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Building the Movement Session 1: Coalitions

Summary produced by: Leslie Alvarez | Alyssa Besser | Sofia Escalante | Sarah Levine | Thalia Philip (MPH Candidates, Mailman School of Public Health)

Speakers, Organizations, and Contact Information

  • Dr. Diana (Denni) Fishbein | Director of Neuro Prevention Research, University of North Carolina - Frankfurt Graham Child Development Institute, and Co-Director & President, National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives

  • Jane Stevens | Founder & Publisher, PACEs Connection

  • Dan Press | Co-Founder & General Counsel, Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice

  • Rebecca Lewis-Pankratz | Co-Founder, ESSDACK

  • Dr. Kelly Graves | Director & Co-Founder, Kellin Foundation

  • Leslie Lieberman | Senior Director, MARC, and, Health Federation of Philadelphia

  • Kimberly Rodgers | Center Administrator, Center for Community Resilience

  • Whitney Marris | Director of Trauma-Informed Practice and Systems Transformation, Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice

  • Dave Ellis | Founding Executive Director, New Jersey Office of Resilience

  • Father Paul Abernathy | Chief Executive Officer, Neighborhood Resilience Project

  • Jennifer Brinkmann | President, Alive & Well Communities

  • Dr. Colleen Bridger | Assistant City Manager, San Antonio Trauma-Informed Coalition

  • Dr. Mandy Davis | Director, Trauma-Informed Oregon

Workshop Agenda

  • 00:01:30 | Dr. Diana (Denni) Fishbein | Workshop Overview

  • 00:10:00 | Jane Stevens | Basics of PACEs Science

  • 00:36:34 | Dan Press | The Need for Connecting of Local Coalitions

  • 00:50:56 | Jesse Kohler | Introduction of Panelists

  • 00:52:40 | Dave Ellis | How to Engage with the Community

  • 01:07:18 | Father Paul Abernathy | Trauma-Informed Community Development

  • 01:19:37 | Jennifer Brinkmann | Growing an Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Movement

  • 01:31:04 | Dr. Colleen Bridger | San Antonio Trauma-Informed System

  • 01:44:12 | Dr. Mandy Davis | Oregon’s Trauma-Informed Journey

  • 02:09:04 | Rebecca Lewis-Pankratz | Personal Experience with ACES

  • 02:26:22 | Dr. Kelly Graves | Resilient NC: Supporting Statewide Efforts to Build Community Resilience

  • 02:42:48 | Leslie Lieberman | Building a National Movement to Prevent Trauma and Foster Resilience

  • 02:58:06 | Kimberly Rodgers | The Power of Coalitions: Lessons From the Building Community Resilience Collaborative

  • 03:22:33 | Whitney Marris | Highlights From the JamBoard, Including Questions and Wonderments Shared

Workshop Overview

This workshop covers the importance of community coalition in trauma-informed care. Here, it is called into action that trauma-informed programs and services need to be broadly, systematically, and equitably delivered in our communities to mitigate the effects of trauma.

Particular sources of trauma include inequalities, lack of social supports and opportunities, community violence, and other adverse social determinants of health. In order to minimize these sources of trauma and others, coalitions in every community must play an integral role in informing mindsets, changing systems, and reforming policies nationwide. The movement to prevent trauma and foster resilience is designed to direct national attention towards the need to create a society that offers every individual, family, and community a safe, non-threatening, stable, and nurturing environment.

The moderator for this workshop is Jesse Kohler from CTIPP. There are eight panelists and five speakers. Each individual comes from a different organization throughout the U.S., where they discuss the impact, importance, and need for community coalitions in trauma-informed care.

Why is this Workshop Important?

This workshop is important because it sheds light on a valuable concept: community healing must involve community members. It emphasizes the idea of community being at the forefront of healing, ACEs, and trauma-informed care. Moreover, community is a powerful asset that can be utilized to address and mitigate trauma, while also promoting resilience and self-efficacy. This workshop can inspire individuals to take action, partake in a community coalition near them, and help them realize that if they too suffer from ACEs or any residual trauma, they are not alone.


01:00:45 - 01:00:52 | Dave Ellis | “My belief is that the only sustainability, for the work that we are trying to do, sits in the community.”

01:10:23 - 01:10:31 | Father Paul Abernathy | “We are a product of our environment, but we are also producers in our environment.”

01:25:23 - 01:25:40 | Jennifer Brinkmann | “True well-being is possible when systems and communities work together... we have to support systems in becoming trauma-informed, but the community has to be at the table guiding that transformation.”

01:34:50 - 01:35:00 | Dr. Colleen Bridger | “The community came together and said…we're going to create a system, and this system is going to focus on the why, the what, and the who.”

01:50:06 - 01:50:16 | Dr. Mandy Davis | “Our major goal [through community building] is to connect communities and people so the people can share their learning, they can partner on work and grants, advocate together, and inspire.”


Diana (Denni) Fishbein, National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives

Denni provides an overview of the day's workshop.

10:00: Jane Stevens, PACEs Connection

12:36 –We're changing practices and policies from blame, shame, and punishment to understanding, nurturing, and healing

14:00 – Jane defines PACEs = Positive & Adverse Childhood Experiences

15:27 – Jane describes the five parts of PACE science

20:23 – The brain cannot distinguish between different types of ACEs; once the experience goes into the brain, it's just different levels, and durations of toxic stress that make the difference…as well as the support and nurturing that does on during and after that experience

22:12 –Being PACEs science informed is the bedrock of becoming trauma-informed. You need both. PACEs Science is the what and the why, and trauma-informed is the how.

23:00 Emerging research shows that positive and adverse childhood experiences are intertwined in a profound way that affects us and how we integrate this science into our works and lives

25:28 – Think about how we address racism and white privilege in the U.S. - Slavery and its aftermath, such as the Jim Crow era, still affects so many parts of our society, laws, policies, norms, and culture that if we're to heal as a nation, we have to acknowledge and address all of slavery's generational legacies so we can have an equitable and shared structure

33:10 – In 2019 and 2020, dozens of states enacted nearly 60 laws and resolutions that especially reference adverse childhood experiences or trauma

36:34: Dan Press, CTIPP

38:25 – The movement now needs more structure. We need an association of state and local trauma-informed coalitions brought together under the umbrella of CTIPP, PACEs Connection, and NPSC to focus on having a national voice and a vehicle for local and individual coalitions sharing and growing from each other

39:13 – Our goal is for thousands of communities to have trauma-informed cross-sector coalitions that are working with every sector in their community to implement trauma-informed practices and to do so in a way that is coordinated so as members of the community move from one sector to another there is consistency in the way that they are being treated

40:40 – Need to connect the local coalitions, so they are sharing experiences, data, and excitement…need a national voice and presence in Washington…strong voice at the state level

43:44 – Data is critical - We need all of the coalitions around the country to come together and start combining their success stories to persuade congress and local leaders

50:56 - Jesse Kohler, CTIPP

Introduction of panelists, Dave Ellis, Father Paul Abernathy, Jennifer Brickmann, Mandy Davis, Colleen Bridger

52:40 – Dave Ellis – Office of Resilience in N.J.

54:25: Community. We have to figure out how we engage with the community. From my perspective, it's the one piece that we constantly talk about but truly haven't truly done.

54:48: How do we actually connect with those who are most directly impacted and not just in a way that they are providing us with info, but how do we put them in a position to be decision makers at every level?

55:05: The Department of Children and Families is redesigning how we do child welfare in New Jersey to make sure that the voices of children and families are leading the design and implementation of policies at the state level.

56:25: We created a technical assistance center in partnership with the community, and the community told us we don't like the term trauma being in the name and that it's more than a technical assistance center. Instantly the community decided that they wanted to change what we did and how we did it and what we were looking at to something called Healing New Jersey Together

56:48: Healing New Jersey Together has become the new way of talking about trauma work in New Jersey. The partnership now looks at the grassroots state level, nonprofits, and ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table and doing this work

57:38 – Dave references the Self-Healing Communities Model from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation in discussing the new strategic planning process that the state of New Jersey is currently undergoing to determine how to do this work in partnership with the community leading.

57:20: We went to the community to discuss funding opportunities – what would work for you? We have $3 million as a pilot. Once we know how well this works, we will share with the group.

59:00 – The message that I am trying to get to in this is the importance of community.

59:55 – Dave references a quote from Leo Tolstoy: "Everyone talks of changing the world, no one talks of changing themselves".

1:00:22 – If I don't do my own work first, it's really difficult for me to help others do their work.

1:00:55 – My belief is that the only sustainability for the work that we are trying to do sits in community.

1:01:59 – I want to leave you with the belief that all of the work that all of us are doing is having an impact…the beauty of this is that we have so many different ways of doing this work, the only real thing we have to keep in mind is that this is people-oriented. This isn't about systems, it's about the harm done to real individuals and we need to stay focused on this.

1:03:11 – The work in New Jersey is totally designed from community input.

1:04:32 – Funders, do what you do best – fund. Allow the community to do what it does and trust that the community knows the answers, and if we stay the course, we will get where we need to get where we need to go in the end.

105:40 – Dave references his mentor Parker Palmer(sp?): When you find the blending of role and soul, you've found vocation and you'll never work another day in your life.

107:18 Father Paul Abernathy – Pittsburgh Neighborhood Resilience Project

107:34 – Our qualifying expertise for this week is none other than the love for our community. This love of the people who suffer in our community is what has qualified us to do this work.

1:07:53 – We in the community have seen qualified experts come into our community and sow seeds of damage having asked ourselves the question who qualified you to work in our community?

108:11 – we must turn to community because communities have the solutions necessary to help us heal and build resilience and help us achieve a healthy community.

109:26 – if we reorient our understanding of community development as a grassroots process where community members can come together and take collective action to generate solutions to common problems

1:10:44 – We are a product of our environment, but we are also producers in our environment. There is this notion that if we have communities where trauma is disproportionately experienced that disproportionate experience will begin to create a culture and worldview in which it becomes difficult to implement interventions that result in health and well-being

1:10:55 – Trauma Affected Community where we acknowledge that the lived experience of trauma impacts meaning-making and how people understand the world, is in the context in their lived experience of trauma.

1:11:31 – A shared experience of suffering that characterizes the personal experiences of many in the community. Father Abernathy references his neighborhood, the Hill District in Pittsburgh, which is a predominately Black neighborhood. "It's not that everyone has lost a son to gun violence, but everyone knows somebody who has, it's not that everyone has been incarcerated, but everybody knows someone who has, it's not that everyone has been evicted, but everybody knows someone who has."

1:12:04 – It's not about only what I have experienced, it's about what our social network has experienced, it's about what we see all around us, it's about the vicarious experience of trauma through our life and relationships in our communities. It is a shared experience of suffering.

1:13:27 – We understand that there is a lot of negative impact from trauma and yet Some of the wisest, some of the most beautiful some of the most inspiring some of the greatest jewels of humanity have come out of suffering.

1:13:40 - We have learned that our elders through all their suffering have garnered a great wisdom that must be leveraged that even if the context in this suffering and even sometimes as a result of this suffering we have resilience that needs to be leveraged in the face of this trauma

1:14:28: Becoming proficient with skills and processes to develop the model is what is necessary to help communities achieve great success that's why we talk about this as a framework and not a model. A framework that establishes and promotes resilience, healing, and healthy community so people can be healthy enough to sustain opportunity and realize their potential.

1:15:14: Community resilience is the objective by which trauma-informed can help us build community resilience and achieve that end

1:15:58: First pillar - We have to begin at the point of trauma where we engage community members and make community development real to them by addressing the crisis that they are personally in which then gives us the ability to begin implementing strategies around health and well-being (the second pillar)

1:16:18: Once we engage, we can begin that healing process and by relationship and begin to teach skills and implement interventions that help build resilience and community

1:16:30: Which leads us to Third pillar - leadership development – once we engage them and heal them, they themselves become empowered.

1:16:39: It's not enough to be a voice for those who have no voice; we've got to help people who have no voice, be a voice for themselves…when people find their voice it is a sign that they are in fact healing

1:17:45 – The Neighborhood Resilience Project is working toward a national trauma-informed community development network. We have an Intensive week-long training session through the Trauma-Informed Community Development Institute. TICD Summit in partnership with CTIPP – annual reflection on trauma-informed community development and launch and support trauma-informed community development network.

1:18:30: Civil rights movement and many movements like it did not happen simply by chance, but rather by intentionality and organization, dare I say brothers and sisters, that this movement happened in the same way in the same spirit and certainly with the same love and hope.

1:19:37: Jennifer Brickmann, Alive and Well Communities

1:21:11: We formed this nonprofit Alive and Well Communities (in Missouri) in 2017 and gave a lot of thought about how we build this from the community up…and create something that gives ownership to the community.

1:21:45: We have steering committees in St. Louis and Kansas City, where the most important work takes place, where the community priorities are identified in the cross-coalition happens.

1:22:02: We recently expanded to Southeast Missouri…that region is a very rural community with very high need.

1:22:13: We believe that we can't change systems in Missouri without engaging rural Missouri in this work. This is not just an urban issue; trauma pervades in all of our communities.

1:23:12: To give you a sense of scope, across the state we have about 500 ambassadors, 20 staff members, and about 15 community contracted consultants who work in the neighborhoods to build resilient solutions in those neighborhoods for what does it mean in those neighborhoods for them to address the trauma that they are facing

1:23:35: We have reached more than 450 schools. That is the sector that has been most engaged with us since the beginning. Provided training to reach more than 35000 people.

1:24:03: Our mission of activating communities to heal, we have to do this by naming racism and systematic oppression as a trauma that impacts the well-being of all. If we don't name this, we're not addressing it, and we learned that lesson the hard way.

1:24:19: Today, we're very clear, we must name racism in particular and systemic oppression of all kinds to be able to move towards healing. And we have to disrupt that in order to get the generational impact that we want.

1:25:09: All communities experience harm created by trauma, including the trauma of anti-Black racism, regardless of community composition. And, healing is possible, only when we understand and acknowledge how trauma, including the trauma of anti-Black racism and white supremacy.

1:25:23: True well-being is possible when systems and communities work together, and I say that part about systems and communities working together is our organizational philosophy that we have to support systems in becoming trauma-informed, but community has to be at the table guiding that transformation.

1:25:49: And again, the self-work that has been referenced…living in ways that lead to healing and well-being requires our own personal commitment to listening and unlearning.

1:26:12: Acknowledging self-care and rest. We've been on this journey the trauma as an independent organization…for nearly five years and it is hard work. The trauma that you're close and personal with...we find it necessary that we build in self-care and rest.

1:26:30: Discussion of lessons learned – one is that everyone wants training, if we could just get the word out and training everyone. We realized pretty quickly how insufficient that is. We have to become skilled at managing change and helping push through transformation in multiple settings.

1:27:00: But we also need to understand how our work in systems has to connect to change work in communities. And that we're doing that in partnership with the community.

1:27:30: Also, elevating the wisdom of those most impacted. We work on this every day to make sure that decision making is based on the power of those most impacted. One of the ways we're evolving and to get stronger in this is centering youth voice in terms of them holding us and our schools accountable to the work. We've started trauma teams inside high schools that are led by the students themselves.

1:28:18: We have found success with bringing change agents (from systems) to the table with the community to help leverage those types of institutions.

1:29:30: Another lesson that I've learned personally is recognizing how our trauma and our identity impacts us and our impact on the movement. As a white person doing this work, I couldn't skip this step. It's not enough to have good intentions. Our country's history requires that we dig deep to understand how that history impacts how we show up and how we're leading the movement and being involved with the movement.

1:30:00: Invest in building team, have fun, focus on relationships, and trust, understanding the power and privilege that we all bring to the team and how we do that work together, including investing in our own self-care with one another.

1:31:04: Dr. Colleen Bridger, San Antonio's Trauma-Informed System

1:31:21: Today I'm going to talk at a high-level and briefly about the work that San Antonio and Bexar County are doing to achieve their vision of being a trauma-informed community.

1:32:16: We had a group of community members come together in 2018 and talk about how we were going to address ACEs. We decided we were going to focus on children and families and a multi-sector approach which involved 12 different sectors where children and their families interact with other adults.

1:32:50: We decided that we were going to take a systems approach by helping each of these 12 sectors become trauma-informed.

1:33:38: What we found was that there really wasn't a clear understanding of what it meant to be trauma-informed…there was a tendency of organizations to say, yes, we're trauma-informed, without clearly understanding what that meant.

1:34:00: Even with the best of intentions, there wasn't a standardized understanding in Bexar County of what it meant to be trauma-informed.

1:34:53: The community came together and said, we're going to create a system, and this system is going to focus on the why, the what, and the who.

1:35:10: The first component is the South Texas Trauma-Informed Care Consortium. This is a completely volunteer organization with 750 individuals and over 300 different organizations that have joined this consortium that focuses on why addressing ACES is important why trauma-informed care is important.

1:36:03: Dr. Bridger discusses the 12 different sector workgroups.

1:36:26: We involved philanthropy and other funders, because like others have said, we want to make sure as funding becomes for work, it's important that it be trauma-informed and that funders recognize that importance and actually have that be a requirement of their funding.

1:36:55: The Institute for Trauma-Informed Care is a $1.2 million partnership between the City of San Antonio and San Antonio's Public Hospital, University Health System. Provides training and technical assistance at no cost to organizations who want to become trauma-informed care certified.

1:37:21: I do want to point out that this partnership is really unique. To have a city and a public hospital to put money in the game to work on something like this is very unusual. The commitment of each of those organizations is also worth noting.

1:37:38: The city of San Antonio has committed within the next five years that 100% of their departments, about 30 departments, will be certified trauma-informed. University Health is also actively working on becoming certified in trauma-informed care.

1:38:51: The third component of our system is a certifying entity. The certifying entity focuses on who is trauma-informed.

1:39:04: To accomplish this, we partnered with the Ecumenical Center and Methodist Healthcare Ministries. Methodist Health Ministries funded the Ecumenical Center to develop a Center for Trauma-Informed Care for Certification.

1:39:21: To start, they developed certification standards and what that standardized language was…and a process for certifying organizations as trauma-informed.

1:39:43: We created three different levels of certification based on existing national organizations that provide trauma-informed care certification.

1:41:04: One of the most important things to us was making sure that the trauma-informed care process was trauma-informed… it's very participatory and involved, and everyone can provide their input into how to make this work.

1:41:33: Dr. Bridger discusses the certification process, including the self-evaluation tool that organizations that are interested in certification complete.

1:42:43: Dr. Bridger reviews the system components and governance council that is part of the system.

1:44:11: Dr. Mandy Davis, Trauma Informed Oregon

1:45:04: Children's System Advisory Committee – this is a group that in 2012 gathered and said to the state of Oregon you're missing the boat on trauma.

1:45:13: The reason that I want to start here is because 51% of the CSAC is made up of family and youth who have been involved in the children's family health system or the family mental health system…it really grounds and centers our work in the voice of the people.

1:45:40: The Oregon Health Authority – Addictions and Mental Health Division, the name at that time, created a Trauma-Informed Care policy, that policy in 2014 was developed by people with lived experience.