Elevating Voices

I don't want a generation of kids to grow up thinking being different is linked to being bad. There is beauty in your culture and your language. 

Aimee Hilado, PhD, LCSW is a ZERO TO THREE Fellow and the Associate Professor of Social Work at Northeastern Illinois University. Dr. Hilado is the Founding Clinical Director of the RefugeeOne Wellness Program, a mental health program established in 2011 for refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in one of the largest resettlement agencies in Illinois. It is the first mental health program in the state that has integrated a home visiting program for trauma-exposed pregnant mothers and families with children under age 3 of refugee/immigrant status.

Dr. Hilado talks with Katrina Macasaet, Professional Innovations Manager at ZERO TO THREE, about how we all live at the intersection of many different identities, but our individual senses of belonging are crucial in how we interact with others and ultimately how we nurture babies and toddlers. Dr. Hilado hopes to elevate the experiences of refugees and immigrants, especially, so they are heard and validated. Through all avenues of her work, including pregnancy support groups, home visiting, parent-child psychotherapy and more, she encourages open and honest conversations about identity, diversity, difference, self-worth, acceptance to develop a space where all are welcome even when societal rhetoric is challenging.

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