The following post was written by Kendall Reingold, summer intern for the Alliance for Children and Families Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building. She is an undergraduate student who has been assisting with the planning of the 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference.
Here at the Alliance, we value organizations that achieve a high level of impact, by which we mean the creation of lasting positive change in their communities. ANDRUS, an Alliance member organization, exemplifies high impact in its Adverse Childhood Experiences Public Awareness Campaign. The campaign works to raise awareness and implement policies of trauma informed care. Trauma informed care is a shift in the traditional way caregivers approach behavioral issues. Kerron Norman, Vice President for Community Based Programs at ANDRUS, told Behavioral Healthcare, “We have to stop asking what’s ‘wrong’ with people…You look at a child who’s acting out in school, and the automatic response based on our cultural understanding would be, ‘What’s wrong with that child?’” Instead, we ought to ask, “What has happened to that child?”
The campaign, with the goal of educating as many individuals as possible who touch the lives of children in the City of Yonkers, caught on rapidly. ANDRUS has trained over two thousand community members, including parents, community leaders, school principals, clergy, city council members, and the mayor, and has now begun working closely with multiple schools throughout the City of Yonkers.
The community recognizes the quality of ANDRUS’ work: Westchester Magazine calls them “a leading provider of child and family resources.” Their success has come from a combination of leveraging different public and private funding streams; collaborative efforts; and thinking differently about our own services, to help create local systemic change.
Lorelei A. Vargas, Kerron Norman, and Mimi Corcoran of ANDRUS will present their story at the 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference on July 25th, the second day of the conference. The workshop, “Leveraging research and resources for systemic change,” is a panel discussion that will cover 1) how current research is made accessible and shared with various stakeholders; 2) the process by which various stakeholders are engaged; 3) how public and private funding streams are directed towards this effort; 4) the various entry points to address and create systemic change; and 5) lessons learned in the process.
Early bird registration for the Neighborhood Revitalization Conference in D.C. is available online until June 24. For the latest details about the conference and these presenters, stay tuned on Twitter. Follow ANDRUS and the Alliance’s Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building, and keep up with conference news using the hashtag #NRC14.