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Be The Change Community Convening

  • Winston-Salem Urban League 201 West 5th Street Winston-Salem, NC, 27101 United States (map)

Be the Change — A Free Community Film Screening and Panel Discussion on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

The documentary film Resilience: the Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope focuses on the effects of trauma and toxic stress on the brains and bodies of children, and the profound and lingering impacts these experiences can have throughout a child’s life.

Hosted by The Forsyth Promise at the Winston-Salem Urban League on 201 W 5th Street, W-S, NC on Saturday, June 23 from 12:30 until 4:30 PM.




Researchers have recently discovered a dangerous biological syndrome caused by abuse and neglect during childhood. As the new documentary Resilience reveals, TOXIC STRESS can trigger hormones that wreak havoc on the brains and bodies of children, putting them at a greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time and early death. While the broader impacts of poverty worsen the risk, no segment of society is immune. Resilience, however, also chronicles the dawn of a movement that is determined to fight back. Trailblazers in pediatrics, education and social welfare are using cutting-edge science and field-tested therapies to protect children from the insidious effects of toxic stress—and the dark legacy of a childhood that no child would choose. Be The Change, a free community event hosted by The Forsyth Promise ( will include catered networking, a 60-minute screening of the documentary film Resilience, a panel discussion on ACEs, and facilitated table discussions among attendees.

Free, Professional Childcare will be Provided.



12:30 - 1:00 PM: Check In and Catered Networking; 1:00 - 2:15 PM: Welcome and Film Screening; 2:30 - 4:30 PM: Panel Discussion and Break Out Sessions


WINSTON-SALEM URBAN LEAGUE 201 W 5th Street (downtown), Winston-Salem, NC 27101


As Laura Porter of ACE Interface says in the film, “If we can weave the science through these different professions and get it into the hands of the general population, they will invent very wise actions.” The reality is that many of Forsyth County’s children have experienced trauma or are living with ongoing trauma such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, and neglect. These experiences make children less likely to succeed in their education. By encouraging community dialogue around around how ACEs impact children and their education, our community becomes better able to organize and mobilize toward solutions and interventions.


This event is hosted by The Forsyth Promise, a community partnership working to ensure that every child in Forsyth County has the chance to thrive in school, in work, and in life. We, as a community, cannot begin to address this ambitious goal without first addressing issues at the foundation of students’ ability to succeed in their education. Be The Change is an excellent primer for this conversation in our community.


Marlon Hunter

Director of Forsyth County Department of Public Health

Marlon Hunter has more than twenty years of combined experience in public health, healthcare, occupational safety, and environmental health. He has a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Health from East Tennessee State University and a Masters of Arts in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. Mr. Hunter has a broad range of experiences with government and private organizations in urban and rural communities.

In 1994, Mr. Hunter began his career at DeKalb County Board of Health in Decatur, Georgia, as an Environmental Health Specialist. In 1998, Mr. Hunter moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to work as an Industrial Hygienist in Corporate Operations and Safety with Carolina’s Health Care System. After returning to DeKalb County Board of Health in 2001, he held the position as Program Director of Planning Partnership and Development.

In 2005, Mr. Hunter joined the Florida Department of Health as Administrator of Wakulla County Health Department and in March 2008, assumed additional duties as the Administrator of Gadsden County Health Department. After working for more than six years with the Florida Department of Health, Mr. Hunter accepted the position as Public Health Director with Forsyth County, North Carolina in 2011.

Mr. Hunter serves on local, State and national boards and organizations. Under his leadership, the agency focus and direction is placed on efficiency, informatics, medical home development, community health assessment and the implementation of planning and partnership development strategies designed to achieve better community health outcomes.

Victor Isler

Director of Forsyth County Department of Social Services

The Goldsboro native came to Forsyth County to attend Winston-Salem State University in 1997, where he was originally going to major in physical therapy. He changed his major to Sociology because he wanted to go beyond just physical health and deal with underserved populations and the causes of disparities. During his time at WSSU, he interned in all the service areas at Forsyth DSS.

Isler received a Master’s degree from Pfeiffer University in Health Care Administration and then earned a Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he was a NC Child Welfare scholar and interned at Forsyth DSS Child Protective Services, who then hired him.

He would work at Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services in Durham and Durham DSS before returning to Winston-Salem in 2014 to become Forsyth DSS’s Family and Children Services director. In that position, he oversaw 115 employees who provide child protection, in-home, foster care and adoption services. Under his tenure, in-home services from social workers for families in risk of repeat maltreatment, or where abuse and neglect happened, went from 25 families to 120 families annually.

Daya Patton

MA, MEd, LCAS, CCS, Lead Counselor at Paisley IB Magnet Middle and High School

Daya holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hampton University, a Master of Arts degree from East Tennessee State University, and a Master’s degree in Education from American Military University. Daya is a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist and Certified Clinical Supervisor who provides clinical supervision to individuals pursuing their clinical addictions licensure. Daya is a graduate of Carver High School here in Winston-Salem. Daya is currently the chairperson of the Forsyth County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council. Daya has experience as a K-12 school counselor, case manager for Forsyth County Department of Social Services, and a licensed provider of substance abuse and mental health services for Medicaid recipients.

Daya is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer and is a trainer for the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School System. Daya serves on the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools District Crisis Team Leadership Team. Daya also operates a private consulting firm providing personality and intelligence testing for medical professional recruitment companies. Daya writes and presents on various topics related to school counseling, addiction and recovery, and mental health at the state and national level. Some of Daya’s research and writings have been published by the North Carolina School Counselor Association. Daya is currently a doctoral candidate at Walden University working on her dissertation.

In her leisure, Daya enjoys spending time with her husband, teenage daughters, and her beloved boxer.

Important Links

Event Registration Form:

Resilience Film Website:

Resilience Film Trailer:

Earlier Event: June 21
TFP Executive Team Meeting
Later Event: August 9
TFP Officers Meeting