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History of PACEs Connection

Jane Stevens launched PACEs Connection in January 2012 with, now, a community-of-practice social network and, a news site for the general public. The intent was to inform people, organizations, and communities about a new understanding of human behavior that had been emerging since 1980s. It was clear that this new knowledge had the potential to solve our most intractable problems. The network was designed to connect the pioneers who were integrating trauma-informed and resilience-building practices based on PACEs science across sectors. This included pediatricians, educators, business owners, judges, community activists, people participating in associations, people working in juvenile justice, social workers, people in the faith-based community, emergency medical technicians, etc. 


In 2014, PACEs Connection received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment and began operating as a nonprofit through a fiscal sponsorship with Prevention Institute. At that time, a small team of people began working with Stevens to grow PACEs Connection. In March 2016, PACEs Connection received another round of funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which sunsets in 2021, and TSNE MissionWorks, which is a 501c3, became our fiscal sponsor. Subsequently, at the end of 2016, PACEs Connection received a second round of funding from The California Endowment. In 2017, the Lisa & John Pritzker Family Fund, and The George Sarlo Foundation provided two years of funding. Genentech’s Resilience Effect philanthropic initiative began providing funding, which mostly supports a reporter who covers pediatrics. In 2020, Blue Shield of California Foundation began providing funding for work in California.


PACEs Connection has become the hub for the PACEs movement. Between 2012-2021, grew from 200 members and no community sites, to more than 52,000 people from every state in the U.S. and more than 40 countries, with more members joining daily. More than 400 communities representing PACEs initiatives have launched in nearly every state in the U.S. and in several countries, with more community sites launching weekly. The community sites can be thought of as mini-PACEsConnections that support PACEs initiatives in cities, counties, regions, states, and nations. The network also supports interest communities such as PACEs in Education, PACEs in Pediatrics, and Parenting with PACEs, and organizational groups such as California Essentials for Childhood.


On, articles receive from a few hundred to more than two million page views. Since its inception, has also grown: in 2012, it had 471,000 page views and 3,600 visitors; by 2021, it had nearly 10 million page views and six million visitors.


Since 2012, PACEs Connection has used Marshall Ganz’ five-pronged approach to grow the PACEs movement — relationship building, storytelling, structure, strategy, and action. Our initial strategy focused on educating people and organizations about PACEs science, telling stories about people and organizations in different sectors who developed practice-based evidence that inspired others to take action, connecting people who were doing similar work, and developing a networking structure to support all this.


In our next phase, we are focusing focus on systems and policy change. That means creating a national scaffolding using distributed networking technology that links the “mini-movements” taking place in thousands of geographic- and interest-based communities, providing them tools to support their work, and then scaling up that approach. To accomplish this, we launched the PACEs Connection Cooperative of Communities for communities that need advanced tools to measure progress, as well as more guidelines and services.


From these communities will emerge new healing-centered systems that integrate PACEs science from the start (for example, creating a healing-centered system that merges schools and healthcare...something that the State of Oregon is developing) and that can be replicated throughout the world. Our relationship-building and storytelling continues; we have seen those elements light a fire of participation, innovation and sea-change across the world.


PACEs Connection is a social network that recognizes the impact of a wide variety of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in shaping adult behavior and health, and that promotes trauma-informed and resilience-building practices and policies in all families, organizations, systems and communities.

We support communities to accelerate the science of positive and adverse childhood experiences to solve our most intractable problems.

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