WURD Speaks: Brain Strain – Recap and Resources

Written by on October 2, 2015

Photo by Laura Elam

We are so encouraged by the outpouring of interest following WURD Speaks: Brain Strain. It was an excellent, informative event, and we thank our presenters for bringing such important, timely information to WURD’s audience. Let’s work together to drive the solutions presented!

Here’s a great recap by our moderator, Nick Taliaferro:

“We now understand better than we have before how exposure to early adversity affects the developing brains and bodies of children.”

Those riveting words, borrowed from a Ted Talk by pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris, provided the cornerstone for a riveting WURD Speaks symposium on Wednesday, September 30, entitled “Brain Strain.” Held in the Franklin Auditorium of the world-renowned Franklin Institute, this sold-out gathering focused on the long-term effect of childhood traumatic experiences on the neurology and physiology of growing children.

Specific emphasis was placed on how childhood trauma’s impact impedes a child’s ability to learn and function within normal educational settings. Expert contributors detailed the extent of the challenge; but even more important, they also provided insights and information that tended toward developing solutions.

As a follow up, we have posted the event podcast on our homepage and below — please note that these will be publicly available for a limited time, and will then be added to the forWURD Members-Only on-demand archive (Not a member? Click here to join the forWURD Movement!).

We will also continually add resources to this page, such as data presented by the participants and  information about the impact of trauma on children and education.

Film and Video:
–  American Promise

–  Glen’s Village

– TED Talk: ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

Books and Articles:

– Bridging the Black Hole of Trauma: Victims, Artists and Society, by Sandra L. Bloom, M.D.

– Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violenceby Robin-Karr-Morse and Meredith S. Wiley

– Preventing Violence (Prospects for Tomorrow), by James Gilligan

– Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed to School and in Life, by Joe Brewster, Michele Stephenson, Hilary Beard

– Why should Philadelphia become a Trauma‐Informed city? by Sandra L. Bloom, M.D. 

Agencies and Caregivers
Children’s Crisis Treatment Center

– Main Line Psychiatric


ACEs Connection Network

Centers for Disease Control (ACE Study)

– hilarybeard.com

– Journey 2 Home

– Village of Arts & Humanities

Thank you again for helping to make WURD Speaks: Brain Strain such a success.

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