Mel's Blog Gets Co-Opted: “Here Be Dragons!”

By Melanie Gillespie

This week my blog got co-opted, and while I’m disappointed not to be bringing you any exciting space news or sciencey fun, I’m so very excited at the potential outcomes from my ask!

Let me set the stage: This year at The Science of HOPE, we are dedicating an entire room, filled with maps, throughout the two day conference to mapping Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) and Resilience initiatives happening throughout Washington State and nationwide! We are calling it, wait for it… The Mapping Room!

…Did you get as excited as I hoped you might?

Arms pumped in the air? Squeals of delight? No? Worried you might accidentally fall into the Here Be Dragons part of the map? Otherwise known as Collective Impact? (Just Kidding!! Calm down!! Geesh…)

Just in case you didn’t, let me explain a bit further. This topic has come up time and time again, in countless meetings and on too many calls to count. It’s a simple ask that is logistically a nightmare. People working on ACE & Resilience Initiatives want to know: Who else is out there doing this work? Where is the work happening? Who’s leading the charge? Can I learn from them? Connect with them? How do I begin to find out what’s happening?

And while these questions are so integral to the work happening on the ground, capturing this information in a coherent way is hard. To the best of my knowledge the most dedicated Ninja Warrior Jedi in this work so far has been Tory Henderson at DOH. My hope is to gift the map to Tory! (and everyone else of course). But, there is a significant need and desire to truly identify and understand what is happening statewide, so we are going to give it the ol’ Healthy Gen try.

We have a way for people to get info onto the map either in person during the conference or ahead of time online. Here’s how it will work:

  • If you are a part of an ACE or Resilience Initiative, please map it by taking this survey
  • If you know somebody who is a part of an ACE or Resilience Initiative, please forward this e-mail to them with entreaties and promises of hugs if they will participate
  • If you know of an ACE or Resilience Initiative happening in your area, but have limited details, please e-mail us and tell us what you know! We will do our best to get the survey to the right person so it can be mapped.

We will pre-populate the maps in the rooms at the conference with these survey results and will also ask attendees to fill these maps with their knowledge. There will be a wall in the room dedicated to info on things happening outside of Washington as well.

After the conference, students who are a part of the Healthy Gen Fellows program will evaluate and collect the data in order to create a tool for us to share with partners and colleagues that create a comprehensive statewide picture of ACEs & Resilience work.

During the conference, the Mapping Room can also serve as a fun ad hoc networking and conversation space for extroverts looking to process with each other.

We will dedicate one of the 6 end of Day One “Process the Content” discussions (right before happy hour!) to a debrief of this room and ideas for next steps people want to take.

Love You!