June 26, 2018 (Memphis, TN) — On Tuesday, June 26, the ACE Awareness Foundation will host a free, family-friendly celebration event to raise awareness of intergenerational impact of chronic trauma and toxic stress for Shelby County residents. Held from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Crosstown Concourse, “Reclaiming Joy Through Prevention and Healing” will honor the innovative work and collaboration happening around Memphis to help families overcome the trauma associated with adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs.

[Download the full press release here.]

Founded in 2016, the ACE Awareness Foundation seeks to educate Greater Memphis about adverse childhood experiences, support families in their efforts to prevent and mitigate ACEs, and change local and state systems to support ACE prevention efforts. The foundation provides strategic oversight to the ACE Task Force of Shelby County and the Universal Parenting Places, helping hundreds of citizens of Shelby County each year to break the cycle of trauma through free, supportive therapy.

To recognize the importance of promoting trauma-informed approaches to health and mental health efforts for children and families, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell will proclaim June 26 the Day of the Joyful Child and encourage members of the community to support efforts to interrupt the cycle of childhood trauma.

“The most valuable asset we have is our children, and it’s crucial that we do all we can to raise awareness about the dangers of Adverse Childhood Experiences,” said Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell. “I am so grateful for all the hard work the ACE Awareness Foundation does to bring attention to this issue and the solutions they help provide to help the families across our community.”

Other highlights planned for the evening include:

The event will also serve as the foundation’s official welcome of its new executive director, Renée Wilson-Simmons, DrPH. A renowned expert in child and adolescent development, Dr. Wilson-Simmons was selected to head the organization following a nationwide search for new leadership to help position that organization as a leading force in understanding and addressing ACEs across the state and the nation. Dr. Wilson-Simmons joins the foundation from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she was director of the National Center for Children in Poverty, a nonpartisan public policy research center, and faculty in the Department of Health Policy and Management. More on that announcement can be found on the ACE Awareness Foundation website.

Registration for “Reclaiming Joy Through Prevention and Healing” is free and open to the public. RSVP information can be found here or on the organization’s website.