Addressing ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and Improving People’s Lives
Join us in August and hear from Sara Merz, founder of the award-winning, nationally-recognized ACEs Resilience in Wake County Initiative. Learn actions you can take personally and professionally to
- build resilience,
- reduce stress, and
- lessen trauma and its impact in our community.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are common childhood traumas and are now recognized as the largest unaddressed health risk in the nation. You'll hear about the great things already happening in our community and next steps we can take together.
Sara founded ACEs Resilience in Wake County Initiative, which serves to build resilience and prevent and address childhood trauma. This initiative is now supporting dozens of organizations as they work to integrate trauma-informed practices for their employees, customers, and those they serve. She consults and provides trainings for community leaders and organizations that are working to create healthy communities and improve quality of life for all residents.
- Served as Executive Director of Advocates for Health in Action (AHA) for five years.
- Co-founded the Capital Area Food Network (CAFN), which went on to write Wake County’s Food Security Plan.
- Co-founded an award-winning active living initiative in Minnesota, which became a state-wide model to make it safer and easier to walk and bike.
- Initiated the Edible Plantings on the Greenway pilots at the North Carolina Museum of Art and NC State.
Sara has a background in policy and coalition-building, and previously worked for elected state and county leaders in Minnesota to improve health, child protection, education and transportation, parks, libraries, roads and light rail. She has served on nonprofit boards focused on environmental education/equity for kids, as well as multi-modal transportation, and serves on multiple advisory boards.
She has an MBA focused in conflict management and is passionate about improving people’s lives. Sara is a yoga enthusiast and has traveled to Thailand and India for multiple long meditation retreats and teacher-training. She loves the State Farmers Market, the beach, her family and her furry friends.