Building Trauma Responsive Communities

What was the Building Trauma Responsive Communities Conference?

We believe passionately in the power of language to impact and change the dialogue around trauma and ultimately heal our communities. To do this, we brought together believers in the power of human connection and invited guests from all over the country to engage with our speakers and spark healing in their own communities.

Day 1 Speakers & Presentations


Day 1 Breakout

The Ethics of Implicit Bias and Trauma-Informed Business Practices

Dr. Michael Gillette is an ethicist who has presented numerous keynotes and workshops nationally and internationally for over 25 years. Dr. Gillette graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University, with majors in philosophy and classical Greek, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. in philosophy at Brown University. He has taught at colleges and universities, published articles in the field of applied ethics, and has received several teaching awards.  Dr. Gillette contracts with dozens of healthcare organizations and other agencies to provide ethics case consultations and policy work. His energetic and interactive style engages his audiences and helps them think critically about ethical decisions in their work and beyond.


Day 1 Breakout

FocUS - Community Healing Through Togetherness

Marrin Scalone works for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health as the Adverse Childhood Experiences Program Specialist. Alongside her work with DBHDS, she is a Psychology researcher with a focus on youth well-being and evidence-based interventions. Both of these roles have driven her passion for community and school psychology, youth mental health, and trauma-informed care.

Keith Cartwright is the Adverse Childhood Experiences Coordinator for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. In this role, Keith has led a movement that now has over 300 ACE Interface Master Trainers and Presenters across the state of Virginia. Since 2017, this group has educated over 16,000 Virginians on the impacts of positive and adverse childhood experiences on long-term health and wellness. Keith also serves as the Alcohol and Drug Education Coordinator at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.


Day 1 Breakout

Adaptation to Trauma: The Impact of Experiences on Brain Development

BreAnne is a Virginia native and resident almost her entire life (with just shy of 10 years in TN). She earned her degree from East Tennessee State University and has been in the health and wellness field for over 15 years.  BreAnne was introduced to the nonprofit world in 2011 where she became a Coalition Facilitator for the Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition. Currently, she is the Prevention Services Program Manager at Rockbridge Area Community Services. Additionally, she is a certified trainer in Adult Mental Health First Aid, Youth Mental Health First Aid, ACE Interface, REVIVE, and SafeTALK.  She presently resides in Rockbridge County with her very patient husband and two busy teenage boys but still tries to find the time to continue to exercise whenever possible (do dishes and laundry count?).


Day 1

A Gathering of Hope

Hear folks from across Virginia share how they are moving toward becoming trauma-responsive communities.

Day 2 Speakers & Presentations


Day 2 Keynote

Trauma-Informed to Healing-Centered - A New Jersey Road Never Before Traveled

Dave Ellis is the newly appointed Executive Director of the Office of Resilience housed in the New Jersey Department of Children & Families. Ellis has the responsibility for developing and implementing a statewide plan to address adverse childhood experiences.

He is the founder of Dave Ellis Consulting, a group dedicated to using Worldview Illumination and the Art of Hosting for training on equity and inclusion, strategic planning, community engagement, trauma, and trauma-responsive/healing-centered care. He is a Certified Master Trainer on the impact of trauma on the neurobiology and brain development of children prenatal through 3 years of age, epigenetics, the Adverse Childhood Experiences study.


Day 2 Breakout

Personal Practice for Incorporation of Trauma-Informed Care

Dr. Jessica Young Brown is a licensed clinical psychologist in Richmond, VA. Dr. Brown’s research and clinical work focus on making mental health accessible and equitable for people in marginalized communities, and equipping mental health professionals to better serve these communities. Dr. Brown’s areas of interest and expertise include the impact of racism and race-related stress on mental health, generational and cultural trauma, and the intersection of faith and mental health.  In addition to various peer-reviewed and popular media articles, Dr. Brown is the author of Making Space at the Well: Mental Health and the Church.


Day 2 Breakout

What is LUV? Virginia’s Resilience Campaign

Yes& Agency is a full-service marketing agency located in Alexandria, VA. We partnered with the Fairfax-Falls Church CSB and Southside Behavioral Health to create the Lift Up Virginia (LUV) brand and campaign launch. LUV is our state-wide initiative for Raising Resilience—a mission which all conference attendees can support. Our session will tell the story of how LUV came to life, from concept to creative to campaign. Facilitated by Brand Strategists and Creatives from Yes&, we’ll offer an inside look at the branding process and show you how to help promote Lift Up Virginia!


Day 2

A Gathering of Hope

Hear more folks from across Virginia share how they are moving toward becoming trauma-responsive communities.

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Individualized Competent Care

Southside Behavioral Health provides individualized culturally competent care in our communities, by supporting wellness and quality of life in a recovery-oriented environment and professional manner.