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WATCH: Cross-Sector Community Coalitions

MODERATOR:

  • Jesse Kohler, CTIPP’s Executive Director

PANELISTS:

  • Father Paul Abernathy, CEO, Neighborhood Resilience Project (Pittsburgh, PA)

  • Jennifer Brinkmann, CEO, Alive & Well Communities (St. Louis, MO)

  • Peter Buckley, CEO, Southern Oregon Success (Medford, OR)

Watch more in the series and access a resource toolkit: bit.ly/transform-trauma-2023

ROUGH TRANSCRIPT:

00:00:03 I am Jesse Kohler from the Campaign for Trauma, Informed Policy and Practice or CTIPP with the sincere pleasure of being with Peter Buckley from Southern Oregon. Success. Jennifer Brinkman from Alive and Well Communities in Missouri and Father Paul Abernathy from the Neighborhood Resilience Project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. All leaders doing incredible community-oriented work promoting trauma-informed, prevention-oriented, resilience-focused and healing-centered approaches in their communities. Here to talk about the ways in which we are really integrating the principles and values of community-led trauma, informed prevention-oriented, resilience-focused and healing-centered approaches at the local level. And so we will start from going from west to east. And so, Peter, starting with you, what barriers have you faced in your work so far, and how have you overcome them?


00:01:04 Well, the biggest barrier that we ran into was to work differently in this idea of what's the governance structure of the work. You know, we work with folks in education at all levels of health care, mental health care, human services, public safety, workforce development. All of them have their own boards. Etcetera. Etcetera. So when we first started, there was a real tendency to want to develop a structure that was similar to what people were working in and that we'd have a board. We have an executive committee with that kind of structure, and it really kind of held us back. We had a lot of good fortune raising awareness with our ACES training team, a great group of volunteers with support from their employers to to take time to go out in the community and raise awareness with the near curriculum from ACE Interface. So we raised a lot of awareness. We got stuck on this governance issue. You know, how are we going to govern ourselves? And it wasn't until we actually we started working with a group called Co-Creative, which studied collaboration, and they really studied what we were doing, what we're trying to do, and they convinced us basically to throw out the charter we developed. We spent a year developing a charter about how we work with each other, and it really came down to us and said, Look, it, the most important thing is you're developing a common language and a common understanding through the near curriculum. Focus on the work. Don't focus on the governance, focus on the work. And they really led this into this process of saying what exactly you're trying to accomplish. And for our region, like many regions, is how do we go upstream as much as possible? Okay, focus on that. Focus on how you are going to frame your work. We chose the strengthening families framework that are early learning hub or learning educators in our region. We're working to look at how we intentionally strengthen families. And we took those principles that strengthened families framework, combined it with a co-creative process to put the work at the center, and that really accelerated the work for us.


00:02:55 Two two quick things. One, you mentioned neuroscience. And just for those who may not know, just want to spell out that that's neuroscience, epigenetics, adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs and Resilience sciences developed by Laura Porter and her team. But it sounds like that reflection, orientation, and the ongoing process of learning and growth must have been so hard to have developed this structure for a year and then have someone tell you, just, just get rid of that for you. But that process of learning and growth is a necessary part of the process. It sounds like that's been so helpful for you.


00:03:29 Absolutely. Absolutely. And it was quite remarkable. And we did a 22-member steering committee. And after working with Co-Creative for a pretty short period of time, we did a strategic planning session. And by lunch of that day, the 22-member steering committee had voted themselves out of existence because they simply said, we can't you can't function with a 22-member steering committee. We have to be more nimble. We have to get the focus on the work.


00:03:52 That's incredible. Thank you. And Jennifer in Missouri and your work with Alive and Well, What are the barriers that you've faced so far and how do you work to overcome them?


00:04:03 Well, first of all, I'm really reflecting on what Peter said, thinking about how what we're calling barriers really are opportunities to grow into the work and do it even better. And for us, I think our journey where we had folks who'd been leading the trauma-informed movement from the mental health perspective, but when we started this work, we said we wanted to center the community experience and we said, If we're going to do that, we have to hear from those who are most impacted. In Missouri. That's people who are black and brown and most communities, not all. And we really started to sit down and realize we couldn't do this work without an anti-racist lens. And that took a while for us to get our heads around because these had been two things happening in parallel paths, but not in a braided way. And so I think we're still working on that today of uncovering the synergies in those two lines of work and how if we do that together, we can get to true healing and ultimately equity. So I'd say that's been our biggest growth journey. And then also having systems that are willing to come along in that journey with us and not be scared of it and willing to lean into the difficult, hard work that is and also really rewarding.


00:05:23 There's an element that becomes very confusing for some when we have these conversations because of trauma-informed work and, like you said, the integration of what we call accessibility, belonging, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. ABDEIJ or anti-racist lenses in the work. It works across systems. And so you brought up the need to sort of gain partnership across all of these systems and the complexities there. And I know that you've had some success in doing that, and obviously that's an ongoing part of your journey and process.


00:05:55 Yeah, absolutely. And I think we've integrated the education system and the healthcare systems have been where our two biggest intentional focuses have been of giving them frameworks and ways to look at organizational culture change so that they can come to the table and be part of cross-sector conversations of understanding, for example, how health depends on the education system. And the education system depends on the health system and how do we come together to create different outcomes in our community.


00:06:28 Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. And then, Father Paul, I'll also take a step out of like, like Peter said, sort of decentralizing leadership here after we hear from Father Paul, like get into more of a free-flowing conversation where I'll interject with some questions. But this is a really wonderful ongoing conversation. So, Father Paul, the way that you at the Neighborhood Resilience Project and are doing this in Pittsburgh in the communities that you serve, and I know that it's on a block at block level. You do it at a hyper-micro level.


00:06:59 Yeah. Well, thank you. It's so good to be with you, Jesse and Peter. Jennifer, Of course. Good to be with both of you. Uh, there are extraordinary challenges in doing community-based trauma-informed work in communities that are really inundated with trauma on a continual basis. Mean there was a there was a young woman who said to me years ago, I was on a panel and after there had been a string of homicides among youth and one particular neighborhood, and there was a young girl who was there 14 years old, she was the twin of a 14-year-old brother who was murdered actually earlier that year, in which she had said to me was, well, not just to me, to the entire panel. The problem with you people is you keep talking about post people were saying post-traumatic stress. And for us, she said, it's not post, it's current. What does it look like to really build a trauma-informed movement in the heart of what we call in our work a trauma-affected community? There's a lot of conversation around ACEs, you know, adverse childhood experiences and the prevalence of ACEs. And although there's trauma and every community, there is not the same levels of trauma in every community. Mean Jennifer had mentioned these communities that are most impacted. She said black and brown communities. We of course, you know in the when the ACEs test you know of course the researchers are saying a score four or higher puts you at an elevated risk for negative impact on adult health and behavior. And 14% of Americans have a score of four or higher. But when we did a pilot study in our community, we found that 61% of respondents had a score of four or higher. And by the way, we have to also acknowledge that there's racial bias in the ACEs test itself because the Ace test never asked, Have you ever experienced violence? Have you ever witnessed gun violence? Have you ever experienced racism? Have you ever experienced poverty for an extended period of time? But we all are aware of the some of us may not be aware of the sort of expanded aces that were added on a pilot in Philadelphia, six questions in which there were 13.9% of respondents who only had one of these six expanded aces. That is to say, if we were to take the regular ACE test, their score would have been zero. But they were exposed to significant levels of trauma. Other than that, that has been a significant challenge, you know, and building, doing the trauma-informed work where there is disproportionate and daily experiences of trauma. We had a double homicide just last night continuing to do that to get to come in and do that work again this morning. It is a very real struggle. The second thing I would simply say is that the other struggle really is engaging systems in broader engagement with stakeholders that really need to be leveraged in order to make real movement from my perspective, to implement trauma-informed strategies on a community level. Some of our systems are not truly trauma-informed. There are some partners who not only are they not truly trauma-informed, they resist, I would say, a trauma-informed perspective, and that becomes a real great challenge. In part, part of that becomes really the impetus for making sure that we engage in education really with these groups, too. People sometimes look and they say, okay, well, you know, I'm a priest, the Orthodox priest, They say, Father, you got a ministry to the poor. And I often remind people, oh, indeed, there is a ministry to the rich as well. And that's where we have to get in there and engage and do this work and help really educate, help really leverage these good-hearted people in systems, in organizations to hopefully build the movement at, you know, where there is concentrated power as well.


00:11:03 Appreciate that, Father Paul, and sort of feeding off of that. I'm curious the ways in which policy and legislation that are getting passed, how do we ensure that it reaches people and communities who need support and resources? Because a lot of policies use the word trauma. They may even say trauma-informed, but they just sort of use that language. And, you know, that doesn't mean that it's actually trauma-informed, which is a current struggle of the movement at large, I would say, is where language and action sort of meet up with each other. So how do we ensure that we are creating trauma-informed systems? We've started to talk about that a bit. But Peter, I'm curious from your perspective as a former [Oregon] Ways and Means chair, as well as working at a community coalition level, like sort of what you think and then Jennifer and Father Paul, obviously your thoughts as well.


00:11:51 Sure. Yeah. It really is a challenge to get from the policy level to actually the practical level. We have just released for the state of Oregon are our next five-year strategic plan for early childhood. It's called Raise Up, Oregon 2.0. And it's like 51 pages. And it's like all the state agencies and every state agency is saying, this is what we are going to do to implement trauma form practices across our work. And they all want to get down to at least sincerely want to get down to the community level. But it goes back to something I just said this about our own collaboration. It's hard to let go of that governance, that the traditional governance we've governed in this way. And so I think the idea has gotten through to people enough so that all these large agencies in our state are saying, okay, we want can you organize a focus group for us? Can you organize an advisory committee for us? So we go through that cycle a lot, then say they want to hear from people. But the biggest challenge, at least from the state side, is to have state support with local control, to actually empower the people on the local level to to have the resources from the state being able to make the decisions on the local basis. That's a that's a huge challenge for for them to let go of. And I understand it because when I was in the legislature, there was always that kind of thing of like, Well, you're funding that. How do you know that that is going to get a good return on investment? How do you know that? Because you have to choose between priorities, right? So how do you know you're choosing the right priority? So I do understand that. But we've developed a couple of things. In Oregon, the coordinated care organization model of health care delivery, the co model, as we call it, it has helped us move in that direction of getting decisions made on the local level around the social determinants of health. And that's given us a chance to accelerate trauma-informed work through the Medicaid system here. So that's been very helpful. So again, I can just point it out as a challenge. You can never stop working on it. And the ability, the more the ability is to give the state support, but local decision making, the more progress you're going to make.


00:13:58 I'd say from our perspective, we're really focusing on co-creating policy from the ground up. And just examples, we worked with some youth from across the state over two years to really identify what do they need in order from a policy perspective in order to be well. And they came up with a set of policy recommendations that were helping to advance and advocate for them. But I think to Father Paul's point, too, if we're doing the work right, we're working with folks who are impacted by trauma, and even in going to them and saying, oh, can you do a focus group isn't sufficient. So how is our engagement with them part of the healing process that we're inviting them into community with us in a way that supports their well-being and healing isn't just taking their intellectual capital from them, but also giving them something in return for being part of that with us and then really honoring what they say and lifting that up and bringing that forward. I'd say we're still in the middle of that and building that out, but I think for us, it's the only way forward is to walk in and with the community and hopefully help connect access into systems partners that care and can, you know, create the outcome that we're all hoping for.


00:15:22 Yeah, I really appreciate that that point. And I would say even to just further expand on that, that I think it becomes very important. Yes, we've got to co-create policy together. I think thinking about how the policy process itself is trauma-informed is absolutely key and significant. How also maybe community develops processes themselves are also trauma-informed. And the reason why I think there's a true connection between the two is because often people who have this I want to say not only on a personal level, have severe traumatic exposure, but when their social networks also have severe traumatic exposure. Mean what happens is we have we have whole communities that are essentially marginalized. They're left out of the policy planning process. They maybe have lower rates of voter participation or, you know, one of the high rates of incarceration, which knocks them completely out of the political system. And all of these barriers prevent people from really engaging and not let alone the policy process itself, not being trauma-informed. There's too many policies, I think, to Jennifer's point, that are really being developed behind closed doors by people who are, let's say, professional think tank members of one degree or another and think what we have to do is we have to design yes, co-create. We have to design these policies with the people they are going to affect most profoundly. Now, what I'll say is sometimes what we really have a tendency to do is to say is to invite people into a particular process. Um, there's still a balance of power that think can be a tremendous challenge in developing an authentic policy to really affect change in certain parts of our community. I think it's just as important to spend real time developing people in the community who are better positioned and better able to participate in policy creation and also to help them establish their own policy tables. I think it's so often we got to invite these people to this table, but what about helping them create a table of their own? We might get an invitation one day and we'll see what comes out of that. I think this is where we have to say trauma, informed empowerment, voice and choice. How seriously do we take this trauma-informed principle and what is the role of policy in this? And also developing the leadership among these communities to lead to lead us collectively forward, certainly in partnership with people from different communities? I think we've got to do that intentionally.


00:18:02 I think also there's this huge opportunity I've always set for the trauma-informed lens to be the shared lens that we can use to have a conversation about policy and whether or not it is moving us forward. So my dream would be that we could get to a point where community can inform our policymakers, those who are paid to be in those seats, for them to understand if what they're proposing is trauma-informed or not. And you talked, Jesse, about lack of definition around what really is trauma-informed community knows. Community knows. And so if we can have tables that are accessed and valued of telling us of we think we're doing something that's helpful, but is it truly trauma-informed?


00:18:51 And one of the best pieces of advice that Laura Porter from Interface gave to us when we're first starting off was she said, get this information out to the community and your community will tell you what needs to happen. And that is what's happening in our case. We've been doing this for seven years now, and as we've gotten this information out to people, people have come forward and said what we're saying and given this information, this is impossible, that we're basically abandoning people who are pregnant and not giving them the support they need. It's insane for us to not give the support that someone who's pregnant needs in order to have a safe pregnancy and to have their child have a good start in life. It's insane for us not to do that. So our community told us that very, very loudly and directed where the where the effort had to go.


00:19:35 And Peter, you bring up Laura. And I just want to emphasize that what we're talking about here is not theoretical, Right? When when Laura was the director of the Family Policy Council in Washington state from 1994 to 2011, which is not the only trauma-informed effort from a state level, but certainly as the best data that was collected over longitudinal time, but creating community capacity from a state level, but sort of decentralizing that leadership and just sustaining a learning process that layered over time, there was a 35 X return on investment. They, you know, in that one county, Cowlitz County reduced youth suicide and suicide attempts by 98%, reduced teen pregnancy by 50%, reduced, you know, graduation or high school dropout rates as well, and so many other outcomes by addressing the root cause. So what we're talking about has been proven and is effective. And so how do we scale? I think that one of the things that drives me crazy in the policy space is oftentimes how siloed the work gets and that that is in and of itself a symptom of institutional and systemic trauma, and that truly coordinating and aligning like has come up the coordination and alignment across different service sectors and different aspects of the government, instead of working in tight little silos, is part of what trauma-informed governance looks like, and then really creating conditions and capacities. So that way, like we're saying, the community can do their own work and help us understand through bioclimatic systems and organizations, living systems that continue to grow over time, inform the ways that we continue to move forward in our efforts to better meet the needs of the public at large. I'm curious. We've brought up the need to engage diverse, lived experience at multiple times. And, you know, I think that sometimes governments and systems at large will engage lived experience, but in tokenized ways. We engaged young people, but we brought in 117-year-olds, right? Like how do we authentically and genuinely engage lived experience and create conditions of empowerment and safety that allow for people to show up as their authentic and genuine selves to be part of this co-creative process?


00:22:09 You know, I'm sure Father Paul has got a lot more info than this because he's engaged with people who have been marginalized on an everyday basis. So I'd love to hear his response.


00:22:25 You know, I think I think that I think it becomes really important to consider what really is the mechanism of engagement. Because I think until we really take a hard look at that, we're going to have a hard time getting the kind of authentic and equitable engagement with people from people with lived experience that is very important. Meaning so often engagement is so predicated on the ability of these particular people to make it to wherever it is they have to make it to and whatever that looks like. And I think when you consider the hard work that has to go into engagement, it is very time-intensive. It is very relational. It requires a lot of failures. It requires getting a lot of doors slammed in your face and mean. I think that the real challenge with this is that we Americans in particular, are extraordinarily impatient people. And you know what? We really want is we want a quick policy fix. The problems that have been going on for generations to consider, I think to consider what the sustained effort looks like and what the mechanism looks like is where I think this is where the government has to really partner with, with organizations, institutions that actually are quite proficient in this. You know, I've often said, you know what, the truth of it is, we know really how to do this very well. We know really how to do this very well. I was in a conversation with a healthcare system, I want to say, last year and this question became there was a question on the table, how how do we really engage people? And we don't understand this. We have this huge, there's an extraordinary concentration of trauma in this area. We can't build awareness and all this and that. And you know what? It occurred to me that if we actually approach that, the way that we approach elections, boy, we would make a huge impact. Think about the voting campaign and voter turnout and how we concentrate in all of the science that goes into that mean we as a society actually know exactly what community engagement looks like and how to really do it in a very effective way. If the trauma-informed movement could approach this the way we approach voting campaigns, boy, we would make some tremendous effort in, you know, positive movement with trauma-informed policy.


00:24:59 Yes. Yes. Yes, yes. I come to this work as my background before all this was marketing. And when I first heard the trauma science, I said, how doesn't the whole world not know this? So how do we get this out there in a way and put to work the things that we, as you say, already know how to do? And I think in terms of engagement of communities who are most impacted, it has to come down to relationship. And that is part of marketing, but also spending true time with folks and folks who know giving them the leadership to lead it and the resources and trusting them. And so often we just we don't do that. We don't compensate that the way it should be compensated and we don't invest that way. And I'd say for us, it's elevating the leadership of those who are most impacted and investing in them to lead the work where they are. And so how do we replicate that and do that over and over again?


00:26:10 You know, a factor that's really come up here strongly is the idea of trusted community partners. We have our family advisory council meeting once a month to kind of guide the work that's happening. And as we brought forth different proposals, they would consistently point to say, Well, Clinica, if La Clinica does, this will go along with it. If Road Community Health or or Southern University is willing to go there, if there's a trusted community partner, that can be a way to actually move work forward in a way that people will have confidence in because they already have trust for that that established relationship.


00:26:50 Just want to highlight as well that sometimes when I use the words diversity or equity and inclusion certain in our overly politicized world and I just don't want to skirt over the reality of what we engage with, that that puts some people into a defensive perspective and we will unabashedly discuss again, One of the principles of trauma-informed care is a recognition of cultural, gender and historical issues. And so we cannot skirt over structural and institutional racism, but true diversity, true equity, and true inclusion also include the realities and paradigms of people who live in very conservative areas and communities that are all white. And there are deep traumas that exist in multiple communities. And so continuing to build out accessibility, belonging, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice that incorporates everyone and creating conditions and conversations that allow for all of those people to show up authentically and genuinely while honoring their own lived experiences, which we live in a very big country. And if we start talking about doing this work around the world, it gets even bigger. And so there are different paradigms and perspectives that we come to this work through and it is just important that we honor and value those various perspectives and paradigms as we come together through this work. Jennifer, like you said, where this trauma-informed care is an opportunity for us all to come together and engage in the co-creative process of creating better systems and structures that allow for our world to truly move forward toward a sustainable planet and a better place for all.


00:28:33 And Jesse, you bring up a great point in just understanding how our brain works. I mean, that to me was transformational. I didn't learn this information in my late 50s, and all of a sudden I'm being told, well, this is actually how your brain works. And everybody's brain works the same way. And if there's overwhelming stress in your life, your brain's going to react, etcetera. So just even getting the science of how the brain works is just an important factor. It tends to break down barriers between people. At least that's been my experience, is if, if you mentioned the rural I have a former colleagues from the legislature, Republicans who represent very rural districts. But when I talk to them about the work that we're doing and I'm a former Democratic legislator, they're 100% supportive of it because it does you know, they are working with families who are in pain, in crisis. I'm working with families who are in pain, in crisis. So that understanding here's some information that can help that. That's a universal link.


00:29:35 And just add we just had a conversation. We hosted an event last week here in Missouri, and we centered the conversation in Sikeston, Missouri, which is in rural southeast Missouri, to make the point that so often when we talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion, that can be shorthand for some of urban. And to say that that is this involves all of us. And then, in fact, when we look at health outcomes, poor folks in rural Missouri are just as bad off as those who are worse off in our urban communities. And I love the quote. I think it's People's Institute that says and I know it takes a while to unpack and I'm say I'm always happy to help people unpack it. But white people aren't poor because of their race, but they are poor because of racism. And I think understanding how racism at the core is creating poor health outcomes for all of us.


00:30:38 Well, yeah, I agree. And I think that what the trauma-informed movement really presents is it almost has the potential to be in the most profound sense, a reconciliation movement all at the same time. Because I think so often in our society is that there is there is this propensity to demonize. The other think that's what's happened in this day to today and mean for me I believe it is extremely important to raise up the the trauma and the plight of rural poor white America. I mean this is this is a human concern. And think it it should be at the forefront of our concern even and especially as people of color to really consider this and to to understand that when someone else suffers trauma, we are suffering trauma, too. Um, we have to. One of the things I think becomes very, very important in the trauma-informed movement is that we think we have to be very, very sensitive to because in this, in the whole conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion, um, not all perspectives are can be lent most easily towards reconciliation. That is to say, that language does matter. And sometimes what we say and even if we're working towards a positive end, we use a particular language that can come off the wrong way towards the other side, or it can seemingly demonize, even if it's not overt, maybe it's seemingly demonizing the other. I think that when it comes to any conversation around, you know, like racial diversity and there's there has to be even a particular standard. Yes. We have to acknowledge, um, the role of racism in propagating trauma among certain people, and groups in our country. And at the same time, we have to be very, very wary of any kind of language or perspective or ideology that would have us simply to if could quote W.E.B. Dubois, he has this great perspective on the reconstruction that he offers and sold a black book in which he said the real trouble with the Freedmen's Bureau that was initiated in the aftermath of the Civil War to help integrate freed slaves into society. The real problem with the Freedmen's Bureau, he said, is that it spent too much time trying to put the bottom rail on top instead of working to foster goodwill between the Negro and the white man, and think that too often we have ideologies that are trying to put the bottom rail on top, at least in language. We have to really work to foster goodwill-seeking, healing, and restoration for all human beings.


00:33:31 Father Paul. That reminds me of conversations we've had where you've talked about and we've sort of alluded to this in conversation, all of us, but the trauma-informed movement has an opportunity to learn from the successes of the civil rights movement. But the ways in which we equipped community members and really trained across language and how we were going to go about the process that led to such transformative changes and where that can go.


00:33:59 This is such an important point because part of the challenge, I think, now is that we have what might be described as a lot of social media movements. I remember in the summer of 2020, where were the protests? Here's how. There was one protest we had in town. It happened in town. It was a it was a young girl. She was in high school. And she said I'm going down to protest the corner of, you know, and she put the corner on social media and she was honestly thought it going to be her and 13 of her friends. That was it ended up there were 1,500 people that showed up. Everybody had their signs and, you know, and nobody knew where they were going, what to do. And you know, what what what was the objective? And think about that scenario and how completely opposite it was from the civil rights movement. Mean, mean. We leverage in the trauma-informed world. We leverage social media. But sometimes we do so without the benefit of true organization through discipline, through objectives. You know, the civil rights movement, there was a there was this vast infrastructure that was developed. We had the nonviolent training centers in Nashville, Tennessee. How in the world do people know how to fit it, how to do these sit-ins and, you know, have cigarettes put out on them and coffee poured on them and cereal put on their heads? And how in the world did they do that? We had we had the nonviolent training centers. We had the Freedom schools and citizenship schools. We had we had the Highlander Institute. Martin Luther King was trained, and Rosa Parks was trained. And sometimes we might say, well, where is the Martin Luther King of the trauma-informed movement? But then we have to also say there is no training to develop the Martin Luther King of the trauma-informed movement. So if we look at trauma with the same kind of urgency that tour elders looked at civil rights – I still and actually believe that civil rights is a component of trauma-informed interest, to be honest with you. Um, that but I believe that we had the same kind of intensity intentionality if we develop the same kind of infrastructure to develop the kind of leadership that we need to move trauma-informed policy forward, I think we would I think we would make more a success, and a much, I would say in a much faster paced at least.


00:36:23 And I think that that's a perfect transition. And it's hard to believe that our time is starting to come up. This conversation has flown by, and I will just say now that I hope that we have many more conversations amongst this group and like we've talked about with so many others, and see this permeate through. But I think that this is a beautiful transition to the last question that we had discussed of what makes us hopeful for the future and what is it that that we're most excited about for the trauma-informed movement.


00:36:59 There's so much there's so much that makes me hopeful. You know, I've seen people just come up with incredible ideas, being willing to bring them forward. You know, I mentioned earlier how the community talked about how we really have to focus on folks who are pregnant and really support their this group of healthcare providers and early childhood providers got together to to form something called the Oasis Center in Medford. And they have wraparound services for pregnant women who are struggling with substance abuse. It's a remarkable program that grew and now they're moving into housing with that work as well. So I have hope every single day because every single day I see something just amazing to happen. The Phenix Talent School District, because it's a low-income school district in our region. Their graduation rate in 2017 was 67%. They implemented transformational practices in a really intentional, smart way. Their graduation rate in 2021 was 95.5%. So I've seen this work produce results and change lives. This is changing lives. And that always gives me help. Changing lives for the better.


00:38:12 Yeah. And I think when we hear specifically from community members who say their lives have changed for the better because of this and they give their specific testimony, I mean, that, you know, makes you get up and want to sing and dance. And I think more and more people say once you see it, you can't unsee it. Right. And so the fact that we have more and more people who are saying that and unfortunately, we have a lot of really hard, hard, heavy issues that are happening, teachers burning out, not able to fill classrooms, nurses not able to continue doing their jobs because of their level of burnout, the youth mental health crisis. I mean, we could go on and on and all those things, trauma, informed care. It has to be part of the solution. So unfortunately, those things are happening, but more and more people are willing to consider a different way of doing and thinking about things because of the moment that we're in.


00:39:16 I would agree with all of that. And I think this is this is one of the most encouraging conversations in the United States at this particular time. I just see so many Americans of goodwill coming together in this space. I think there's a shared commitment to create a society that's more that is more just, that is more healing, that develops more resilience for all people. I think that there's a tremendous that I think I see people can you know, there are real conversations about real policy, about real legislation to move some of this. But we see states that are making commitments to become trauma-informed states over a period of time. There's so much to celebrate. And I think that what we have to understand is we have to understand the moment that we're in. We mustn't squander the opportunity. I think it must be celebrated. We have to lean into it. And I think now is the time to build our ranks to move this work forward.


00:40:25 Couldn't agree more. And I remember when I was first coming into the movement, I learned about the terms post-traumatic growth and post-traumatic wisdom, where a lot of times when we talk about trauma, we talk about how these experiences can overwhelm us and create so much stress that it tears us down. But with the right supports and relationships and opportunities around us, we can grow through very difficult experiences and be able to emerge in some way stronger than we were even before. And so while there there is a tremendous amount of bed happening right now to your to all of your points, I think that as we navigate through this and as we develop meaningful supports and opportunities for individuals, families and communities to truly thrive, there is an opportunity for our society to grow stronger on the back end of it. And the last thing that I'll say is truly, first of all, thank you, Jennifer. Father Paul, Peter, for the work that you do for this conversation and the community work that you all do, the work that's taking place in all of the communities that you work in. And we know that there are thousands of others around the United States that are involved in this work. That brings me hope every single day. And so appreciate you all sharing a little bit of your time. And again, really hope that we get to do this again.


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