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In loving memory
Trauma-Free NYC is deeply saddened by the loss of our founding father, Dan Press. In the summer of 2017, Dan, along with members of our steering committee, led the effort to secure seed funding to establish Trauma-Free NYC. Dan was a champion for the trauma-informed movement, and he pushed for TIC education and training at Columbia University- he was a guest lecturer in our annual Spring ACEs and TIC course. Dan was a connector and brought people together from all walks of life and disciplines to join the movement and actively participate in the cause. Dan mentored Mailman’s future changemakers and provided internship and practicum opportunities to our students year after year. Leader, colleague, friend, mentor, and an inspiration to all that knew him, Dan will be sorely missed.
Our friends at CTIPP have created memorial fund in Dan's honor: https://ctipp.salsalabs.org/honoringdanpress0/index.html
The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) is saddened to announce that our co-founder and counsel Daniel Press passed away on October 5, 2022 after a long battle with lung cancer.
Dan fought hard and never stopped working, despite his declining health. His love and passion for the trauma-informed movement inspired so many lives. He was fiercely dedicated to supporting advocates across the country, working tirelessly to promote healing and resilience.
Over forty years of advocacy and counsel alongside and on behalf of Native American tribes and reservations exposed Dan to how the cycles of trauma could perpetuate across generations with negative health and societal outcomes. He cared about the families and communities he worked with and knew there had to be a better way moving forward.
After learning about intergenerational trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), it clicked. Dan was compelled to help mobilize advocates and educate federal policymakers on Capitol Hill. After attending countless conferences and meetings with leading experts, he developed a framework and network that ultimately led to the creation of CTIPP.
Once CTIPP launched, he developed reports and expanded the organization through Community Advocacy Network (CTIPP CAN) calls to connect advocates with resources, lived experiences, and transformative work that could be replicated in their communities. Dan was also a driving force behind the National Trauma Campaign, the Building the Movement to Prevent Trauma and Foster Resilience series, and PressOn (which will forever share his name).
It is fitting that one of his last writings focused on PressOn, a national coalition that unites local, state, and regional trauma-informed coalitions to propel the movement forward. From Dan:
“More and more communities, institutions, and organizations throughout the country are applying what scientists have taught us about the impact that childhood and historical trauma have on our society, contributing to so many of the intractable health and social problems that plague us, including substance use, suicide, high school dropouts, poor work performance, obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and others.
“And while so much activity is occurring at the local level, the trauma-informed movement has not yet become a national force that has grabbed the attention of policymakers at all levels, who continue to pour billions of dollars into programs that are addressing the symptoms of the problem rather than the underlying cause: trauma.
“As a result, trauma-informed programs, particularly local trauma-informed cross-sector coalitions, struggle for funding and staff, while the problems listed above continue to cost millions of lives and billions of dollars. One of the goals of PressOn is to create a national advocacy movement that changes this dynamic and puts trauma-informed science at the forefront of policymaking and funding.
“In addition to advocacy, PressOn will provide its member organizations with a national network of trauma-informed entities that connects them. Too frequently, local trauma-informed coalitions and organizations feel isolated and alone. PressOn will enable them to feel connected to a national movement.
“It will also provide a vehicle for trauma-informed organizations to communicate, share their experiences, and help others grow and learn from each other. It will assist new trauma-informed coalitions to grow and flourish, will disseminate information on new scientific studies that help to make the case for trauma-informed practices, and collect and disseminate data on the successful accomplishments of trauma-informed programs.
“In summation, it will be the switchboard connecting the national trauma-informed movement.”
We recognize that this is heavy news and Dan had tremendous relationships with so many people. For those interested, we invite you to share what Dan meant to you and/or a favorite memory of/with him via the Google form.
There will be more opportunities to come together and remember Dan, as well as come together and continue the work toward his vision and in his legacy.
Dan has been and will always be CTIPP’s fire, and we will miss his endless energy, passion, tenacity, wisdom, and kindness. We know his spirit will live on through the trauma-informed movement that continues to advance because of his foundational work, and CTIPP will continue to sustain and scale its efforts in his honor.
Highlights from Dan’s Work to Build the Movement:
- Watch: Future of the Trauma-Informed Movement with Dan Press
- Watch: Dan Press shares his motivation for trauma-informed advocacy
- Podcast: Trauma-Informed Movement Gaining Momentum with Dan Press
- Dan Press traces how legal work for Native Americans led to advocacy to uproot trauma
- Trauma-Informed America: What are Cross-Sector Community Coalitions & How Can Congress Support?
We invite you to play an active role in “Building a National Movement to Prevent Trauma and Foster Resilience” by participating in a nationwide Workshop Series designed to dramatically increase the capabilities of community coalitions to integrate trauma-informed, resilience-focused, and healing-centered approaches into the operations of systems that serve our communities (e.g., child welfare, education, health care, justice systems, faith-based) with the goal to reduce exposure to trauma, particularly in underserved and marginalized populations.
In the wake of recent international traumatic events, Dr. Danielle Kassow, Senior Program Officer for Trauma-Free NYC, shares an important article about children and disasters.