ACE Awareness Foundation Continues its Work to Help Make Shelby County ACE Aware

Any organization or institution interested in gaining an understanding of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), their impact on healthy development throughout life, and ways to reduce their effects should contact the foundation to request an ACE Aware Education Workshop. The workshops help create trauma-informed citizens who are able to spread the word about the role of trauma and toxic stress in mental, physical, and behavioral health as well as to share information about the range of resources available to help prevent ACEs or mitigate their effects.

Participants in two of the most recent October workshops were the Leadership Memphis Executive Class of 2019 and Leadership Memphis FastTrack. Both programs prepare and mobilize leaders to work together for the good of the community.


Action to Access: Reporting from the 2018 ACEs Conference & Pediatric Symposium

The third annual ACEs Conference & Pediatric Symposium took place October 15-17 in San Francisco. Hosted by the Center for Youth Wellness in collaboration with ACEs Connection, the conference focused on barriers that impede progress for those who have experienced trauma — as well as for the professionals who work with them. According to ACE Awareness Foundation Clinical Director Ebony Bailey, who attended the conference, this year’s lineup of speakers and workshops all challenged participants to examine questions of access within the ACEs community: Who has access to the latest research on adverse childhood experiences? How do we access information from other leaders in the field? Do those with access disseminate knowledge to their community partners, providers, and families in ways that can be easily understood and used?

ACE Awareness Foundation Clinical Director Ebony Bailey (left) poses with Dr. Flojaune G. Cofer following a discussion on ACEs, intersectionality, and health disparities at the 2018 ACEs Conference held in early October.

Bailey added that among the breakout sessions designed to help participants explore issues of access was a presentation on the role of racism in ACEs exposure and healing. Led by Dr. Flojaune G. Cofer, Director of State Policy & Research at Public Health Advocates in Sacramento, California, and Ben Duncan, Chief Diversity and Equity Officer for Multnomah County, Oregon, the session examined racism as trauma and identified areas of health impacts with the intersectionality of racial/ethnic health disparities.

In addition, keynote speaker Jane Stevens, founder of ACEs Connection, shared several examples of state-level successes helping to shape regional policy on ACEs initiatives, including important strides being made in Tennessee.

“When it comes to answering these questions, we heard time and again that those of us in this field are, in essence, constructing the boat as we sail,” said Bailey. “The good thing is that the sense of uncertainty and urgency that we [in Tennessee] feel around having the right answers to these questions is a shared reality right now. This idea of access and mapping out our way as we move forward is taking shape nationwide.”


Program Director Kayon Montaque at Universal Parenting Place Knowledge Quest Named One of Memphis Business Journal’s 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty

Congratulations to Kayon Montaque, director of programs and continuous quality improvement at Knowledge Quest, for being named one of the “best and brightest” in the city by the Memphis Business Journal. According to the MBJ website, the 40 Under 40 Awards salute people under 40 in the Memphis area who have made significant contributions to our community in business, professional, civic, and personal arenas. This year, the plan is to highlight both the people and places that make this city thrive by asking the honorees to post a photo to social media using #MBJ40under40.


Stay tuned next month for exciting news about a new resource coming to the Universal Parenting Places!


Mark Your Calendars

November 6, 5:30-6:30 pm Central
VIP Reception for Heavy Author Kiese Laymon

RSVP today to attend a VIP reception hosted by the ACE Awareness Foundation at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis with author Kiese Laymon prior to a reading from his recently released book, Heavy. The Los Angeles Times has called the book “one of the most important and intense books of the year” because of the “unyielding, profoundly original and utterly heartbreaking way it addresses and undermines expectations for what exactly it’s like to possess and make use of a male black body in America.” A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Kiese Laymon is the Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi and the author of the novel Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.

Space for the reception is limited. For more information, visit


November 9, 2:30-5:00 pm Central
Universal Parenting Place at Perea Fall Festival

Are you looking for something fun to do with the family? Join us on Friday, November 9, at the Kate Sexton Community Center (235 Brown Ave., Memphis, TN 38107) for our UPP Perea Fall Festival! We’ll have plenty of free activities for the little ones, including themed games, faced painting, snacks, music, Pickleball, Zumba, and more. Plus, it’s a great way for parents to get to know our UPP staff, community partners, the wealth of resources our site has to offer. Anyone interested in volunteering for the festival should call 901-201-7373.




November 14, 2:00-3:30 pm Central
Webinar on Trauma and the Opioid Epidemic

In mid-November, the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) will host a webinar on the social determinants of the current opioid epidemic presented by David Labby, MD, PhD, chief medical officer for Health Share of Oregon and renowned psychiatrist Lyndra Bills, MD, developer of the Trauma Art Narrative Therapy technique for resolving traumatic stress in children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Sandra Bloom, of the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice will facilitate a discussion on how opioid use relates to an increased rate of “deaths of despair,” and participants will discuss the merits of taking a whole-person, trauma-informed approach in responding at both individual and systems levels. The webinar is part of an ongoing series on trauma, opioids, and domestic violence. For registration information: