School navigation

Continuing Education

Unmasking the ACEs Campaign: The Hidden Agenda Behind the Trauma-Informed Movement

Date: 9:00am - 4:00pm PDT May 2 Location: Lewis & Clark Graduate School

Lewis & Clark Graduate School

Over the last decade, the trauma-informed movement has become a popular institutional framework and force in social, health, counseling, education, and criminal justice settings—especially in fields and practices by professionals who advocate for progressive, humanistic approaches to organizational development and social advocacy.

Across diverse fields, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners have referenced the trauma-informed movements as a “paradigm shift,” and have regarded trauma-informed frameworks, methods, trainings, and interventions as essential components of social justice work, pedagogies, and advocacy. Though many of the practical applications of the trauma-informed movement have resulted in positive social and institutional changes, its grounding in the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study (Felitti, et al., 1998) connects it to a much larger, and globally prolific campaign—one which has striking parallels to the early 20th century eugenics movement. 

This workshop will provide participants with the necessary background knowledge needed to meaningfully evaluate the ACEs and trauma-informed movement, and its applications in diverse professional environments. Participants will gain foundational knowledge; including an overview of the 25-year history of the study, its uses in social policy, and its application across fields of practice. Participants will be led through a historical overview of the eugenics movement and through a point-by-point analysis of the specific parallels it holds to the ACEs campaign.

Through interactive lectures, small group exercises, guided analysis of relevant research and policy documents, and formal discussion formats, participants will develop the tools needed to build upon the strengths they see reflected in current trauma-informed practices, and will have the ability to also critically analyze potentially dangerous practices or trajectories that run counter to social justice goals.

Throughout this workshop, participants will:

  • Recognize the roles of ACEs and the trauma-informed movement within their field, including common trainings, methods, frameworks, and interventions
  • Gain a broad overview of the 25-year ACEs study and movement through social policy and trauma-informed practices
  • Understand some of the significant social conditions and arguments that gave rise to the eugenics movement and analyze their parallels to the ACEs movement
  • Learn about the substantive and methodological concerns leveraged by international scholars critiquing ACEs and adversity-based neurobiological claims
  • Evaluate how the ACEs and trauma-informed movement align or misalign with common social justice goals and ideologies
  • Develop an outline of the strengths of the trauma-informed movement as a framework for challenging institutional and practical deficiencies
  • Identify practices and interventions that may be problematic, or that support objectives that run counter to social justice goals and ideologies

Following the workshop, participants will receive detailed notes and resources from the training, and will have access to an online forum with regularly updated resources, relevant updates, and critical research on the ACEs and trauma-informed campaign to support continued conversation amongst participants.

Course Details & Registration

Date: Saturday, May 2, 2020, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Instructor: Alex Winninghoff, doctoral candidate, University of Georgia, Education Theory & Practice: Critical Studies 

Cost: $125 by 4/9, $150 after. Includes 6 CEUs or PDUs. Lewis & Clark Alumni, and Lewis & Clark School-based Mentors and Supervisors save 20%.
Student Rate: $50

Register now

  • We are committed to making our events accessible to all needs and abilities. When registering, let us know your access needs. Please contact us at 503-768-6040 or with questions.

    Please note: Student registrations are for current students only and do not include continuing education credit (CEU/PDUs)


About the Presenter

Alex Winninghoff is an educator and doctoral candidate at the University of Georgia, Education Theory & Practice: Critical Studies, and a critical Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study scholar. She critically analyzes the applications of ACEs internationally through multidisciplinary research, U.S. and global social policy, and institutional practices. Her current research focuses on the significant parallels between the eugenics movement (1883-1933) and the ACEs movement (1994-present) and theorizes their distinctions by contextualizing ACEs in relation to advanced capitalism and neoliberal policies. She has presented on topics including the ACEs study, the trauma-informed movement, curriculum theory, classroom instruction, critical disability studies, critical trauma theory, and art-based research. Her written work has appeared in Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, the Journal of Language and Literacy Education, and the American Counseling Association, Social Justice Counseling Practices.

  • New events are added to our calendar regularly. For the latest on events related to your specific interests, sign up to receive periodic updates by email and/or mail.