Paper Tigers Poster

Paper Tigers Film Screening Sparks Dialogue in LA

Dulce Acosta, Community Liaison, and Devika Shankar, Interim Co-Chair of the TIC Task Force

Over two hundred individuals gathered last week at the screening of the award-winning film Paper Tigers, in commemoration of the inaugural “All School Day” at the USC School of Social Work. The focus of the day was on public health and the importance of cultivating trauma informed communities. The event was hosted by the USC School of Social Work, the Trauma Informed Care Task Force of Greater Los Angeles (TIC Task Force),  the National Association of Social Workers, USC Alumni, and the USC Career Development Department.

Paper Tigers follows a year in the life of an alternative high school in Walla Walla, WA that has radically changed its approach to disciplining its students, becoming a promising model for how to break the cycles of poverty, violence, and disease that affect families. Three years later, the number of fights at Lincoln Alternative High School had gone down by 75% and the graduation rate had increased five-fold.

Susan Hess, Co-Chair of the TIC Task Force and Senior Lecturer at USC School of Social Work, with Panel Moderator Steven Kim,

Susan Hess, Co-Chair of the TIC Task Force, introduced the film by defining trauma and trauma informed care, and welcomed new members to join our grassroots resilience building movement that is connecting systems and community and sparking dialogue! This night, over 50 new supporters joined the collective synergy and momentum toward a more trauma informed Los Angeles by joining the task force!

That more schools and districts in Los Angeles are becoming engaged in a transformational process of their practices, policies, and procedures through a trauma informed and restorative practice lens, is a testament to the groundbreaking efforts of individuals, communities, organizations and systems that are beginning to understand and address trauma and improve outcomes.

Panelists (from left to right) K-Rahn Vallatine, Kathryn Eidman, and Emily Cummins Polk; all champions of how imperative trauma informed schools are for the well-being, safety, and future of our neighborhoods and communities.

Steven Kim, Co-founder of Project Kinship and Adjunct Lecturer at USC School of Socia Work

Emily Cummins Polk, Lennox Unified School District school-based Social Worker and Founder of JUNTOS,TIC Task Force Member
K-Rahn Vallatine, Educational Consultant, Author, and Founder of Live Above the Hype,TIC Task Force Member
Kathryn Eidman, Plaintiff’s Attorney for the Peter P. v. Compton Unified School District lawsuit

For information on how you can host a Paper Tigers screening, please visit or click

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