About The Summit
Yes We Adopt is proud to present the Yes We Adopt: Black Voices Amplified Summit. This virtual Summit will be held on Saturday, November 14, 2020, 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM EST. The Summit was created to amplify diverse Black voices touched by adoption or foster care. As the African Proverb states “It takes a village to raise a child,” the intent of this virtual event is to enlighten, elevate, and empower the community we call the “village.” In recognition of National Adoption Awareness Month (NAAM), this event is for adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, foster parents, hopeful adoptive/foster parents, as well as adoption and foster care professionals.
We recognize there are various schools of thought on adoption and foster care, however, this Summit will highlight the unique stories of individuals and families who have been touched by either process. The Summit will also include resources for individuals and families considering expanding their family through adoption or foster care.
Too often we see adoption stories in the news and media about non-BIPOC families as saviors, sunshine, and rainbows, however, when Black stories are featured, they are negative stories about foster care. The Summit is here to rewrite the narrative. Yes, we adopt with many positive outcomes!
Meet Our Speakers
Dr. Christine Beliard
“What I want people to know about adoption or foster care is that it is complex and we need spaces to process the varying layers.”
“What I want people to know about adoption or foster care is that black men do foster and adopt.”
“What I want people to know about adoption and foster care is it can be a wonderful blessing to the child. However, it also requires the adoptive parents to offer more than love – they need advocacy and to process.”
Adoptive Parent & Professional
“What I want people to know about adoption and foster care is that parenting through adoption is lifechanging for parents and children. It requires the best of who we are and stretches us in ways that we didn’t know were possible.”
“What I want people to know about adoption or foster care is that it’s a great way to create a family. Foster care and adoption have changed my life.”
Dr. Samantha Coleman
“What I want people to know about Black Adoption is that it is a journey of self-discovery, transparency, and an unapologetic search for one’s truth.”
“I want people to know adoption can be a viable and healthy option that requires communication, respect, and ongoing education.”
Adoptive Parent & Yes We Adopt, Founder
Dr. Antonio Graham
Adoptee & Adoptive Parent
“Adoption can be the most beautiful thing in your life.”
“What I want people to know about adoption or foster care is that at times the journey can seem difficult but it is worth it.”
“What I want people to know about the adoption process is that no two stories are the same. There are a lot of initial bias that are proven false.”
Michelle M. Hughes
Adoptive Parent & Professional
“What I want people to know about adoption or foster care is adoption is comprised of emotional, familial, and legal relationships. It’s important to hire ethical and experienced adoption professionals.”
“What I want people to know about adoption or foster care is that there is a need for more black families to adopt black children.”
Adoptive Parent & Advocate
“What I want people to know about adoption or foster care is that adopting is parenting – requires patience, and many times placing your children’s needs above your own.”
Adoptive Parent & Professional
“Adoption can be full of joy and love but is also rooted in loss and trauma. We have work to do!”
Dr. Randal Pinkett
“What I want people to know about adoption or foster care is that you receive far more than you could ever give or imagine. It is an honor and blessing.”
Dr. Jeffrey Robinson
“What I want people to know is that adoption has many rewards, but also many challenges.”
“What I want people to know about adoption or foster care is that adoption is beautiful and being an adoptive dad is an honor, privilege, and a huge responsibility.”
“The adoptee experience is constantly dynamic – the journey never ends. There are more questions than answers. Center impact, not intent. When in doubt, ask adoptees / foster youth & alum!”
Adoptive Parent & Foster Parent
“Adoption/Fostering is a labor of love for everyone involved. People will often say that I saved them but in reality they saved me.”
“What I want people to know about adoption is being the birth mom, things are not always as they appear. There are many layers, adoption affects many lives.
La Shonda Tyree
“What I want people to know about adoption and foster care is that more open discussion needs to be had. It’s not a dark secret but a blessing for all. All children need to be loved in a happy healthy home.”
Sandria M. Washington
“What I want people to know about adoption or foster care is that adoption isn’t a one-time event. Adoption is a journey over a lifetime for everyone involved.”
November 14, 2020
10:30 AM – 4:30 PM EST
10:30 am EST
Meet & Greet
Join the summit early for a time to network and meet the village.
11:00 am EST
Speaker: Stacey Gatlin, Founder, Yes We Adopt
Welcome to the Black Voices Amplified Summit!
11:15 am EST
Keynote: “7 Lessons, 3 Children, 1 Village”
Speaker: Dr. Randal Pinkett
11:30 am EST
Pathways to Parenthood
Moderator: Denise Cliatt
Panelists: Michelle Hughes, Pascale Lafontant, Malaika Parker, and Tina Still
A discussion with parents on their adoption journey, the path they chose, and insights to consider around adoption, policy, & recruitment of Black families.
12:20 PM EST
Black Dads Speak
Moderator: Dr. Antonio Graham
Panelists: Dr Jeffrey Robinson, David Beliard, Aaron Johnson, and Darren Smith
A rare discussion with Black dads on their adoption and foster experience and debunking myths that Black men don’t care for children.
1:10 PM EST
Birth Moms: Women of Worth
Moderator: Tonya Graham
Panelists: Courtney Cook, Shanyce Henley and Chana Timms
An intimate conversation with birth moms on sacrificial love, grace and healing.
2:00 PM EST
Break: Virtual Networking & Marketplace
No Session At This Time
Break for some virtual networking! Catch up with your network or forge new connections. Visit the marketplace.
2:30 PM EST
Adoptees: In Their Voices
Moderator: Dr. Christine Beliard
Panelists: Sandria Washington, Dwight Smith, and LaShonda Tyree
Listen and honor adoptee voices to understand the joy & pain of the adoption experience and how you can make a difference.
3:20 PM EST
Amplifying Our Voices
Moderator: Stacey Gatlin
Panelists: Michelle Hughes, Valerie Chavis, and Dr. Samantha Coleman
Let’s talk about it! The importance of amplifying our voice to uproot the secrecy, stigma and shame associated with adoption and foster care.
4:10 PM EST
Speaker: Stacey Gatlin