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November 14, 2020

Free Online Summit

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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!

Speakers

Meet Our Speakers

Dr. Christine Beliard
Dr. Christine Beliard

Adoptive Parent

“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.”

David Beliard
David Beliard

Adoptive Parent

“What I want people to know about adoption or foster care is that black men do foster and adopt.”

Matthew Charles
Matthew Charles

Adoptee

“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.”

Valarie Chavis
Valarie Chavis

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.”

Denise Cliatt
Denise Cliatt

Adoptive Parent

“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
Dr. Samantha Coleman

Adoptee

“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.”

Courtney Cook
Courtney Cook

Birth Parent

“I want people to know adoption can be a viable and healthy option that requires communication, respect, and ongoing education.”

Stacey Gatlin
Stacey Gatlin

Adoptive Parent & Yes We Adopt, Founder

Dr. Antonio Graham
Dr. Antonio Graham

Adoptee & Adoptive Parent

“Adoption can be the most beautiful thing in your life.”

Tonya  Graham
Tonya Graham

Adoptive Parent

“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.”

Shanyce Henley
Shanyce Henley

Birth Parent

“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
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.”

Aaron Johnson
Aaron Johnson

Adoptive Parent

“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.”

Pascale Lafontant
Pascale Lafontant

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.”

Malaika  Parker
Malaika Parker

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
Dr. Randal Pinkett

Foster Parent

“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
Dr. Jeffrey Robinson

Adoptive Parent

“What I want people to know is that adoption has many rewards, but also many challenges.”

Darren Smith
Darren Smith

Adoptive Parent

“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.”

Dwight Smith
Dwight Smith

Adoptee

“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!”

Tina Still
Tina Still

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.”

Chana Timms
Chana Timms

Birth Parent

“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.
Grace abounds!”

La Shonda Tyree
La Shonda Tyree

Adoptee

“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
Sandria M. Washington

Adoptee

“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.”

Event Schedule

November 14, 2020
10:30 AM – 4:30 PM EST

10:30 am EST
Summit Networking

Meet & Greet

Join the summit early for a time to network and meet the village.

11:00 am EST
Opening Remarks

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

Dr. Pinkett will share the seven key lessons he has learned along his fatherhood journey with three children and our responsibility to care for the one village.
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
Closing Remarks

Speaker: Stacey Gatlin

 

What’s next?

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