Annual Luncheon explores the intergenerational cycle of trauma and its impact on children

“Every state in our nation is impacted by adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). There are 34.8 million children in the United States affected by ACEs” — Keynote Speaker Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

The Ounce It’s Good Business to Invest in Young Children Annual Luncheon on April 24, 2018 explored the impact of trauma on your youngest and most vulnerable learners. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, founder and CEO, Center for Youth Wellness, showed more than 850 business, civic and philanthropic leaders how we know that when children are exposed to high doses of adversity, it sets off their fight or flight response. And when that response is triggered every night and children are subjected to high doses of adversity, it changes their developmental trajectory.

“A healthy caregiver is one of the most important ingredients for a healthy child,” said Dr. Burke Harris, who is nationally recognized for her research on early childhood adversity.

She shared how today we have an unprecedented opportunity to break the cycle of intergenerational adversity. Dr. Burke Harris’ work is proving that we can dramatically improve the outcomes for the next generation.

“When we are trying to be a part of the solution, we need to do a pulse check on ourselves and put our own oxygen mask on first. We need to understand how adversity is affecting us so that we can be that healthy caregiver for the children in our lives,” Dr. Burke Harris explained.

Luncheon Chair Mary Dillon, CEO, Ulta Beauty, shared how her personal connection as a parent has driven her to focus on early learning and education.

“You can change everything by changing the first five years of life,” Mary Dillon said.

In fact, “We know how to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma. The Ounce has been doing this work for more than 35 years. We know that healthy, positive relationships are the antidote to toxic stress,” said Ounce President Diana Mendley Rauner. She added that this is why the Ounce focuses on building strong relationships—between children, parents, caregivers and teachers—in our work to help young children and families get a strong start in life.

“We’re proud to join forces with you to find the solutions that will have the greatest impact on our children and families,” said Ounce Chair of the Board Curt R. Bailey. “Providing the highest-quality early education gives children in poverty the best chance for success in school and in life.”

View our highlights video to learn more: