Change in Mind: Applying Neurosciences to Revitalize Communities

Change in Mind: Applying Neurosciences to Revitalize Communities is a three-year initiative of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. It is conducted in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation  and the Palix Foundation’s Alberta Family Wellness Initiative. The initiative was established in early 2015.

The primary purpose of Change in Mind is to demonstrate the larger impactful role of the nonprofit sector as educator, convener, advocate, and true influencer of getting appropriate systems aligned to the science.

The initiative identifies, supports, and evaluates the processes that 15 organizations in the U.S. and Alberta, Canada use to align the science with the goal of influencing systems to impact outcomes across the life course.

Ten U.S. members of the Alliance and five non-governmental organizations in Alberta, Canada were chosen to infuse, align, and accelerate established neuroscience discoveries about the effects of life-altering toxic stress into their community-based work. The goal is that their work will determine if this groundbreaking science can transform policies to move the needle on some of the most difficult social issues facing our communities.

The cohort sites were chosen by an independent selection committee through a competitive application process. 

The national publication, Chronicle of Social Change, completed an article on Change in Mind right after the program began in the summer of 2015. Read the article here.

September 2016 Update
The Policy Community of Practice of the Change in Mind initiative completed a brain-science infused policy document called Using a Brain Science-Infused Lens in Policy Development: Achieving healthier outcomes for children and families.

Among other important policy formation points, the report declares that while science is the foundation, the perspectives of the families and communities served should also influence policy decisions. Review the new policy document

Evaluation Team  & Approach

U.S. Cohort Sites

Alberta, Canada Cohort Sites


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