Thrilled I’m joining all of these amazing artists Friday evening June 5th to perform an excerpt of “Ungrateful Daughter” for the “Soul Wounds: Trauma and Healing Across Generations” conference at Stanford University. I will be there for the whole conference, I hope you will come, and say hello at the reception after the performance.
I’ve been getting the usual onslaught of emails from folks who are in need of support or who are starting to come to grips with the commitment they have made adopting a child of color. Are you a potential or parenting adoptive parent and need some support developing strategies for creating your community to reflect your family? Have you been thinking about moving your family to a more diverse city? a different school? Are you concerned with your TRA’s life being an isolated one?
I want to remind folks that I offer individual family skype or in person consultations. 1-3 sessions, with homework and strategies. Please inbox me for more information if you would like to reserve a space. I want to encourage you to stretch, to make mistakes, to grow your heart and support your child.
“If you’re going to adopt kids, it’s the white parents’ obligation to shepherd them in same-race maturation,” he said. “When you have a transracial family, mixed-race family, you’re going outside the normal. Somebody has to be uncomfortable and it shouldn’t be the child. … Your child should not be your first black friend. That’s the bottom line. If you don’t know no black people, why are you trying to bring one to your home?” – Chad Goller-Sojourner.
My new manuscript and new Adoptee Artist Collaborations ahead!!
I’m honored to have been invited to attend the CALLALOO Literary Journal’s 2014 Writing Workshop hosted by the Black Cultural Archives, in collaboration with The Equiano Centre at University College London, England. I have a chance to work with esteemed poet Gregory Pardlo and be in residence with fiction writers Maaza Mengiste and Jackson Brown as well as 20 other multi-genre writers selected from across the global African Diaspora.
CALLALOO is a journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters based at Texas A&M University, and ranked one of the top 15 literary magazines in the United States by Every Writer’s Resource. Ranked among such periodicals as The New Yorker Magazine, Paris Review, The Atlantic, Ploughshares, and Kenyon Review, Callaloo is edited by Dr. Charles Henry Rowell, a professor of English, and published quarterly by the Johns Hopkins University Press in Baltimore, MD.
Unfortunately, CALLALOO is unable to provide funding support for the writers who are attending, so we are asked to pay our own transportation, room and board. Your individual support ensures my ability to attend this workshop, to further my artistic development and to collaborate with other artists from across the globe.
1) While in residence at the week long workshop, I will be continuing the development of my current poetry manuscript, “Anchoring the Compass”. This manuscript furthers the artistic exploration I began in my solo performance play, “Ungrateful Daughter: One Black Girls Story of being Adopted into a White Family . . . that aren’t Celebrities.” (awarded Zellerbach Foundation, James Irvine Foundation grants). This play examined my relationship to my Black and Filipino ancestry and the many historical secrets as a result of being adopted by white parents. “Anchoring the Compass” manuscript extends many of the themes I began to explore in my play, including the complexity of a hybrid, diasporic identity when one does not know one’s birth family history nor has any visible, mirrored link to a particular ancestral homeland. Many of the pieces in “Anchoring” explore how searching, speculation, story-making, mythology and invention all play a part in the development of the constantly moving, changing identities of adopted bodies. Reproductive justice, family preservation and the resistance to human trafficking are strong threads in this work.
Post workshop – I play to extend my trip for one week:
2) to continue my research on diasporic black adoptee communities. This research is a major part of the work that is informing my new play in development, “Side Effects”. “Side Effects” is a theater/ dance / visual art project that explores the personal and geopolitical impacts of inter-country and domestic transracial adoption on Black, Asian and multi-racial bodies of color. This multidisciplinary theater project speaks to the phenomenon of global adoption, and adds to conversations around concepts of multiple diasporas and the dispersal of bodies of color for white consumption, under the guise of multiculturalism and philanthropy.
3) to make connections to other adoptee artists working, writing and performing in London for potential transnational artistic collaboration.
Please check out my INDIEGOGO Campaign Here – share it with your folks who you know support writers, who support adoptee artists and who are interested in getting on at the beginning to support the development of my next multi-disciplinary play.
Your contribution goes directly to assist with airfare, room and board for the duration of the workshop and for the week of collaborative artistic meetings post workshop. Your donations also go to the percentages that Indigogo and PayPal take for fees.
Thank you in advance for your support!
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!!