We Support Communities

Map of Community Facilitators

Launching or growing a local ACEs initiative? START HERE to learn about our tools & guidelines:


Start Your ACEs Initiative
Grow Your ACEs Initiative


Communities in:

Northeast, Mid-Atlantic states, contact Alison Cebulla
Southern states, contact Carey Sipp
Midwest states, contact Ingrid Cockhren
Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, contact Karen Clemmer
Nevada,Utah, Colorado, contact Gail Kennedy
Arizona, New Mexico, contact Rafael Maravilla


Communities in California:

Southern California, contact Lara Kain
Northern California, contact Karen Clemmer
San Francisco Bay Area, contact Donielle Prince
Capitol region contact Gail Kennedy
Central Valley, Monterey, east San Benito counties contact Rafael Maravilla

International communities:
contact Gail Kennedy



Community ACEs initiatives are usually launched by a small group of enthusiastic people who make time to meet monthly, who begin to incorporate this work into their job descriptions or their volunteer efforts, and who drive the initial effort. From there, it grows to the point where some ACEs initiatives have hundreds of members and organizations, who do their work through several committees. Here’s how the ACEs initiative in Richmond, Virginia, grew from eight people to more than 500. 


We’ve gathered do's and don'ts from dozens of communities that have launched ACEs initiatives and compiled them into a loose how-to with  guidelines, useful tools and lots of examples for ACEs initiatives to get started. 

For more information, go to Start Your ACEs Initiative! on ACEs Connection and be sure to contact the ACEs Connection Community Facilitator in your region for assistance.



This Growing Resilient Communities framework provides the basics for growing any ACEs initiative, and supports incorporating any other approach to growing ACEs initiatives in a community, including ACE Interface’s Self-Healing Communities, Northeast Tennessee's Trauma-Informed System of Care, and the Building Community Resilience Collaborative. Although there are many different ways to accomplish the five parts of Growing Resilient Communities, all of these five parts are critical to the success of any local ACEs initiative. For the detailed version of these guidelines, go to Grow Your ACEs Initiative!


The five basics of growing a city or county ACEs initiative are:

1. Educate.

...every person and every organization about ACEs science, and how people and organizations integrate trauma-informed and resilience-building practices in themselves, their families, their organizations, their systems, and the communities in which they live.

2. Aggregate.

...gather data, such as the number of ACEs science presentations, the number of organizations that are becoming trauma-informed, the resulting outcomes in organizations and sectors, such as higher grades, less absenteeism, and less teacher turnover in schools.

3. Engage.

...people and organizations to join the local ACEs initiative. A little bit or a lot...any involvement is good.

4. Activate...people and organizations to commit to integrating trauma-informed and resilience-building practices in their personal, family, volunteer, work and community lives. This heals systems and communities!

5. Celebrate

...any accomplishment! ACEs summitscommunity resilience daysproclamations. Post anything, large or small, that your community is doing on ACEsConnection.com and other social media.


Are you an ACEs initiative struggling to measure your progress? Do you want an easy way to gather useful data to demonstrate your growth? Are you ready to participate in advanced learning collaboratives and training? Then you’re ready to join the ACEs Connection Cooperative of Communities. 

The Cooperative provides special tools and services for ACEs initiatives in neighborhoods, towns, cities, counties, regions, states and countries. It’s affiliate-driven, which means that ACEs initiatives steer the course of the cooperative. 

The benefits include:

  • data-gathering tools and guidelines, including a Community Resilience Tracker. (Here’s the Greater Richmond Trauma-Informed Community Network community site and a direct link to their tracker) 

  • Pop-up learning collaboratives, training, and think-tanks, including such topics as the intersectionality of ACEs, racism and inequity; network leadership; and ACEs-science informed capitalism. 

  • eligibility for participation in cooperative committees and advisory committees.

  • jobs bank

  • fiscal pass-through for qualifying funds/activities




















Affiliates pay $5,000 a year to participate, an amount that is low enough so that the cost can be shared among organizations and individuals; organizations can take turns paying; initiatives can even crowd-source the funding; and it may not even require a line-item in a budget. Affiliates receive access to tools and services that cost them a fraction of what it would cost to develop those tools and services themselves. 

[A clarification: Nothing on ACEsConnection.com itself changes! Membership is and remains free! Everything — the guidelines for starting and growing ACEs initiatives, the presentations tracker, interaction with community facilitators…everything — that our current 300+ communities use is free. And it will remain free for initiatives that want to start communities on ACEsConnection.com. The Cooperative is just for mature initiatives ready to move to the next level.]

Who is eligible to become an affiliate in the cooperative? ACEs initiatives with:

  • demonstrated six-month history as an ACEs initiative (you don’t need to have had a community on ACEsConnection)

  • cross-sector representation of at least four sectors (e.g., education, law enforcement, healthcare, faith-based)

  • a committee responsible for interaction with ACEs Connection, to handle the affiliate agreement, payment, fiscal pass-through, etc.

  • an MOU or other similar agreement with participating organizations and individual members of their ACEs initiative

  • at least one community manager, paid or volunteer


We launched this Cooperative because we understand that making the transition to healing-centered cultures based on ACEs science is not a three- or four-year endeavor. Depending on the community, it’s at least a 20-year transition, and more likely, a 30- to 40-year transition, and we want to be here for the duration of the transition.



















Big change — change that affects everything — takes time. We have a plan to accelerate this change. By growing the cooperative, we hope and plan for ACEs Connection itself to become self-sustaining in about three years. That, in turn, will enable us to start funding new ACEs initiatives with the small amounts of money they need to get started. Those small amounts of funding are usually hard to come by while an initiative is getting organized; the cooperative will be in a prime position to identify and support nascent ACEs initiatives and give them the boost they need for a healthy launch, faster than most funders can. We also want to create a process and perhaps a fund that will support — and encourage local and regional funders to support — pivotal points in the growth of ACEs initiatives as their work becomes ever more integrated into all organizations in their communities. Both of these approaches will continue to accelerate the ACEs movement. We need to accelerate it. We’re facing some extremely challenging times as climate crises increase. It would make a lot of sense to have people better-equipped to handle these crises and to reduce our current problems so that we have adequate resources to address the new ones.

We and others calculate that under 1,000 ACEs initiatives have been launched in cities and counties across the U.S. There are 34,000 cities and counties across the U.S.; each one needs to integrate practices based on ACEs science if we want to solve our most intractable problems.

We want to continue to contribute to the ACEs movement to grow and support people, families, organizations, systems and communities for as long as it takes to create a worldwide healing-centered culture based on ACEs science. We want that to take hold in this world in the same way electricity has — we only notice it if it isn’t there.

If you have questions, use this link to find your closest ACEs Connection Community Facilitator.



Find all of our ACEs Connection geographic communities

Click on the map to view the interactive Map the Movement map.


ACEs 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 adverse childhood experiences to solve our most intractable problems. We believe that we can create a resilient world where people thrive.

© 2020 ACEs Connection