top of page
bipoc lgbt flag.jpg

Why We Do

Why We Do

WECN and its partners provide culturally relevant workshops, interventions and other supportive services which promote well-being & self-sufficiency in individuals, families, and community based organizations.

WECN is Preparing the Village to Raise a Child by raising awareness of and providing healing for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) which have been shown to have lasting, negative effects on health, well-being, and opportunity.

According to the CDC, about 61% of adults surveyed across 25 states reported that they had experienced at least one type of ACE, and nearly 1 in 6 reported they had experienced four or more types of ACEs.

ACEs include a childhood where one is subjected to:

  • historical and ongoing traumas due to systemic racism

  • experiencing and witnessing domestic violence

  • poverty

  • homelessness

  • parents separated

  • chronic neglect

  • redlining – segregated neighborhoods

  • emotional abuse

  • food insecurities and food deserts

  • sexual abuse

  • untreated mental health problems

  • incarceration of a family member or themselves

  • substance abuse issues

  • health care inequities

ACEs are preventable. Their prevention is a priority for the CDC and WECN.

What happens to the child when the village – their adult role models, their community-based organizations, their neighborhood schools, their elected officials, their local businesses are dysfunctional, toxic, and hurtful?

"These experiences can increase the risks of injury, sexually transmitted infections, maternal and child health problems, teen pregnancy, involvement in sex trafficking, and a wide range of chronic diseases and leading causes of death such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and suicide."

ACEs and associated conditions, such as living in under-resourced or racially segregated neighborhoods, frequently moving, and experiencing food insecurity, can cause toxic stress (extended or prolonged stress). Toxic stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect such things as attention, decision-making, learning, and response to stress.

Children growing up with toxic stress may have difficulty forming healthy and stable relationships. They may also have unstable work histories as adults and struggle with finances, jobs, and depression throughout life. These effects can also be passed on to their own children. Some children may face further exposure to toxic stress from historical and ongoing traumas due to systemic racism or the impacts of poverty resulting from limited educational and economic opportunities.

Raising awareness of ACEs can help:

  • Change how people think about the causes of ACEs and who could help prevent them.

  • Shift the focus from individual responsibility to community solutions.

  • Reduce stigma around seeking help with parenting challenges or for substance misuse, depression, or suicidal thoughts. 

Blackfoot circle not pyramid.png

“The Medicine Wheel holistic model is based on an understanding that all things are affected by the interconnected domains of emotional, physical, spiritual, and cognitive [mental] experience.” Blackstock, Cindy. (2011). The Emergence of the Breath of Life Theory. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, 8, 1.

bottom of page