Community Connections: Pathways to Safety, Healing, and Wellness - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Community Connections: Pathways to Safety, Healing, and Wellness

Oct 24, 2017

On Tuesday, October 24 at the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative welcomed over 150 community partners for an interactive day rooted in the resilience of our community.

Communities offer a rich tapestry of ways to foster collective resilience. Community Connections highlighted some of the ways community groups and networks are building positive relationships and places of belonging and contribution. The conference provided attendees an opportunity to learn and share with others working to strengthen communities and promote healing and wellness. Topics included creative approaches that weave together arts, block clubs, youth development programs, community gardens, and story-telling with schools, health services, law-enforcement agencies, libraries, and community organizations.

COFI POWER-PAC parent leaders with keynote speaker Dr. Renee Boynton Jarrett MD

The Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative welcomed national expert Dr. Renée Boynton-Jarrett (Dr. Renée on ‘PBS’ The Raising of America) as our keynote speaker for the event. She discussed how her work both as a pediatrician and community activist promotes resilience among families and communities.

Conference objectives included:

  • Deepening our understanding of how violence/trauma impact children, youth, families and communities, historically, individually, and across generations
  • Increasing our understanding of how communities can contribute to healing and wellness; provide examples of promising and innovative approaches used in Illinois to foster healing, wellness, connections, and hope
  • Understanding the role of community in systems change efforts, specifically healthcare, school and justice settings


Keynote Speaker:

Renée Boynton-Jarrett is a practicing primary care pediatrician at Boston Medical Center, a social epidemiologist and the founding director of the Vital Village Network. Through the Vital Village Network, she is supporting the development of community-based strategies to promote child well-being in three Boston neighborhoods. She is nationally recognized for expertise in the role of early-life adversities as life course social determinants of health and has a specific interest in the intersection of community violence, intimate partner violence, and child abuse and neglect and neighborhood characteristics that influence these patterns. She was honored by the Massachusetts Public Health Association with the Paul Revere Award for outstanding impact on public health in 2015 and she is featured in the signature hour of “The Raising of America” documentary series.

Thank you to our co-sponsors: The Chicago Teachers Union Foundation and the Illinois Collaboration on Youth