolio include South Carolina First Steps, that is working across multiple sectors. 

1:59:17: The National Center for Youth Law serves youth who are systems involved in California and aims to improve their academic outcomes. They provide one-on-one academic support to youth as well as advocate for policies within counties and across California to promote educational success. 

1:59:54: The last grantee I’ll mention in this strategic area is the American Public Human Services Association. They have an initiative called Advancing Family Economic Mobility. 

2:00:59: The second strategic around place-based initiatives, so here we are supporting backbone support organizations that are bringing resources to communities, coordinating efforts of multiple stakeholders, they’re also building shared measurement systems, and communicating about the impact of their initiative strategies.

2:01:25: These backbone organizations tend not to get the funding they deserve…they play the cat herder for collective impact efforts, so we seek to support them. 

2:01:48: Here’s more about what backbone organizations do, they help to develop a common agenda in a community and align the various stakeholders in mutually reinforcing activities to meet those shared goals, and as I mention they also support measurement and evaluation, communications, and also increased funding towards those efforts. 

2:02:18: Dr. Banik shares a slide of Place-Based Grantees, and highlights the Vital Village, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, Standing Rock CDC, R.O.C.K. Mat-Su, and Kokua Kalihi Valley. 

2:04:04: Our third area of grantmaking is around building capacity and sharing knowledge. We’ve been doing a lot here in leadership development for individuals, recognizing that many leaders of color tend to get stuck at the mid-career level and may not necessarily have the networks or the opportunities to get to the senior and executive level positions and to increase their decision-making power. 

2:04:39: So, our leadership programs support professional development, networking and capacity building, as well as they aim to accelerate the pipeline of mid-and senior-level professionals by increasing both racial and ethnic diversity and individuals with lived experiences who are at these senior decision-making positions. 

2:05:07: As part of this portfolio, we’re also supporting social science researchers in particular researchers of color as well as researchers that are partnering with communities of color or communities that are underrepresented in research to support researchers own work, to support increased funding for them, and really communicate about the findings and how they are working in partnership with communities. 

2:05:47: Dr. Banik shares a slide highlighting three researchers that the DDCF is supporting. 

2:06:13: We also are supporting a model called Research-Practice Partnerships were researchers partner with either with practitioners or policy makers on developing and implementing a shared research agenda that produces timely and relevant knowledge for use by practitioners and policy makers. Here, we’ve been learning a lot about power sharing and how to really support these partnerships to be effective and to be impactful and long lasting, as well as to really produce the knowledge that can inform decision making for decision-makers and practitioners and the translation of that knowledge. 

2:07:01: Dr. Banik shares a slide highlighting the leadership programs that are supporting individual leadership development. 

2:07:30: Our approach at DDCF has been to invest deeply and make multi-year commitments because we recognize that to achieve our goal of improved and more equitable outcomes for children and families, that there are things for us to invest in, in the short term as well as really looking longer term and how we can transform systems and transform policies and practices that better center families and better meet their needs. 

2:09:58: BOUNCE, Building Resilient Children and Families, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

Betty (BJ) Adkins, Co-Chair, BOUNCE Coalition; Amalia Mendoza, Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer, Foundation for Healthy Kentucky, Carli Mosby-Smith, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Kentucky Youth Advocates

 2:10:00: BJ Adkins, BOUNCE Coalition

2:10:05: I’ve had the good fortune to be apart of BOUNCE before it was even BOUNCE. I had 15 years of career in the local metro public health and wellness. We were the first public health system to open its own Center for Health Equity and that happened in 2006. From where we were very aware of the social determinants of health and were always on the lookout for opportunities to address those. 

2:10:32: In 2012, the Foundation for Healthy Kentucky released a request for proposal called Investing in Kentucky’s Future. It was an opportunity that was centered around the principle of if the problem lies in the community, the solution to the problem lies with the community.

2:11:44: Knowing that this coalition had to be decision-makers, by that I mean the Mayor, the Superintendent of Public Schools, the Presidents & CEOs of Healthcare Systems, etc., that we had to really bring high-level people. The purpose was they would sign on before, indicating their commitment in our letter of intent, and they would also say that they would stay with the project five years, and that they could make the decisions, therefore not delaying anytime toward implementation. 

2:12:35: So, we developed what was called the Coalition for Louisville Youth…we applied. There was a little hesitancy from the Foundation’s part because there were 100,000 kids in the Jefferson County Public School that were between the ages of 5 and 18 and they were wondering how on earth we would work with that large of a population. We didn’t know for sure which segment of that population would be our designated group, but we knew some area of the public school system we would find a way to implement a project. 

2:13:15: So, they agreed to give us planning money and we were worked together for about 12 months. The idea was to dig down into discovery through data review. We looked at data that involved teenage homelessness, teenage pregnancy, all children homeless, we looked at suicide in youth, physical health, nutritional health, mental health, everywhere. We took turns as members of the coalition, dedicating ourselves to specific data sets. 

2:14:12: We knew that it would take some discussion, but it wasn’t as difficult as we thought because everything we looked at was an adverse childhood experience. So that’s how we came about saying, adverse childhood experiences are where we will begin. 

2:14:47: So, we decided that’s what we were going to do, and we wrote a proposal and that is how BOUNCE was formed. The intention of BOUNCE is forging a trauma-informed environment and systemic changes and personal knowledge around ACEs. 

2:15:04: We were defining who we are and what we were going to do, and as the slide says, we would educate and train to build resilience youth, adults, and families. Strengthen referral networks when more help is needed, measure impact, very significant, and advocate for policies that support trauma-informed communities.

2:15:26: When we looked at that, we knew that it was the adults that we had to reach in order to be able to build that level of resilience. And we also knew it was important that no matter where a child went, there was an adult who understood it. 

2:15:44: So we not only focused on the school system, which we had a superintendent representative at the table who agreed with the school system approach, but we also look at out of school time. We had the CEO of the YMCA at the table, and then we looked at the importance of at home. 

2:16:04: All of these things were to be combined and a decision had to made, where do we begin. We decided, the important component is again, relationship, relationship, relationship. Now that we have the administration signing off at Jefferson County Public Schools, we had to get into the schools themselves. 

2:16:58: We had a pilot school, and we had a control school so we could measure our impact. The BOUNCE coalition when it was setup, we were very fortunate, we had the key evaluator for Jefferson County Public Schools as one of our members as well as the lead psychologist. We already had the relationship built with the principal from those two players.

2:17:25: When we went into the school system, we decided that the education to support these children, the education around ACEs and building resilience would involve everyone in the school. We took upon to train the administration, which included the principal and the counselors, the school teachers, the cafeteria workers, the school bus drives, and anyone else who was in the school and interacted with children during the day.

2:17:56: The control school looked very similar in the outcome of the student population, however, did the control school did not know that they were being used as such…we had the pilot and we had the control and we were ready to take off.

2:18:17: We had also embedded in it a self-care component for the teachers because we knew it was very difficult for teachers and we also knew from listening to them while they may had gained progress from the beginning of school until winter break, they had to start over again when kids came back from Christmas vacation. 

2:18:48: We implemented parental lunch and learns as a part of what we were doing. We trained the YMCA staff so when they worked with the kids in out of school time, they knew the same knowledge, that led to certification to every youth serving organization that we received metro government funding. 

2:19:07: To reach the community, we did a large-scale screening and discussion of a film, the Resilience: The Biology of Stress and Science of Hope. This was seen by about 1000 residents. We thought it was important to continue to educate the community and we setup a BOUNCE grand rounds where people could come together, share ideas, and listen to a case study. 

2:19:58: The kids in the school were in a three-tier situation, the counselor read to the children just to get the understanding or just to feel where the kids were. Children with more issues bubbled up into what we called the lunch bunch, and they would meet together during lunch at the cafeteria and that time would just social interact. 

2:20:25: For parents and children who were having significant issues, we found those outside resources to help them. 

2:20:32: Those are the three components that we did. Within the school, out of school time, parental lunch and learns and the community at large through a greater understanding of ACEs.

2:20:47: What we measured. This came from what the school wanted to see. Reduction in out of school suspensions, increase teacher retention, improve staff perception of skills related to youth who experience trauma, improve student climate results, and increase parental engagement. 

2:21:12: I thought the parental engagement was really specific when you see we grew the PTA from zero members to 213 members. There are 525 children in the particular school that was our pilot school at that time. So we did have significant gains across the board.

2:21:34: If we step back and what we learned from this…it takes only one adult to believe in a child. We had children in the second who were suspended 9 times prior to BOUNCE. It took an adult to understand what was going on with that child. It isn’t what’s wrong with that child, but it’s what happened to that child. And it’s reframing the way that the interaction with the child in the classroom was done. 

2:23:06: BOUNCE has been almost ten years this year since we saw that RFP, BOUNCE has been growing and it has quite a reputation. 

2:23:52: Amalia Mendoza, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

2:23:56: The Foundation for Healthy Kentucky has been around since 2001 and I have been with the Foundation for almost nine years. The Foundation has as its mission to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians, in particular by developing and promoting policies by addressing disparities and promoting health equities. 

2:24:20: One of the initiatives that we are very proud of and you see why in BJ’s presentation, is our investing in Kentucky’s Future Initiative. This was an initiative that began in 2012, it was a six-year, $3 million investment of the Foundation and our main objective was not so much that we would transform a health issue, but that we would support the building of coalition capacity and community capacity to address any health issue. 

2:24:56: We didn’t provide just funding, and we didn’t ask for a request for proposal that was really for a grant application, it was really for a business plan because the community had to invest in it, it had to be community driven…it was the interagency work of the coalitions…in the communities that would present a proposal around how to address one health issue. 

2:25:41: Our funding went accompanied by anything that could strengthen capacity in local communities. So, we provided training, we had two four-day trainings a year, we provided coaching, mentoring, we provided evaluation consultants, which we brought from abroad. We really wanted to emphasize that these coalitions had to come up not just with how to address the children’s health issue with strategy, but also to work on policies in the community. 

2:26:13: The outcome was fabulous. We had 38 local policies that were passed at the end of the initiative. We had a one-year funding planning, just for planning, and then five years for implementation. We also had a local cash match as a requirement, so it was really about community capacity building, and it was very successful. 

2:26:38: The Foundation focuses on four areas…access to healthcare…tobacco use reduction…children’s health with an emphasis on ACEs because of work with the Kentucky’s Future Initiative, and we focus on obesity and diabetes prevention, mainly because these are the big issues that plague Kentucky and we were trying to see if we could somehow make a dent in improving the health of Kentuckians. 

2:27:06: In terms of our ACEs work, we began with the Jefferson County pilot schools, and we realized that they were very successful in an urban setting. Given the context and the composition of Kentucky, we really felt that it was important to see if we could replicate this successfully in a rural community. 

2:27:26: The Foundation then has funded what we call the Rural ACEs Project, and in that project, we didn’t just want to fund a school intervention, we felt that we really should try to engage the public health departments and the community in the intervention.

2:28:12: Because of the success of both of our initiatives, both the urban and rural projects, the Kentucky Department of Public Health reached out to the Foundation for us to implement and expand this to different communities around the Commonwealth, this time with an emphasis on the impact of the pandemic on the communities and on schools and on children, in terms of trauma, and as well as because of the racial trauma issues that Kentucky experienced during the times of the pandemic as well. So, this is a project we’re developing again with the BOUNCE coalition, and it will be in three areas in urban and rural schools and in public health departments.

2:29:20: The Foundation has…partnered to create what we call the Kentucky Coalition for Healthy Children, a statewide coalition, it has a 35 member Steering Committee who have signed a memorandum of understanding that includes universities, health plans, advocacy organizations, state organizations, all interested in working and improving children’s health in the school setting. 

2:30:21: The Foundation pitched the ACEs work, the importance of ACEs to a group of foundations and 30 signed on…resulting in the Bloom Initiative, which is also led by Kentucky Youth Advocate…which is also looking to move state-wide policies at the legislature which will impact ACEs. 

2:31:00: Carli Mosby-Smith, Kentucky Youth Advocates 

2:31:07: Since 2020, we have served as the backbone organization to the BOUNCE coalition, and really just helped project manage and staff the work. And as Amalia mentioned our partnership with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has really allowed us to continue moving our work out into the state, very strategically and by working with other rural and urban school districts. 

2:31:59: We’ve also been able to leverage funding from multiple sources, including some additional foundations since that pilot work in that initial funding from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. We’ve really been able to leverage some additional funding from foundations to really just continue this work into other sectors that serve kids and families. 

2:32:32: Carli shares a slide that highlights the various sectors that Kentucky Youth Advocates are currently working in. 

2:33:47: This is where we hope to go in the future. We want to continue helping to create transformational change in the organizations and agencies that we work with…we want to help the agencies that we work with understand that trauma-informed care is not only about how agencies care for their clients, but also how they care for their staff and our goal is to really help organizations and agency create a culture that is trauma-informed that interacts with that agency.

2:34:20: We also want to continue overlaying our diversity, equity, and inclusion work into the trauma-informed framework, so we’ve been working hard over the past years to ensure that we have a diverse group of trainers…we’ve also updated our current curriculum and created additional curriculum to ensure that we’re addressing race-based trauma and other issues of equity into our trauma-informed framework.

2:34:52: We’d really like to get into the justice and court systems, so we would love to further engage either at the local or state level to create trauma-informed court systems and trauma-informed justice systems as well. Finally, we just want to continue growing our family and parent engagement. 

2:36:31: Dan Press, CTIPP

Dan introduces Share your Story speaker, Natasha Guynes, HER Resiliency Center

2:38:17: Natasha Guynes, Founder & President, HER Resiliency Center

2:38:25: I founded HER Resiliency Center in May 2015, and we opened in February 2016 and in doing this, I had to get really comfortable with my own story and my experiences that I had kept hidden for so many years. 

2:38:44: I grew up in a home with a drug addict who beat us, and we lived well below the poverty line and a teenage mom who left us. I now know all these years later, with HER Resiliency Center and what we see with the women we serve is that the trauma…impacts the brain’s development and the defiance that comes. 

2:39:07: And because of that, I would lie or fight just because I could or needed to, that was the way I was operating in the world and at 20 years old, I packed a bag and moved to Washington D.C. My parents said never call us again and I was like, F you, I can do a lot better. While they weren’t great parents, I wasn’t prepared for the pace of D.C. on my own, much like the women we serve at the HER Resiliency Center, which I’ll share about in just a moment.

2:39:32: I ended up selling my body as a way to get by and make money. I picked up a crack pipe and alcohol as a way to cope and within a year I was living in a homeless shelter. Fortunately for me, 20 years ago I got clean from drugs and alcohol, and alcoholics anonymous, my community raised me. I say that because when I started HER Resiliency Center in May 2015, I had just taken what I had learned from alcoholics anonymous, at that point, the peer-based relationships without a hierarchy, to sit with each other to create true empowerment so that other women can have access to the type of opportunities that I did through attending a 12-step recovery. 

2:40:13: At HER Resiliency Center we serve young women 18 to 25 overcoming various forms of hardship. We don’t ask that there are other identifiers. A lot of other organizations around the country that she’s already sexually exploited, that she’s already homeless, she’s already in the throws of addiction, or young women, and for us at HER, we don’t want her to have to fall further through the cracks to be able to provider her with support because we know the quicker that she can get on the path to recovery for herself, of whatever that looks like, she has the opportunity to get on the path to self-sufficiency and a thriving future and giving back in a way that she sees it herself as well. We don’t put stipulations like you have to do it this way, the women we serve are human beings, we’re all human beings, and we deserve to be treated as individuals. 

2:41:04: Some of the stuff that we’ve talked about at HER and frame things with foundations, we weren’t really eligible for foundations until we hit the five-year mark of operations, and right after we hit it we got our first Cafritz Foundation grant, which we’ve since been able to get renewed and in doing this, we really talk about the human experience and being human beings. 

2:41:33: At HER Resiliency Center, we don’t have case managers because the women we serve aren’t cases to manage, they’re humans and so I can’t then assign them a case manager. One of the things that I’ve learned though, and it was a hard learning lesson is that through writing proposals to foundations, through writing proposals to government agencies, to have to help educate the reader. 

2:42:05: I saw the question just come up, what do we call those we serve, we call them peers, and the reason that we call them peers is because we’re all on a peer level with each other. Other than the hierarchy that flows on a flow chart for a funder, our titles our irrelevant. Often times the women we serve know what’s best for them, trauma-survivors often know what’s best for them. Being a trauma survivor, you’re often told, you don’t know what’s best for you. There’s a difference between knowing what’s best for you and knowing how to access it. That’s what we help with at HER a lot of times. 

2:42:41: Going back to the funders, I didn’t use the word victim enough times in a funding request, and I didn’t get the money. And it was really painful when I learned that is why I didn’t get it. We had to deal the person, the director of that funding opportunity, we don’t talk about the women we serve behind their back in a way that we wouldn’t talk about them to their face and what that means is we don’t call them victims because people who often have a victim mentality often don’t ever really get to find the ownership of their lives, and the women we serve, they are resilient and they are strong, and we don’t want to take their power away from them. Ever. 

2:43:28: As it relates to the applications…we use stories a lot. We connect those stories in those education opportunities for the reader. A lot of times the reader is going to be interested. They’re going to love to learn about trauma. They’re going to think that they everything about trauma. And they know a lot, I’m sure, but it’s really important to show the examples, that when this happens, then this happens, and then this happens, and a lot of times we use vignettes, current vignettes, that we can create a description of what she is experiencing on a daily basis and how we help we help with the different connections to systems and how we see it. We still use data, because I learned early on that you have to speak to the head and the heart when you’re asking for money. Some people like data, some people like stories, but when you put the two together, you have magic.

2:44:40: So, the education piece, I think one of the other things is the ability to show how we’re tracking long-term outcomes of those we serve. Something we really emphasize is life isn’t an upward trajectory, there’s going to be things to go backwards to go forwards, and at HER we’re not about checking boxes, we’re about actually helping her get to her outcome and she sees it in her life. Our model is 24 months, to which at the 18 month we tell the women we serve that no one ever graduates from HER Resiliency Center. A lot of that model was based off on the mindset of how many women we serve went through foster care and at 18 (years) OK, we can’t help you anymore, we can’t talk to you anymore, and in AA, where I got clean and sober, your role changes as you get more time and to keep showing up for the newcomer, to see that long term sobriety or clean time can happen. 

2:45:43: So, the women at 18 months are told that no one ever graduates, but rather at the 24-month mark, their role within the organization is to evolve. They can be advocates, or depending on where they are in their trajectory, mentors for other young women because we all want to have purpose. And when you can give back, you have the sense of empowerment and power, and as long as you are providing them with the tools, they can actually be really effective in their life and in someone else’s life as well. 

2:46:17: So, what we really emphasize is the human element and building those relationships and sharing stories. I share stories with my grant people all of the time because that allows them to know, one, we’re in it, what we’re seeing, and also where the gaps may fall because you always have to have the opportunity to help inform where maybe more funding should go in the future.

2:46:42: The last thing I’ll share is that, through my own journey at HER because again, I’m a peer as well, I’m on a journey just like the other women we serve. In starting the organization, like Dan said, the firm, Van Ness Feldman was very helpful to us. After I gained my c3, I could go ask for money and in doing this, I had to get comfortable with my story. I used the “bad stuff’ the “sensational” stuff, whatever it was to one, get donors to give me money that I understand, two, is also to get buy-in from the women we serve so they would trust that hey, our situations may not be the same, but the feelings and the desperation of needing something different are the similar in nature. 

2:47:33: And now, my job is to help the women we serve get to whatever room they want to be in. I was telling Dan and Jesse this yesterday, I often navigate a lot of bureaucratic settings, and settings that women like me don’t often make it to, and sometimes I rub people the wrong way, but the reality is a lot of bureaucratic settings aren’t prepared for the scrappiness of a survivor. They’re not used to someone who is like, this is real, and it is life and death, and it’s urgent in nature. So, the more tools that I am able to get myself, I’m able to share them with the women. I do EMDR therapy twice a week, I still go to AA meetings, whatever works, I will share with others so that they have that opportunity to have it, too. 

2:48:24: In doing this, I’ve learned that my job isn’t just to share the sensational stuff, but to show the resilience that can come so that I can also help remove whatever barriers during my time, so she that she doesn’t have to work through them later. 


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