Several Worcester nonprofit organizations along with the city's Department of Public Health are coming together to co-host a screening of the 2016 documentary Resilience on January 22. The film explores the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress.The event will be held at Worcester Technical High School starting at 5:30pm, beginning with a light meal and opening remarks from Ann T. Lisi, CEO and President of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. After the film, a discussion will follow, with closing remarks from Dr. Heather Forkey, MD, UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center, Division of Child Protection. The event is free, but participants must RSVP via Facebook, Google, or email WorcesterACTs@gmail.com.
The film is in part a follow-up to past research and events revolving around childhood trauma, primarily led by Dr. Laurie Ross, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at Clark University. Dr. Ross engages in community-based action research projects in Worcester on topics such as youth and gang violence and youth and young adult homelessness. Discoveries that emerged from the research of Dr. Ross ultimately led to the creation of Worcester ACTs (Addresses Childhood Trauma), one of the leading organizations behind the screening.
“Resilience is an excellent follow-up to the work we've done so far,” said Amy Ebbeson, Program Manager of Worcester ACTS and Coordinator of Wheelock@Worcester Social Work Program. “We want to keep the momentum going on letting Worcester know about the work and the research, and how easy it is for people to get involved in making a healthier environment for kids.”
One of the driving factors in the selection of screening Resilience is Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, who is prominently featured in the film. Dr. Burke Harris is widely known for making the connection between ACEs and harmful health effects later in life, and came to Worcester last September to discuss her findings.
The community screening is intended to propel Dr. Burke Harris' research findings from September's talk to actionable solutions. The discussion, to be held after the screening, will dive into strategies aimed to help children in Worcester. Worcester ACTs is also in the process of developing protocol for children that have been exposed to trauma. “Ultimately, we want Worcester to become a very trauma-informed city,” said Ebbeson.
Many organizations from Worcester and beyond are coming together for the event: Worcester ACTs, The Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester, YWCA, PPAL, Worcester Family Partnership, Worcester County Commission on the Status of Women, The Bridge of Central Massachusetts, Edward Street Child Services, Department of Public Health, Worcester Educational Collaborative, UMass Memorial, Worcester HEARS, Worcester Public Schools, United Way, The Daniels Foundation, Worcester Police Department, Wheelock@Worcester, The SHINE Initiative, Walden Behavioral Health, Center of Health Impact, Pathways For Change, Boys and Girls Club, Rainbow Child Development.