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ACEs Graphic Novel 

Set in a high school, You Don't Know Me, a graphic novel about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), makes information about ACEs accessible to high school age girls and gender-expansive young people using an approachable, engaging, gender and culturally-responsive, trauma-informed, and healing-centered format and style.


The high rate of adversity, including sexual violence, experienced by girls and gender-expansive young people by the time they are high school age should be declared a public health emergency or an epidemic – yet it remains in the shadows, and each year new generations get caught in this vicious cycle.

The goal of You Don’t Know Me is to provide data and information to girls and young folx about ACEs that will support them in making informed choices, understanding their family dynamics (across generations), and getting assistance for themselves and others as needed.

Knowledge is power and power is what girls and young folx need to break generational cycles of adversity, abuse, and trauma. The ACEs graphic novel makes information about ACEs more comprehensible and easier to grasp.

This work was informed by a 2018 convening hosted by National Crittenton for 15 high-school-aged girls from Mississippi, Colorado, Oregon, New York, Kansas, West Virginia and Florida. Participants attended the two-day convening which included brainstorming and workshopping sessions, where they learned about the ACE study and actively contributed to the creation of the ACE graphic novel concept, approach, and storyline.

Ebony Morris, who in 2018 was 16 years old, created the artwork for the novel. You Don’t Know Me is currently being tested in Crittenton agencies.

Project Partners

Project partners include the Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado, Florence Crittenton Services of Topeka, Kansas, White Shield (Portland, OR), Crittenton Services, Inc, Children's Village Inwood House, Lighthouse Black Girls Project, Dr. Monique Morris, Ebony Morris, and Dr. Tasha Golden.

Learn more about how we focus on policy and system change, national organizing, and collaborative research and innovative thought.