Volume 12
Issue 2
Fall '20

Educational Equality and the Dream That Never Was: The Confluence of Race-Based Institutional Harm and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Post-Brown America

Written By: Erin M. Carr

Abstract

Interrupting intergenerational violence and trauma caused by institutional rac- ism requires a new paradigm, one that incorporates both trauma-informed princi- ples and draws from Civil Rights law. The historical and ongoing effects of structural racism contributes to and exacerbates the prevalence and consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which uniquely expresses itself in the lives of children of color. When the destructive synergy of poverty and racism coa- lesce in early childhood, the harm to child development—particularly its impacts on physical, intellectual, and emotional development—is profound. Whereas children begin their lives with cognitive parity, the intersectionality of race, place, and trauma creates an acute burden for children of color that produces pronounced inequity in academic achievement, social-emotional development, and physical health.

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