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December 14, 2021 58 min

Today’s episode features Dr. Wendy Ellis, Assistant Professor of Global Health at The George Washington University and Founding Director of the Center for Community Resilience. Wendy is well known as a pioneer in our understanding of trauma and resilience – in our conversation she uses her expertise in health policy, her background as a journalist, and draws on her own lived experience to pull back the lens to help us see the systemic root causes of family and community trauma. A gifted communicator of complex concepts and of stories, Wendy shares the ways in which equitable access to community supports, like good schools, libraries, parks, and safe policing can enable families and communities themselves to not just bounce back from trauma and adversity but make it possible to bounce forward and thrive. Her Center’s work with communities across the country is catalyzing systems change that offers palpable hope for overcoming deep inequities and building communities where everyone can thrive.


Content Warning: Please note that this episode includes descriptions of violence and a brief mention of suicide.


Be a part of Our Dream Deferred: use the hashtag #OurDreamDeferred or write to us at  

This episode was produced by APHSA. Editing and sound design by Brandon Mitchell.



  • Resources on the Building Community Resilience approach, including the Pair of ACEs Tree and the Resilience Tree:
  • Fostering Equity resources:
  • Center for Community Resilience 2021 Federal Legislative Agenda:
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