Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Check out:

Kataoka, S., Vona, P., Acuna, A., Jaycox, L., Escudero, P., Rojas, C., Ramirez, E., Langley, A., & Stein, B.D. (in press) Applying a Trauma Informed School Systems Approach: Examples from School Community-Academic Partnerships. Ethnicity & Disease.

Acuña, M.A., & Martinez, J.I. (in press). Pilot Evaluation of Back to Basics Parenting Training in Urban Schools. School Social Work Journal.

Acuña, M. A., & Kataoka, S. (2017). Family Communication Styles and Resilience among Adolescents. Social Work, 62(3), 261-269.

Acuña, A. & Escudero, P.V. (2016). Helping those who come here alone. Phi Delta Kappan, 97(4), 42-45.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

They Man Up & Come Clean

I love comedians. They are ruthless with the truth, which feels so good it makes us pee in our pants.

With recent news stories about sexual harassment, I was relieved to read Louis CK's response to his allegations in the NY Times.
"These stories are true," he said.
No victim-blaming or shaming, no denials or recriminations, no revisionist Holocaust denial malevolence. No flipping the script with distortions.
"...I wielded that power irresponsibly. I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them...I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work."
"I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it."
In his statement, I read that he credits power and privilege for the conditions that allowed harassment to occur unchecked. I also see his expressed self-awareness, taking responsibility, and empathy, which is grown-up stuff and worthy of NY Times space.

Then my man, Chris Rock, comes out and tells it on the mountain (on stage in his Netflix special).
“I was addicted to porn.” 
Boom. Raw & real. Humbly without shame - just the honest to goodness truth. Referring to his divorce, he said:
“It’s my fault, because I’m a f—ing asshole...I didn’t listen. I wasn’t kind. I had an attitude, I thought, ‘I pay for everything, I can do what I want.’ That s— don’t f—ing work. I just thought I was the s—.”
Again power and money is credited for the justification to behave badly. Real, perceived or fantasized power can make one think that one matters more than others - that personal needs, wants and desires trump those of others, regardless of the cost. This ride only lasts until those taken advantage of speak up and walk out. Chris also expresses self-awareness, personal responsibility, and empathy. It's bold because he doesn't have to say this - and yet he does. It's like he is saving his own soul.

At the end of the game, the cheese stands alone in the middle of the circle.
This moment of self-reflection may be an opportunity for transformation.
"Love the truth and so be saved."

Monday, March 26, 2018

Tape, Watch & Share, "Dolores"!!

Set your DVR (or VCR, I don’t wanna assume) to record, Dolores, the documentary on PBS. I looved her story and was sad that I hadn’t learned most of it while growing up. I would love for all our daughters & sons to know about what she did for our people.

Closing the Opportunity Gap for Men of Color

Please share the article link below with men of color who are interested in higher education and may benefit from inspiration, encouragement, and mentoring. We are aiming to close the opportunity gap in college graduation rates for black, brown and other brothers.

M3 article about increasing college graduation rates

Talking Mental Health on Enfoque Los Angeles

So this happened.
I got a call from an Enfoque Los Angeles producer asking if I could be on the show to talk about the impact of trauma.
In my head I said, "duh," not realizing the ramifications: Look decent on camera and speak extemporaneously in SPANISH about what I'm expert at in ENGLISH (while dancing backwards in high heels).
I gave it my best shot.
If I close my eyes while watching the segment, then I actually feel proud of the opportunity to talk about trauma and recovery, the importance and effectiveness of mental health treatment and social support.
I'm gonna stick to writing and teaching.
I'm better on the page and in person.
TV cameras are humbling.
I will track down the show transcript or audiotape and share ;)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Video Interviews About Minority Male Mentoring

Check out a 7-minute video of interviews with California State University, Northridge (CSUN) faculty, alumni, and students who are men of color. Please feel free to share with anyone needing inspiration on their academic journey.

Being purposefully vulnerable make great stories and stories are good medicine.

Click on this link to watch the video on YouTube: M3 Video

After watching the video, please click on this link to take a survey about your reactions to the video: M3 Video Survey

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

M3 Storytelling Campaign Poster: Charles

"As an athlete, I was plagued with injuries and forced to find success in a different arena. Falling into depression, I felt I would never regain my identity. Through many dark days and nights, I worked toward a graduate degree in a filed that feels perfect for me, but I still struggled with my personal anxieties of not measuring up. A few of my professors inspired me through their knowledge and personal testimonies. That made me realize that I needed to start valuing my worth more. Their constant encouragement and relentless efforts kept me going - they were my coaches. Finding my identity, I reclaimed my team. Working with at-risk youth is my second chance to reach success. I want to walk with them through the light, the dark, the failures and the successes. I am very proud to say that I am a Master of Social Work graduate from CSUN. Feeling proud is one thing, remaining humble in my pride is the only thing. -Charles Ohaeri '17 MSW, CSUN"

Posters from the M3 storytelling campaign are now available. Please contact me about how to order from CSUN QuickCopies.


Check out: Kataoka, S., Vona, P., Acuna, A. , Jaycox, L., Escudero, P., Rojas, C., Ramirez, E., Langley, A., & Stein, B.D. (in press) ...