Its been a long, cold and busy busy summer. I just came back from visiting my parents in WA state and it was warmer up there than it has been in the Bay Area all spring and summer! I just hope we don’t skip what is usually a warm fall for us and head straight into the rainy winter season.
I’m in full, unabashed production and promotion mode for the October 6, 7 & 8th shows of “Ungrateful Daughter: One Black girl’s story of being adopted into a White family… that aren’t celebrities” at La Pena Cultural Center here in Berkeley. I’m thrilled that for the first time, other than excerpts of the show, I’ll be performing the entire piece for my East Bay family. I also have a history of producing work at La Pena, so I’m doubly excited that they believed in my work enough to commission and fund the piece to help me get it up.
There’s gonna be stage, light and sound design – yeeee! I’m continuing my collaboration with local activist and visual artist Isaac Ontiveros for the further development of the multi-media aspects of the show and also with the talented dancer/movement artist Colleen “Coke” Nakamoto on choreography. There so much more, but ultimately, I just hope you all come out and check the full, finished piece. I hope this will be one of the final iterations before I do a full run in 2012 and head to festivals around the globe. Please let people know and buy your tickets here!!
What else is up? Well, its that time of year when AFAAD is in full swing planning mode for the Fourth Annual Gathering, November 11,12 &13th this year at the 2100 Building in Seattle, WA! For all of my supporters, all of you parents of black, brown and multiracial children, we continue to develop this organization for your child! and we continue to do this as an all volunteer board. Please spread the word to any Black/Multiracial/African/Caribbean – adoptee of African descent over 18 that you know and tell them to join us in Seattle!! Here is the Call for Sessions, so people can submit panel or discussion ideas and also so potential participants can understand the depth of the weekend! Finally, here is the full information about this year’s Gathering. Don’t forget, if you know any families or organizations in Seattle that support adoptive families and foster care alumni – let them know about our Education Event that is open to EVERYONE on Saturday night, November 12th!
In addition to spreading the word – WE NEED YOUR FUNDING SUPPORT!! Please, please DONATE TO THE FOURTH ANNUAL GATHERING! The only way we are able to continue our work is through generous donations from people like you. We need at least $15,000.00 to cover basic expenses, and what is especially important for this year, to cover special guest speaker travel, hotel and honorarium fees, to keep our Public Education event low cost and accessible to everyone in the adoption triad, and to provide scholarships to at least two Foster Care Alumni who otherwise would be unable to make it to join us and have access to the network and the activist space of the weekend. We have 28 days! Please help us spread the word.
Crazy busy my friends. School has started, teaching, students, academic work as well as balancing my creative work. You know how artists do. I have two or three other creative projects in the works and all I will say about that is one is adoption related and the rest, thankfully, are not! In academia, we call it “racial fatigue”, I think we adoptee writers, activists, scholars need to come up with the right phrase for us. “Adoption fatigue”? I don’t know. I’ve been thinking a lot about how much my personal life is part of my professional life, and its great, but its also very tiring. I look forward to the weekend of the AFAAD Gathering where we will spend time talking together about being and adoptee or foster care alumni and being a professional and ensuring we are engaging in ‘self-care’, so we don’t burn out.
What seems contrary to what I just wrote, (ha!) I recently noticed that my subscribers to the blog have increased. I’m so excited about this – welcome to the blog. I look forward to engaging in conversation with you and answering questions! I’m here as a resource for parents as well as for my fellow adopted folks.
Finally, I have a special gift for the first 10 people who donate $50.00 or more to the AFAAD Gathering Campaign! I’ve recently finished a writing project that I want to share with folks who support AFAAD, its a secret, so you will be privileged to it before anyone! Donate, and I will get it to you in the mail asap!!
Time again for another Gathering of adoptees and foster care alumni! I’m so excited to be working towards another event that brings us together. Check out the info below and please pass on to your networks, other adoptees and foster care alumni that you know and if you are a supporter – PLEASE SPONSOR or DONATE!!!
Full information is on the AFAAD WEBSITE HERE.
For Immediate Release (to be included in your newsletters and calendars)
2nd Annual Gathering for Adoptees and Foster Care Alumni of African Descent:
Growing and Creating Together: Organizing Across Differences
Friday through Sunday, November 6-8, 2009
8am-5pm, with some evening activities – Oakland, CA
Announcing the 2nd Annual gathering of adoptees (transracial/international and same race) and foster care alumni of African descent in Oakland, California, Friday – Sunday, November 6-8, 2009.
AFAAD (Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora) was formed specifically to support adopted and fostered people, to share our common and divergent experiences around race, adoption, joy, loss, family, search and reunion, and self identity and to celebrate our unique creativity, stories and community. AFAAD’s Second Annual Gathering, Growing and Creating Together: Organizing Across Differences is designed with you mind.
The purpose of our annual Gathering is to make connections, network, educate, provide healing space, and to celebrate the diversity of our amazing diaspora of transracial, international, domestic adoptees and foster care alumni. AFAAD uses “Black” in the widest diasporic sense, which includes African, African American, AfroAsian and AfroLatino, bi-racial and multi-heritage peoples. Growing and Creating Together: Organizing Across Differences will continue to develop our own contributions to the conversations about adoption, foster care, race, social welfare and African diasporic identity – not to mention just bringing all of us together for community. It is time to share our stories with one another, rather than always teaching other people. We will also take some time for the strategic planning for the long-term goals of AFAAD as a social justice and community support organization.
AFAAD’s 2009 Gathering is being hosted by the Washington Inn, at 462 Tenth Street, ideally situated in the center of downtown Oakland, CA; close to all forms of public transportation. Individuals visiting the Bay Area must make their own hotel reservations separately from AFAAD Gathering registration. Please see the website for more details about the Gathering schedule, hotel and conference registration information and for more information about our mission, community and legislative advocacy work and how to donate to our work.
AFAAD – Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora
PO Box 24771
Oakland, CA 94607
Call for Volunteers – Please pass on to students or other folks you know would be interested in our work!
AFAAD — Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora is looking for qualified volunteers to work with our organization. We are looking for two interns who will work collaboratively with the existing board and founding members, as well as the larger community to assist with our annual projects.
About AFAAD: AFAAD is an adoptee and foster care alumni led organization that connects, supports, and advocates for the needs of the African diasporic adoption and foster care community on a global level through community outreach, legislative advocacy, research, and social gatherings.
AFAAD believes that providing connections for and creating space to make visible the adoption and foster community in Black/ African diasporic cultures worldwide will give support to those who otherwise remain isolated in their experiences. Another of AFAAD objectives is to ensure that conversations around adoption in both academia and in populate culture progress in a way that include contributions by adult adoptees. We support those who are conducting cutting-edge research, restructuring child welfare laws and policies, and creating new artwork, performance and films that reflect our unique experiences and perspectives. We place race, culture and connection at the forefront of our stories. We are committed to voicing a powerful message about kinship, family, race, survival, and global black identities.
Volunteer Position Commitment
5 -10 hours a week
July – Nov 2009
Location: Oakland, CA (but MN and ATL positions soon!!)
what we need:
- marketing and communication support (website, twitter, email lists, blog)
- newsletter development and editing
- website development support
- Nov 2009 conference planning
- fund raising campaign support
- someone with their own laptop / portable
- administrative support (mailing, database entry, editing)
what you will get:
- experience with a project from beginning to end
- experience with web marketing and communication
- development of professional relationships with a diverse group of adoptees and foster care alumni
- strong skills in a environment that respects your contributions
- volunteer appreciation lunch or happy hour
please contact Lisa Marie with a resume and brief letter of interest, stating your interest in the project at email@example.com by July 20th, 2009. QLGBT and people of color encouraged to apply.
For more info about our work: