Mapping stress effects to ZIP codes is interesting as an academic exercise, but the practical question is what to do about it. What we should emphasize, the problem of trauma or the solution? Put me on the side of emphasizing what to do. No matter what one’s dose of trauma, the way out involves finding safety, reckoning with what happened, and rejoining the larger community. My question for those do-gooders with their data about trouble across ZIP codes is how do they propose to help people find safety? It’s important to ask what does this group of people in this place want to do to reduce its exposure to racism, poverty, hunger, and violence. Of course, we have a catalog of approaches that are helpful. Resilience building starts in infancy, with strong parental attachment — so the first layer of prevention is helping parents do better. The second is to prevent bad things happening around kids as they grow up. For what helps kids anywhere, a good approach for youth success is from Search Institute — their 40 Developmental Assets approach shows how access to role models, opportunities to learn, and building a sense of self-efficacy helps kids succeed. The best research I’ve read lately about kids growing up in highly stressed environments is “Coming of Age in the Other America,” published this year, about kids growing up in Baltimore. The authors discovered that kids growing up in tough circumstances tend to do best when they have an “identity project” — a way of building a future they can visualize and work towards, especially if that is supported in some way by a comminuty, institution, or other person. In other words, a role model and sufficient resources to help the kid deal with the inevitable challenges. Corinna’s program Poetry for Personal Power is a good example of how to help kids come to terms with the challenges they have dealt with in their lives. Without stigmatizing or retraumatizing anyone, her participants tell others how they became heroes.