Watch You Are Not Who You Were: Healing from the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Trauma

Written by: The Exchange

The topic of childhood trauma is more relevant than ever as we emerge from a pandemic that has gripped the globe. Join us for a discussion with pioneering physician and California’s first-ever Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris as she reveals the science behind Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress. ACEs and toxic stress are the root cause of some of the most harmful and expensive societal and health challenges—including heart disease, cancer, and mental health disorders such as depression, PTSD, anxiety – just to name a few. The good news is toxic stress is treatable. Learn about ACEs, the science of toxic stress, and what we can do to heal ourselves and our children. The conversation will be moderated by writer/executive producer Wendy Calhoun – whose work spans such TV hits as Empire, Revenge, and Nashville.


Nadine Burke Harris is an award-winning physician, researcher and advocate dedicated to changing the way our society responds to one of the most serious, expensive and widespread public health crises of our time: childhood trauma. Drawing in research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente, Nadine identified Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as a major risk factor affecting the health of her patients. She was appointed as California’s first-ever Surgeon General by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019. Her TED Talk, How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across the Lifetime, has been viewed more than 6 million times.

Peabody-award winning writer/executive producer Wendy Calhoun’s prolific career spans one-hour dramas, unscripted series, VR, and gaming. She’s currently developing exciting new series for Netflix and HBO Max featuring women in leading roles. Her scripted drama credits include Co-Executive Producing and writing the historic first season of FBC’s Empire, as well as debut seasons of Prodigal Son, Station 19, Nashville, Revenge, and Justified. Known as a champion for diversity and inclusion, Calhoun’s developed and sold nine series pitches since 2015 with buyers including Walt Disney TV, Warner Horizons Unscripted, WBTV, NBC, The CW, F/X, and ABC Signature Studios.

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.