Conceived on June 3, 2020, and launched on September 15, 2020, "A Trusted Space" emerged during the summer of 2020 following a pivotal text from client Chris Fitzgerald, Director of Curriculum and Instructor at Westside Union School District in California to Lori Woodley, Founder of All It Takes. In a heartfelt plea, she implored, "Can we create a trauma-focused film? Our teachers can't afford workshops, and the need is more urgent than ever." Those words, as true then as they are today, spurred the 2020 production of, "A Trusted Space: Redirecting Grief to Growth," which came together without any funding, thanks to the dedication and generosity of film and education experts. Over the past two years, this film and its accompanying resources have reached a remarkable milestone, touching the lives of over 15 million students globally through the efforts of their educators. While the film's content remains pertinent, it originally revolved around the pandemic, which we are now beyond. However, what persists is the mounting socio-emotional and academic consequences that continue to impact our children, youth, and those who support them. To address the ongoing needs of our youth and education system in real time, A Trusted Space, The Series, was developed in 2023 with support from CalHOPE and the California Department of Health Care Services.
The series brings together diverse, experienced voices from the frontlines of education — including students, teachers, administrators, counselors and parents, as well as experts in education, mental health and youth work — to address the enduring social, emotional, mental and academic challenges that persist in school environments. “A Trusted Space” films pair with curriculum and training guides developed to support educators and students in achieving quantifiable improvements in the areas of emotional resilience and academic success as they navigate these challenges and turn a moment of crisis into an opportunity for growth.
The “A Trusted Space” series is comprised of the 2020 award-winning docu-training film, “A Trusted Space: Redirecting Grief to Growth” and the 2023 short film series, “A Trusted Space: Meeting the Moment,” which is accompanied by resources and training guides. These films examine the urgent need for our education system to create trusted, healthy spaces for all students. They address the growing social-emotional crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic, which is facing today’s youth.
Dive into “A Trusted Space: Meeting The Moment” as we tackle the current state of education in the wake of a global pandemic. Hear firsthand from educators, students, and administrators about the challenges they face and their aspirations for a redefined “normal”. This inaugural episode underscores the importance of genuine human connection in the classroom and the urgent need for change. With candid discussions and insights, we explore practical solutions and the potential for a more effective and inclusive educational system. Join the conversation and witness the determination of the education community to adapt and thrive. This series was made possible by CalHOPE Schools and the California Department of Health Care Services.
"A Trusted Space: Redirecting Grief to Growth" is a ground-breaking documentary and curriculum, created during the height of the pandemic to support our first responders in education. Based on research and neuroscience, the film shares how trusted relationships are the most immediate and potent antidote to the damaging effects of stress and trauma that so many students, families, and teachers - all of us - are navigating. While this film has a feel of pandemic times, the content is relevant and timely - we encourage educators and all who care for kids to watch.
"Everyone says we need relationships.
This is the FIRST scientific explanation WHY!!!"
- Christina Fitzgerald, Director of Curriculum and
Instruction, Westside Union School District
— Name, Title
What People Are Saying About A Trusted Space®
Amplifying The Voices of
The Education Ecosystem
A FEW OF OUR FEATURED EXPERTS
SENIOR ADVISOR, ASU PRESIDENT MICHAEL CROW, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LEARNING TRANSFORMATION STUDIOS AND CENTER EDGE, PROFESSOR, COLLEGE OF GLOBAL FUTURES AND MARY LOU FULTON TEACHERS COLLEGE
Alan is the Founding Director of Center EDGE (Engagement Driven Global Education) and the Katzman Chair for Innovation at the USC Rossier School of Education. He was part of the founding team and EVP for 2U, Founder and Chairman of OnlineLearning.net, and served on the Board of Education and as Chair of Postsecondary Education for California.
Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, EdD
NEUROSCIENTIST, HUMAN DEVELOPMENT PSYCHOLOGIST, USC ROSSIER SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
Mary Helen is a Professor of Education at the USC Rossier School of Education, a Professor of Psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute, a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program Faculty at the University of Southern California, and Director of the USC Center for Affective Neuroscience, Development, Learning and Education (CANDLE).
Marcy Melvin, MA
SPEAKER, MENTAL HEALTH AND EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT
Marcy is the Senior Director of Health Equity Strategy for The Hackett Center for Mental Health. Before joining the Institute, Ms. Melvin had over 18 years of experience in developing and implementing mental health programs, systems, and procedures in primary, secondary, and post-secondary educational settings. She is a child, adolescent, and family-trained Licensed Professional Counselor.
Pedro A. Noguera, PhD
SOCIOLOGIST AND DEAN USC ROSSIER SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
Pedro is a prominent sociologist and one of the nation’s top experts in education issues and social inequality. His research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.
FOUNDER OF ALL IT TAKES, SCHOOL COUNSELOR, WRITER, EDUCATION CONSULTANT
CEO and founder of All It Takes, Lori is a public speaker, trainer, and author supporting youth and those who serve youth to develop critical social-emotional literacy skills that empower us to successfully navigate our lives and support our communities through joyful and trying times. Mother of two grown children, Lori has a combined 30+ years working as a school counselor, consultant, curriculum developer and most recently producer and featured expert of the internationally acclaimed film and curriculum series, A Trusted Space