Two upcoming events will offer Lafayette school board candidates a forum and raise community awareness about the needs of local students and families impacted by adverse childhood experiences.
Adverse childhood experiences are defined as traumatic events occurring before age 18. ACEs include all types of abuse and neglect as well as parental mental illness, substance use, divorce, incarceration and domestic violence.
The events are presented in partnership by Lafayette Public Education Stakeholders Coalition, One Acadiana, the705, the Lafayette Education Foundation and the Acadiana Center for the Arts.
First, the group is presenting a one-hour documentary called "Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope," followed by a panel discussion Tuesday at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.
Community partner information tables will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m., the screening begins at 7 p.m., and a panel discussion will follow about strategies for raising awareness and addressing the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on the community and school-age children.
The panel will feature Margo Hasha, PhD, and Alicia Griffin, LPC.
Hasha is an assistant professor of sociology at the university, a licensed clinical social worker with 30 years experience treating patients diagnosed with trauma and PTSD, and she has been teaching ACEs in Medical Sociology and Family Violence classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for the past five years.
Griffin is a school counselor working with elementary students in the Lafayette Parish School System. She also is an adjunct instructor of psychology at South Louisiana Community College.