ACEs & Resilience Summit Awards

Phoenix Award

The Phoenix Award, which was established in 2018, recognizes an exceptional educator, businessperson, policymaker, community leader, or advocate who through their professional role is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families across our state.

It is named for the mythical bird the phoenix that is reborn from its own ashes, signifying the recipient’s unselfish, lasting impact to raise awareness about and mitigate the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Adverse Community Experiences (ACEs)—“a pair of ACEs”—in Arkansas.

2021 ACEs Phoenix Award Recipient – Tara Shephard

Tara ShephardTara Shephard is an author, education and mental health advocate, auditor for the American Correctional Association, suicide-prevention trainer and youth program consultant with decades of professional experience in the areas of juvenile justice, education, substance abuse and social justice. She’s also the Executive Director and Founder of Delta Community Based Services, a nonprofit organization. As the Founder & CEO, she advocates for the social advancement of women and girls. It is through this work that she hosted the annual At-Promise Girls Empowerment Conferences. 

Tara is also a former board Director for the Little Rock School District in which she served as the representative for over 50,000 residents and 7 schools. The Little Rock School District is the largest urban district in Arkansas. In 2014, she participated in the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans in Oakland, California and the STANDUp for Public Education Conference in Washington, DC. 

Tara has received numerous awards and features in magazines such as the STAND News, Miss Lady Magazine, Pam Brown Courtney Magazine and P.E.A.S. (Parenting*Education*Assistance*Support) Magazine. Awards from organizations such as the Arkansas Education Association, Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Sister Friends United, Hello Inc., Lorenzo Lewis Foundation, Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, Cornell Companies, G4S Youth Services and many more. 

She’s a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and a grassroots community activist. 

Rise Award

The Rise Award honors an individual who demonstrates resilience in action and uses their life experience to foster resilience in others. In essence, the honoree “beat the odds” to overcome difficult obstacles such as abuse, neglect, family dysfunction or poverty to become a successful adult. 

The Rise Award is inspired by the poem “Still I Rise” written by native Arkansan Dr. Maya Angelou: “…You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise …”

The purpose of the Arkansas Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Resilience Summit is to convene local, state, and national leaders who are committed to understanding the research, practice and policy implications of ACEs. This understanding will inform a paradigm shift within health care, mental health, and Arkansas systems that serve children and families. The Summit is organized by AFMC and the Arkansas ACEs and Resilience Coalition, a collaborative whose goal is to coordinate ACEs work in the state and assist communities in building resilience. 

Part of raising awareness about issues that affect children and families is recognizing the good work that is already being done in our community. That recognition not only assigns credit where credit is due but also encourages others to do good work as well. 

2021 ACEs Rise Award Recipient – Beth Goodrich

Beth Goodrich 2021 Rise Award WinnerBeth Goodrich is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence,  an agency that provides technical support, training, and other services to domestic violence shelters statewide, in addition to developing social policies in the field of domestic violence. Prior to this, she served for 11 years as a domestic violence shelter/rape crisis center director. She is a certified Law Enforcement Trainer, as well as a childhood survivor of domestic violence, and a mother of six.


Phoenix Award

Dr. Chad Rodgers