NAACP to hold discussion on childhood trauma

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The NAACP’s Wilson branch will hold its third installment of events focused on the impact of incarceration on communities, families and children.

On Monday, the group will host a free 6 p.m. viewing of the documentary film “Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope,” followed by a discussion regarding the research behind childhood trauma, at Wilson Community College’s Frank L. Eagles Community Business Center.

“The film will show the impact of stress/trauma on the body and how the more adverse experiences one has, the higher the health risks and behavior changes,” said Carol White, Wilson’s NAACP education committee chairwoman and a retired educator. “It also will speak to preventive measures and ‘bounceback’ ability and support structures.”

Organizers encourage families, teachers, community organizations, churches, school counselors and administrators, as well as law enforcement, crisis teams, mental health officials or anyone who works with children and families to attend.

Child care will be provided for school-age children during the screening and panel discussion. Yevonne Brannon of Public Schools First will moderate Monday’s discussion after the film.


Officials said the event is an opportunity to come together to make a difference in the lives of trauma-affected children through prevention, intervention and promoting resilience in schools, families and communities.

White said the purpose of screening the film is to inform the Wilson community about the effects on the brain of traumatic events like having a parent incarcerated and to engage community churches, organizations and groups in conversations following the viewing on the roles each person can play in promoting healthy childhoods. She said organizers hope to engage in diverse entities into a community problem-solving team that will identify community issues including incarceration, homelessness, anxiety and drops in school performance.

“Ultimately, we plan to use additional grant funds to have problem-solving teams that will engage in deeper conversations and planning across community entities to help children and families be resilient and bounce back from adverse events,” White said. “The entire Wilson community will benefit when our children and families benefit.”

Community vendors in attendance include Wilson County Schools, the Wilson County Department of Social Services, Wilson County Health Department, Eastpointe and the Wilson County Substance Prevention Coalition.

This summer, Wilson’s NAACP received a $30,000 national grant aimed to provide research, education and advocacy around the need to reduce incarceration rates in Wilson County.