Available to stream: October 2, 2022 12:00 am - October 5, 2022 11:59 pm ET


The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope
Presented by United Way of Coastal Fairfield County


The original research was controversial, but the findings revealed the most important public health findings of a generation. RESILIENCE is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress. Now understood to be one of the leading causes of every- thing from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behavior.

However, as experts and practitioners profiled in RESILIENCE are proving, what’s predictable is preventable. These physicians, educators, social workers and communities are daring to talk about the effects of divorce, abuse and neglect. And they’re using cutting edge science to help the next generation break the cycles of adversity and disease.


“There was a sense of disbelief. People actually said, ‘Rob, this can’t be true. Because if this were really true, it would’ve been studied and published.’” – Dr. Robert Anda, Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control

“Being in a community where you are hearing gunshots on the daily, where you are having friends who are being killed or being incarcerated, that really affects your body. It gets under your skin.” – Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Surgeon General of California

“We tend to the world of mental health from the world of physical health. But the body doesn’t do that. The body is only one.” – Dr. Victor Carrion, Stanford University

“This is the biggest public health discovery we’ve ever seen.” – Laura Porter, Co-Founder, ACE Interface

“The sad thing is that a lot of our students think that what they are going through is normal. This is their normal. If no one has given them a way to think otherwise, I think that’s why the cycle just keeps going and going and going.” – Cynthia Manifold, Kindergarten Teacher, Strong Elementary School, New Haven, CT

“If I had to boil it down for one thing for people to learn from this science, its to totally put to bed forever this sense that children who are born under disadvantaged circumstances are doomed to poor life outcomes. The science is saying that’s just not true.”  – Dr. Jack Shonkoff, Pediatrician, Director, Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University