From our newsletter

As the holidays near, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank our tireless supporters and friends who are working with us to make Memphis, the state of Tennessee, and beyond more trauma informed.

No matter what you’re celebrating, we know that for many people the holidays are a time spent with family. To ensure every family has a chance to come together, our Universal Parenting Places (UPPs) are offering a number of holiday-themed events and activities. Visit us on Facebook for details on events near you.
Thank you again for all that you’ve helped us achieve over the last year, including the opening of our fifth UPP in Leland, Mississippi. Here’s to thriving in 2018!

Staff Spotlight: Ebony Bailey, LPC, MHSP

As the ACE Awareness Foundation clinical coordinator, Ebony consults with clinicians across our Universal Parenting Places (UPPs), including by discussing cases and brainstorming programming ideas to reach more families. A licensed therapist, she also stays up-to-date on the latest research and trainings that will benefit and deepen our understanding of trauma.
On her favorite part of the job: “I’m excited to be a part of a movement that’s about a shift in consciousness when it comes to trauma and stress. We’re starting to recognize it as a public health issue, particularly with children. We’re seeing how they are impacted by stress but also how they can be resilient. I’m thankful to be part of this national conversation.”
Read more of our interview with Ebony in our Newsroom as she describes her role at the Foundation and the impact she sees in the community.

Report: Latino Kids Face More Obstacles

A new report from Salud America! at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio finds that approximately four in five Latino children have had at least one adverse childhood experience, higher than the national average. The report, “Early Childhood Development and Latino Kids: A Research Review,” notes that Latino children often lack the proper care, support, and environment they need for healthy development. For example, Latino children have limited access to healthy foods and safe spaces for physical activity and have low participation in high-quality preschool programs, which creates an educational disadvantage when starting kindergarten.

“There is a great need for culturally-sensitive programs and policies to prevent trauma and improve education, health, and social and emotional development for Latinos in early childhood,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, lead author of the research review and director of Salud America! Accordingly, the report offers a number of policy recommendations, including:

  • Increase spending on early childhood education.
  • Promote access to and availability of early childhood education programs for Latino children.
  • Train the childcare workforce to provide trauma-informed care.
  • Create “medical homes”—comprehensive, continuous, preventive healthcare from infancy through adulthood—to boost wellbeing in Latinos and all children.
  • Support initiatives that boost access to grocery stores and farmers markets in Latino communities.
  • Click here to read an issue brief with detailed policy recommendations and findings from the report.

State Level Action on ACEs

Read about recent efforts to combat ACEs beyond our home state of Tennessee.

First up: New York. Education policymakers recently met in Albany to discuss policies and practices to improve schools. To date, the state Education Department has partnered with BOCES, the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare, the Brooklyn-based nonprofit Girls for Gender Equity, and other state agencies to train school staff in trauma-informed practices. According to a Times Union news report, “These [practices] can include anything from practicing mindfulness with students to creating ‘sensory rooms’ and calm spaces, to referring misbehaving students to social services instead of the principal’s office.” State officials are also working to develop technical guidance to ensure more “trauma-sensitive” schools.

Meanwhile, a group of advocates and law enforcement officials in West Virginia are working to determine the best way to alert educators to trauma in school children. In 2013, the state piloted a program at an elementary school in Charleston wherein local law enforcement officers alerted a school–via confidential text or phone call–of a child’s name and age if they were present during a potentially traumatic experience. The order was to “handle the student with care.” Per a report in the Register-Herald, by 2015 this program was active across the state. However, “each county’s law enforcement divisions operate differently in terms of the Handle with Care response…For example, officers in some counties don’t have work-issued cell phones to make the calls or texts. And some areas don’t have cell phone service.” Advocates are working to make the Handle With Care program more uniform and provide other resources, including teacher training and on-site therapists at schools.

Further west, “Milwaukee is the nation’s third most impoverished big city,” as reported by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. On December 9, the paper hosted a community discussion and workshop on mental health issues, including ACEs, in partnership with the Aurora Sinai Medical Center.


For the latest on activities and offerings across our five UPP sites, follow us on Facebook! And stay tuned for details on the opening of our sixth UPP site located at 28 S. Evergreen Street at the Children and Family Enrichment Center, a new 501(c)(3) formed by Idlewild Presbyterian Church.