Wendy Ellis

MPH 2011, Health Services

Building community resilience to prevent ACEs, foster equity

Wendy has spent the last decade building a resilience movement to address systemic inequities and deep-rooted health disparities that often carry over from generation to generation. She leads the national Center for Community Resilience, which supports community-led, cross-sector collaborations to improve the health and well-being of children and families. Teams across the country and the globe use the center’s resources to align policy, programming and practice to address adverse childhood experiences in the context of adverse community environments, what Wendy has coined “the pair of ACEs.”

Her years-long research on childhood adversity and resilience led to the development of the Building Community Resilience process, which brings community organizing around the world to the policy level for long-term systems change. Networks in Oregon, Washington state, Texas, Ohio and elsewhere have used the model to lead systems and policy change centered around equity. Taking this work to another level, Wendy launched an initiative that empowers local public health leaders to work across sectors to prevent ACEs, foster equity and build community resilience. 

Affiliations: Assistant Professor, Prevention and Community Health, and Global Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University (GWU); Founding Director, Center for Community Resilience, Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness, Milken Institute, GWU; 2018 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow;  Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being; Inaugural Milken Scholar at GWU

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