DAY 12:
(Adverse Childhood Experiences)

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In order for children to meet developmental milestones, learn, grow, and lead productive lives, it is critical that they are healthy.

Good social-emotional skills and mental health are key components of children’s healthy development. Poverty, trauma, and inadequate treatment are three factors that have been shown to have a sustained, negative impact on children’s social-emotional skills and mental health. Stressors external to the home, such as racism and discrimination, are community-level Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) - incidents that have the potential to dramatically disrupt a child’s ability to thrive.

ACEs 360 2020 Report

Source: Iowa ACEs 360 2020 Report 

ACEs disproportionately impact children of color. In addition to experiencing trauma within our systems and environments, toxic stress can change a person’s genetic code, influencing how future generations respond to stress within their bodies and their risk of poor health outcomes. While trauma impacts all racial and socio-economic groups, groups that report higher rates of childhood trauma include adults of color, women, and those in poverty.

In addition to addressing the systems and policies that negatively impact families, fostering connections can help disrupt the long-term impact of trauma.

Strengthening Families Framework 2017-1

Source: Iowa ACEs 360 2020 Report 


TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following…

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Watch We Can Prevent ACE's video from the Center for Disease Control about the role communities can play in preventing and mitigating ACEs. (4:32)

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Read Disrupting Toxic Stress in Children to Prevent Long-Term Health Impacts by Kate Vidinsky about an innovative healthcare model to screen and address toxic stress and trauma in children.

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Watch this TEDx Talk The Human Need for Belonging by Amelia Franck Meyer to understand more about the critical role connection and relationship has in our lives. (18:25)




Read The Future of Healing: Shifting From Trauma Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement by Shawn Ginwright, Ph.D., about a more holistic and culturally responsive approach to trauma and historical trauma.



Sign up for the Iowa ACEs Coalition newsletter for ongoing research, learning, and policy items.




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CONVERSATION PIECE: Art Addressing Equity

Day 12 - Screaming Silence 1

Artist: Choreographed by Ma Cong
Screaming Silence
Date of piece:
World Premiere by Ballet Des Moines, Fall of 2019

“Haunted by imagery of families being torn apart and loved ones being lost, Screaming Silence explores the integral relationships and connections we form as humans. The music and choreography express the desperation of separation between loved ones with a haunting beauty, reminding us of the pain and joy we share through love.”

Jami Milne
Ballet Des Moines

Thank you to the members of BRAVO Greater Des Moines for curating the Equity Challenge Gallery, a collection of art in various media that speaks to the issues of equity in our society.

BRAVO Greater Des Moines