On the eastern edge of Missouri, leaders of the Alive and Well network had generated a robust media campaign to help people understand the impact of trauma and toxic stress on health and well-being. There was a monthly column in an African-American newspaper, spots about toxic stress and resilience on urban radio stations and weekly public service features on the NBC affiliate, with physicians, clergy and teachers advocating ways to “be alive and well.”
Two hundred and fifty miles to the west, a similar cross-sector coalition, Resilient KC, was sponsoring workshops, hosting a learning collaborative and recruiting community “ambassadors” who could bring the science of ACEs and resilience to clients, colleagues and policy-makers in business, the armed services, education, justice and health care.
On both sides of the state, those networks saw their grant funding trickling to an end. So they decided to join forces, share strategies and form a not-for-profit organization that could spread the impact of their work across Missouri and the region.