17 Oct 2016

ALSO Goes to the Capitol

Last week, three members of the ALSO team (Lori Crowder, Jenna Musselman-Palles and Carlee Taggart) attended the White House conference entitled, “Trauma-Informed Approaches in School:  Supporting Girls of Color and Rethinking Discipline.” This conference centered around the needs of girls of color who are disproportionately disadvantaged as a result of inequitable institutional practices and lack of trauma-informed approaches, particularly in schools.

The day-long conference was full of energizing remarks and discussions, including a morning panel of middle- and high school-age girls impacted by exclusionary school policies, followed by plenary and breakout discussions from such experts as Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, CEO of Center for Youth Wellness, who discussed the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), Dr. Monique Morris, who discussed trauma-informed approaches for girls of color and implementation strategies for transforming schools, and Secretary of Education John King, who closed with a focus on transforming schools into places where trauma is understood and second chances are granted, from their current state as places where law enforcement can be responsible for discipline instead of teachers, and that push girls of color out, frequently toward the criminal justice system.

A multitude of resources were offered throughout the day, including toolkits, policy guidance and other resources. ALSO will utilize advocacy and policy lessons learned at the conference to inform direct services in Chicago, as well as our training, technical assistance and consultation services nationally. We share the below in hopes that our partners and readers will reference these resources with respect to your own work and practices to improve experiences and outcomes for girls of color.

A Safe Place to Learn: Toolkit and Checklist

ACEs Connection Network

ACEs Connection Network: ACEs Education Group

Center for Youth Wellness Physicians’ Screening Tool

Healthy Students, Promising Futures Toolkit

Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension Policies in Early Childhood Settings

Guidance on School Climate and Discipline

Every Student, Every Day: A Community Toolkit to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism

It was an honor for ALSO to participate in this national discussion and we celebrate the coordinators, policy-, and change-makers who elevate the voices and needs of girls of color.

Written by Carlee Taggart
Program Manager

district of columbia