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Release Date: 02.01.2012 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Blank Family Foundation to Host Event Featuring Groundbreaking Brain Research

February 28, 2012, Event & Webcast Will Focus on Implications for Children's Learning, Health and Economic Well-Being

As part of its Better Beginnings program, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Speaker Series will host a program on February 28, 2012, featuring new research on brain development.

The Speaker Series program, "Breakthrough Research on Building Better Brains," will feature Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director of Harvard's Center on the Developing Child and chairman of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

Dr. Shonkoff’s revolutionary research reveals that persistent highly adverse experiences – known as "toxic stress" – damage a child’s brain circuits. Children may experience toxic stress when living with physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, severe maternal depression and prolonged economic hardship.

These children not only become poor learners; they suffer lifelong negative consequences, such as higher rates of heart disease and substance abuse. To address toxic stress in children’s lives, Shonkoff challenges communities to pursue innovative educational, health and social solutions.

"Dr. Shonkoff’s findings cement the importance improving the health and well-being of our youngest children," said Penelope McPhee, president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. "As we come together with business and government leaders to improve outcomes for young children, this kind of research is critical to maximizing the return on our investment."

In partnership with Child Trends, national, nonprofit research center, dedicated to improving outcomes for children through research to inform policy and practice, the Blank Family Foundation will produce a live webcast of the Speaker Series event beginning at 6 p.m. ET. During the webcast, Child Trends President Carol Emig will use Twitter to highlight key points and resources related to the webcast. Webcast viewers may participate via Twitter using #B25.

For information on the webcast, go to No registration is needed to view the webcast.

Seating at the event is limited, and individuals interested in attending should contact JoAnn Ellis ( to determine availability.

Organizations partnering with The Blank Family Foundation on the Speaker Series event include: GEEARS, United Way of Metro Atlanta, Reach Out and Read, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Anti-Defamation League, Voices for Georgia’s Children, Metro Atlanta chamber of Commerce, Quality Care for Children, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Georgia Family Connection Partnership.

About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Speaker Series:
By convening individuals around issues, innovations and ideas that will shape the quality of life for families in Atlanta and beyond, the Blank Family Foundation Speaker Series aspires to spur civic action and citizen involvement for positive change in people's lives. Visit the Speaker Series web page for more information (

About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation:
Formed in 1995, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes innovative solutions to improve the lives of youth and their families, seeking results that move communities beyond what seems possible today. The Foundation invests in early childhood development, education, green space, and the arts and leads giving programs for each of the Blank Family of Businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons. Mr. Blank co-founded The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, in 1978 and retired from the company as co-chairman in 2001. Through the foundation and his family’s personal giving, Mr. Blank has granted more than $250 million to various charitable organizations. Visit the Foundation web site for more information (

Contact Info

Contact Name: John Bare

Company: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Phone: 404.367.2062