As we developed our plans for the Anna, Age Eight Institute, based on our book – Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment – people asked us questions such as:
“How can New Mexico be the first in the nation to develop this new approach?” and
“How can the state find the resources to end generations of adverse childhood experiences?”
In this question, “Why New Mexico?”, we hear, “Wouldn’t another state be a better base?”
“What about California where new ideas always find support?”
“How about Colorado with its history of groundbreaking initiatives?”
“...and doesn’t Washington state with all its technology sound like a better place?”
Finally, we hear from outsiders, “What makes you think New Mexico can make significant leaps forward in healing its troubled residents? It's at the bottom of every ranking.”
Quite frankly, we are done with this line of questioning.
It is time to change the narrative about New Mexico and our people. The stories we hear about ourselves matter, because if we hear them often enough we start to believe them. It is time to disrupt those stories.
New Mexico has the capacity to do groundbreaking work that is committed to ensuring the safety and success of every child. We have leadership at the highest level committed to creating a school system that positions all students for success, regardless of which zip code and income level they come from.
Most importantly, we have New Mexicans across our beautiful land working in state agencies, city halls, county government offices and at health council meetings who are ready to make a huge leap forward, with our long-term goal of being the safest state to be a child in.
This is far from pie-in-sky thinking.
We are working with innovators throughout New Mexico, from college presidents, mayors and city counselors to cabinet secretaries, state lawmakers and school board members, to bring communities together to face our collective trauma and overcome it.
Why New Mexico?
Because we are resilient people that have been overcoming trauma for generations. We are ready show the rest of the nation how to break the cycle of family adversity and decades of debilitating substance misuse related to trauma.
We are ready to lead the way out of our multiple rankings of 50th in the nation for child well-being. It's time to show everyone why New Mexico will be the base for the Anna, Age Eight Institute and we will be the first state in the nation to successfully end the epidemic of childhood trauma.
Contact your state senator and representative to support Senate Bill 370, establishing the Anna, Age Eight Institute. Together, we can ensure safe childhoods, successful students and healthy families.
For questions or to help establish the Anna, Age Eight Institute, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Anna, Age Eight Institute is guided by the strategies presented in the book Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment by Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello. You can download the book free-of-charge here: www.AnnaAgeEight.org/anna.