The Pareto Principal and Social Burden

Many of us have heard of some form of the 80:20, or Pareto Principal. For example 80% of a country’s wealth lies in 20% of the population; or 80% of a business’ profits are generated by 20% of its customers. In a fascinating paper, published in the December 2016 issue of Nature Human Behavior, our … Read moreThe Pareto Principal and Social Burden

A Practice a Day Keeps the Trouble Away… Maybe?

Emily Kolodka
Neuroscience Intern, The Avielle Foundation
Biochemistry Junior, Middlebury College
[email protected]

Sports Girl and Brain Health - SpaarHere at TAF, we’re committed to preventing violence and promoting brain health through research and community education. What goes into preventing violence, however, is more than just eliminating its risk factors; it’s identifying and building protective factors that lead to kindness, connection, and compassion as well. We’re not only talking about ways to prevent violence, but taking time to appreciate nutrition and fitness because of the strong connections between brain health and healthy, fit bodies, and with satisfaction with life. With this in mind, we wanted to take a scientific approach to the commonly held belief that exercise – particularly playing sports – is one of the protective factors we’re looking to encourage. Often we hear parents explain that they encourage organized sports for their children to “keep them out of trouble.” But does it actually prevent violence?

There is clear evidence that the physical fitness derived through sports participation has many benefits.

Read moreA Practice a Day Keeps the Trouble Away… Maybe?

Tucson Art Show and Fundraiser

Arizona Avielle Foundation supporters – If you have a young artist, an appreciation of art, or want to help us prevent violence, build compassion, engage and educate communities, please support our Firefly Celebration of Art at the Gregory School in Tucson on April 23rd.   Please click HERE for the Info Flyer on how attend. Invite … Read moreTucson Art Show and Fundraiser

Newtown Brain Health First Aid

Local TAF Friends, Here is another opportunity to attend a Youth Brain Health First Aid class, free of charge! These courses, provided in partnership between the Avielle Foundation and the Resiliency Center of Newtown, are intended to serve the Newtown and surrounding local communities. Here is the skinny:   1. The next course is at two … Read moreNewtown Brain Health First Aid

Avielle Foundation Firefly Newsletter 2015

It’s here, it’s finally here!         Dear TAF Supporters, We are so proud of the great success the Avielle Foundation has had thus far, in our nearly 3-year existence. We don’t take for granted what this success is based upon. Everything we have today came from you—From our grassroots supporters—Thank you! This … Read moreAvielle Foundation Firefly Newsletter 2015

Ben’s Bells Science of Kindness Conference

2015 Science of Kindness Conference Ben’s Bells Project, in collaboration with the University of Arizona’s Frances McClelland Institute for Children & Youth, presents the 2015 Kindness Conference: Building the Science of Kindness Together. The Science of Kindness Conference will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 8:00am -4:00pm at Broadview Middle School in Danbury, … Read moreBen’s Bells Science of Kindness Conference

Spark After School Program

We are very excited to introduce a pilot after school program brought to us by Cody Foss in partnership with Ben’s Lighthouse, the NYA Sports and Fitness, and The Avielle Foundation’s Spark Project.  Newtown Reed Intermediate School 5th and 6th grade student’s are eligible. Don’t miss out – space is limited to 30 students for this pilot … Read moreSpark After School Program

Newtown Brain Health First Aid Course

TAF Friends, Here is another opportunity to attend a Youth Brain Health First Aid class, free of charge! Here is the skinny: 1. The next course is Saturday, September 19th – To sign up, simply RSVP using the form found here: Sept 19 Course RSVP  2. We are offering these courses to help communities feel more comfortable recognizing … Read moreNewtown Brain Health First Aid Course

Imagine the Possibilities, Not a Tough SELL

Imagine if there were skills you could impart during childhood that would virtually guarantee your adulthood success. A way to make sure your future would be filled with health, wealth, and happiness. Imagine a world where the ‘bottom line’ would become a socially and emotionally responsible high bar and the world would no longer be seen as ‘just … Read moreImagine the Possibilities, Not a Tough SELL

Honoring the Past, Paving the Way Into the Future

We all face adversity to different degrees throughout our lives. Some of these experiences are small and easily managed, while others are quite substantial and profoundly life-changing. Indeed it is how we face and embrace them that shapes our lives and makes us who we are. These adverse experiences may originate from tragedy, trauma, surgery, … Read moreHonoring the Past, Paving the Way Into the Future

Support TAF’s Inspiring Athletes

The Avielle Foundation is fortunate to have such amazing grass-roots support — From children to small business owners, parents, teachers, and kindhearted visionaries of all makes and models who find the most creative ways to fund-raise and support the Foundation.  Today I would like to introduce you to a few of our athletes and hope you will be … Read moreSupport TAF’s Inspiring Athletes

Newtown Labor Day Parade

The Avielle Foundation would like to invite you to a special event! WHAT:  The Newtown Labor Day Parade WHEN:  Monday, September 1st, 2014 from 9am-2pm WHERE:  Newtown, CT   Hello Avielle Foundation Family, We would like to send out an invitation to our TAF community.  For the second year in a row, The Avielle Foundation will … Read moreNewtown Labor Day Parade

Brain Health: Making the Invisible Visible

VIOLENCE AND GENDER Volume 1, Number 2, 2014 (C) Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. DOI: 10.1089/vio.2014.0017 PERSPECTIVE Making the Invisible Visible: New Perspectives on Brain Health Jeremy G Richman, Ph.D. and Jennifer L. Hensel, MS The brain is just another organ. Like the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and skeletal muscles, the brain is another collection of … Read moreBrain Health: Making the Invisible Visible

From Brain Health to Violence Prevention

We are excited to introduce you to one of our new partners and a new project — Mary Ann Liebert, Inc and their new peer-reviewed, open-access scientific publication Violence and Gender. We have included below a perspective we published in their premiere issue.  But before we get to that, let me first expand a bit … Read moreFrom Brain Health to Violence Prevention

The Foundry Kitchen and Tavern – Thank You!

Our first Newtown and Sandy Hook event for the Avielle Foundation was held at the Foundry Kitchen in Tavern this past Monday, April 21st.  Although we have been operating in an official capacity for 16 months, we felt protective of Newtown.  We wanted to be certain to not burden our town immediately after December 14th, … Read moreThe Foundry Kitchen and Tavern – Thank You!

Update on the Scientific Front

The Avielle Foundation is committed to advancing brain health research to prevent violence. This is done through raising awareness of the need for this kind of research within the scientific community; advocating for increased funding for research; and most importantly, providing researchers with the much needed funding to perform research, both in the laboratory and … Read moreUpdate on the Scientific Front

Crisis Intervention Training in Berkshire County

This past Friday, March 21st The Avielle Foundation had the opportunity to take part in a crisis intervention training course offered in Western Massachusetts at the Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield.  Dr. Jeremy Richman, CEO of the Aviell Foundation,  was invited to provide a 90 minute presentation and discussion on the science of violence and … Read moreCrisis Intervention Training in Berkshire County

It’s Brain Awareness Week!

Brain Awareness Week (BAW) occurs each March and is an international campaign to highlight the benefits of brain research.  This year BAW is March 10-16.  This is a great time to educate yourself on all things brain. Organizers around the world offer lectures, activities, laboratory tours, workshops, exhibits, and more. Visit Brain Awareness Week on … Read moreIt’s Brain Awareness Week!

Congressional Brain Health Education

This past week, on Tuesday February 11th, The Avielle Foundation was in Washington, DC for a special visit to the Capital.  Hosted by Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Dick Blumenthal, we had the opportunity to present an education briefing about brain health and the mission of the Avielle Foundation.  The audience was a room full … Read moreCongressional Brain Health Education

Avielle’s Carnival

We are excited to have our fantastic San Diego crew putting their amazing minds together to help the Avielle Foundation prevent violence through community engagement and education.  You may have seen it on our Events page (, we are having a carnival in San Diego on October 13!  This is going to be a fun … Read moreAvielle’s Carnival

Denver Brainstorming 5K – Thanks!

The Avielle Foundation’s first ever and first annual Brainstorming 5K was successfully held on August 25th, 2013. Approximately 350 people ran, walked, and rallied for brain health and collectively, we raised awareness and over $15,000 in funds. The inaugural event was held at Clement Park in Littleton, CO. We were welcomed and supported by Phoenix … Read moreDenver Brainstorming 5K – Thanks!

Brainstorming on Talk Radio KOA 850

Dr. Jeremy Richman was interviewed by Colorado’s News and Sports Talk Radio KOA 850 about the Avielle Foundation’s upcoming Denver Brainstorming 5K.  The Avielle Foundation is teaming up with our friends in Colorado, Phoenix 999 and The Rebels Project, support groups formed after the Columbine High School and Aurora movie theater tragedies, to raise awareness and … Read moreBrainstorming on Talk Radio KOA 850

Brainstorming for Brain Health

The Avielle Foundation is teaming with Phoenix 999 and The Rebels Project, support groups formed after the Columbine High School and Aurora movie theater tragedies, to host the first annual Brainstorming 5K. The event, which consists of a run, walk and rally set for Sunday, Aug. 25, at Clement Park in Littleton, Colo., will raise community awareness of the … Read moreBrainstorming for Brain Health

Bidding for Brain Health

The Avielle Foundation Online Auction Starts Today! Durham, NH – With support from generous donors, the Avielle Foundation auction taking place through BiddingForGood will begin today. The outpouring of donations has been incredible! There are many priceless and meaningful items being auctioned off – some of them are local to the New England area, and … Read moreBidding for Brain Health

Breasts, Meet Brains – The New Kid on the Block

By Anneliese Dickman                                                                                                                07/10/2013

The Avielle Foundation’s objectives are twofold: promoting and supporting research on brain health to prevent violence and building community to foster connectivity and empathy.  This two-pronged approach to better health has been shown to be successful by many other wellness advocacy organizations, all of whom owe a debt to Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  She created an organization that has raised a tremendous amount of money for research, but to do so she first brought breast cancer out of the shadows by helping families, health care providers, and the media shine a light on the disease and its effects.

Just as women learning about breast health have come together to eliminate what was once a stigma, the Avielle Foundation encourages communities to learn together about brain health to bring it out of the shadows.
Just as women learning about breast health have come together to eliminate what was once a stigma, the Avielle Foundation encourages communities to learn together about brain health to bring it out of the shadows.

At the time of Komen for the Cure’s first fundraiser, in 1982, the local reporter covering the event struggled to convince her editors that her news story should include the word “breast” and not just refer to some unnamed “women’s cancer.”  This reluctance to acknowledge female biology was typical, and meant that women and their families suffered in silence.  Survivors were afraid to reveal the scars of breast cancer on their bodies, and those that had lost loved ones could not truly describe their mothers’, sisters’, or daughters’ suffering for fear of offending.  If cancer was a word whispered in polite company, breast cancer was not uttered at all.

Nancy Brinker realized that raising enough money to find a cure could happen only if society was comfortable talking about breast health.  She sought media attention for her work; cultivated support from high-profile women like Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller, who had been open about their diagnosis and treatment; and advocated loudly for breast cancer, as the number two killer of women, to become a priority of policymakers and cancer researchers.  She had facts and figures on her side, and coupled the statistics with personal stories from women across the country.

In addition, she ensured that the foundation’s work was inclusive of all types of breast cancer patients, from all walks of life (including men).  She knew that the pervasiveness of the disease, while devastating, was also the aspect that could ensure the foundation’s success.  She felt there was literally no one who did not fit the profile of a potential foundation supporter, because there was literally no one who did not potentially have someone in their life affected by breast cancer.  In the early days of the foundation, she found it possible to work a pitch for a contribution into every conversation she had.

Read moreBreasts, Meet Brains – The New Kid on the Block

Make the Invisible Visible

The Avielle Foundation is meeting with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) today, June 4th, 2103. As scientists, we frequently ask ourselves “blue sky” questions – trying to assess what an ideal world or situation would look like.  In our meeting with OSTP we want to brainstorm what technologies will become available to … Read moreMake the Invisible Visible

National Conference on Mental Health

On Monday, June 3rd, the Avielle Foundation has been invited to attend the National Conference on Mental Health. President Obama and Vice President Biden will host a White House Mental Health Conference as part of the Administration’s effort to launch a national conversation to increase understanding and awareness about brain health. President Obama will deliver opening … Read moreNational Conference on Mental Health

Science + Technology = The Health Informatics Megatrend

Our champions in Silicon Valley, the SV Angels, have their sights set on the next big thing. They call it Health Informatics. And they happen to believe that it’s people like us — like the Avielle Foundation — that will foster the evolution and progress of this field. David Lee, the managing director of SV Angels … Read moreScience + Technology = The Health Informatics Megatrend

Brain Health – TAF in San Francisco

by Jeremy Richman Between March 14th and March 17th, Jennifer, Mike, and I were able to represent the Avielle Foundation in San Francisco to meet with innovative thinkers, brain researchers, and philanthropists. We headed to the West Coast to focus on innovative brain health research, and how it can be used to prevent violence. Our efforts were … Read moreBrain Health – TAF in San Francisco

Arena Pharmaceuticals Helping TAF

Last Valentines day, the two month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders, Erin, one of my old colleagues at Arena Pharmaceuticals and one of my very favorite people, went to bat to help the Avielle Foundation.  She wanted to do a Valentines day fundraiser at Arena.  With very little preparation time, Erin called … Read moreArena Pharmaceuticals Helping TAF