Our Children Initiative
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About Our Children | Upcoming Webinars | Past Webinars | Support Our Children Initiative | Our Children Donors | Our Children in The Media

About Our Children: An Education and Empowerment Series

Our Children is a series of programs and events aimed at educating families about the realities and injustices their children may experience in societal interactions. This series addresses topics that are important for all parents, family members and community members. The goal of this series is to learn from parents who are willing to share their experiences and to offer other parents tools they need to successfully communicate about and navigate through these difficult societal dynamics. Our children deserve nothing less.

While the genesis of Our Children was about addressing the needs and concerns of African American and transracial adoptive families, this program has since placed The Cradle into larger conversations happening all across America. Our Children has allowed us to touch so many more individuals through engaging in dialogues around the issues that are most important to them. 

As we celebrate The Cradle’s 99th anniversary, we continue to engage families in difficult discussions to help them understand and communicate in positive and productive ways.

Upcoming Webinars

Join us at two live Our Children Education and Empowerment Series webinars about diversity, inclusion and belonging. This is your chance to have authentic conversations about how difference, race, and privilege shapes our experience. Let's work together to create a culture of inclusion and acceptance in our communities.

LGBTQ Children and Families

Join our panel in talking openly about topics affecting LGBTQ families, including parenting children within an LGBTQ family, acknowledging a child's gender identity, and more. There will also be an opportunity to learn how a parent's acceptance of a child's sexual orientation can positively impact the child's growth and future relationships. 1.5 CEUs available.* 

* Illinois and Indiana Residents: Each of the webinars in this series is eligible for 1.5 CEUs in Cultural Competency for live attendees.

Past Webinars

Asian Child White Parent Revisited
May 19, 2022 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. CST

In 2021, we began a conversation about Asian children growing up in transracial households. Now join our panel of Asian-American adults in another thought-provoking conversation around cultural histories, handling Asian discrimination and stereotypes, and whether or not progress has been made will be discussed. NOTE: You do NOT have to have attended the 2021 webinar to attend. 1.5 CEUs available.* Register

View Asian Child White Parent Revisited Resources


⬤  Ryan Whitacre, Partner and the Chicago Office Lead at Bridge Partners


⬤  ​JD Glienna, Founder and Cohost of Adoptee Kwento Kwento (AKK)

​⬤  Cosette Eisenhauer, Co-founder of @navigating_adoption

⬤  ​Jhorna Hochstedler, Spiritual and Transformational Coach

⬤  Elizabeth Jacobs, Director of The Stolen Children Film


Representation Matters: Affirming Girls of Color
February 17, 2022 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. CST

Be a part of the discussion on mainstream beauty standards and its effect on identity and self-esteem and learn more about the movement to embrace more inclusive standards. Join women of color and transracial adoptees as they discuss The Crown Act, colorism, building confidence in girls of color, and diverse representation in media and beyond. 1.5 CEUs available.*

Resource List


Iisha Scott, NBC Chicago Meteorologist


⬤  Ivey Smith, Owner of My Skin is In

⬤  Dr. Brooke Jackson, Certified Dermatologist, Author and DrBrookeDerm.com

⬤  Kelly Fair, Founder and Executive Director of Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program

⬤  Amanda McKinstry, Transracial Adoptee and Creator of blackgirlwhitefamily.com

Meet and Hear from the Panelists - What is #BlackGirlMagic?


Black Children & Mental Health Webinar






There is such a stigma around mental health in the Black community. Partly because of the lack of knowledge and access to resources. There are also fears about the healthcare systems and the mistrust that lives in our community. And if we can be honest, rightfully so.

But those stigmas, fears and doubts blind us to the increasing rates of anxiety, depression and suicide for African American children and teens that have been on the rise for the last few years.

Join us as we discuss Black Children and Mental Health. Our panelists of therapists and parents are going to discuss the stigma that exists around mental health and why the rate of Black families seeking mental health care and treatment is much lower than White families.

We will talk about why mental health services should be designed with cultural and social nuances in mind. And the upward trend in mental health needs as Covid-19 has interrupted the lives of so many kids and limited their social activities.
Finally, we will discuss the myths about suicide in the Black community and why Black Youth are less likely than other youth to disclose thoughts of suicide.

Meet the Panelists

Black Children & Mental Health - Helpful Resources


Asian Child | White Parent Webinar

This discussions will touch on the type of conversations parents are having with their Asian children at home around culture, abandonment, homeland visits and more. With a panel of adoptive parents and adult adoptees, we are going to dive into some very real, often uncomfortable issues affecting Asian children with White parents.

We will also talk about the prejudice and significant rise in racism toward Asians since the start of Covid-19. Finally, we will discuss the identity loss that Asian children with White parents may experience.


The 2020 Our Children 6-Webinar Series:

The dates of the Live Webinars have passed. Each webinar is now available on-demand through Adoption Learning Partners

Raising Black Boys Revisited 2020

We are bringing together a panel of African American parents to talk about the challenges of raising a Black boy in 2020. The panelists will discuss the conversations they are having with their sons around the Black Lives Matter Movement and protests happening around the world. We will share how they explain the incidents of violence and racial tension in the news each day and how these conversations shape our young boys as they transition to adulthood. We will talk about everyday fears they have for their sons’ safety and what they tell their sons to ensure that they get home safely. 

From Black Boys to Black Men (And the Fear that Brings) 
We will bring together a panel of Generation Z and Millennial males to discuss their transition from a young boy to a young man and the fear that brings to many people. The panelists will share experiences from when they first realized that they were viewed differently than their White counterparts. They will share their fears and the things that Black boys and young men must be mindful of as they go through life at school or hanging out with friends.

Can You Hear Me Now? Black Adults Speak!
Panelists will discuss the changing demographics on the front lines of support for the equality of African Americans. Additionally, panelists will share their thoughts on the recent acknowledgment of Juneteenth, the pros and cons of defunding the police, and Black men who are re-considering a career in law enforcement because of what is happening today. 

Raising Black Girls 2020
On October 29, 2020, we are bringing together a panel of parents to discuss issues prevalent to Black girls. Many of the challenges faced by Black boys are very similar to those Black girls face but are not often discussed. Following up on the first Raising Black Girls Roundtable and webinar from 2017, we will continue the open and honest dialogue around the realities Black girls face and the added layers in parenting that comes with raising a Black girl today.

The Color of Education 2020
Panelists will share their perspectives regarding some major challenges facing Black children in schools such as: the lack of culturally competent teachers, the disparities in suspension rates for Black students compared to White students, and how our recent shift to remote learning has failed Black students in urban areas. We will also discuss effective strategies parents can use to set their child up for success in school and what parents can do to ensure that teachers are setting appropriate expectations for their children. DOWNLOAD RESOURCES

Black Child | White Parent (What You Need to Know) 
We will discuss how White parents’ privilege can extend to their child when they are together, but when alone, the privilege is gone for their child. We will talk about what parents are doing to connect to their child’s culture and community and if they have significant relationships with adults within their child’s racial/ethnic groups. Finally, how parents respond to people who say “race is a non-issue”, “we don’t see color in this house” or “race doesn’t matter and all you need is love”.


Sponsorship Opportunities

The Cradle has developed an exciting range of sponsorship opportunities for this series. 

Sponsorship Opportunities | Sponsorship Level Information

For more information, please contact Simone Wheeler,V.P. of Development

Thank You to Our Generous Donors

Many thanks to our education and outreach sponsors for supporting the Our Children webinar series.

Phyllis S. Thomas and Alan S. Curtis










Rothschild Investment Corporation
Goldman Sachs Chicago Private Wealth Management (PWM)

Bentley’s Pet Stuff
First Bank of Highland Park
The Horton Group
Jerry & Kathy Biederman
Perkins Coie LLP
Michelle & Corey Harris

Talita & Neil Erickson

Our Children in the Media

The Cradle and a Cradle family were featured on CBS Chicago evening news, talking about transracial parenting and the Our Children Initiative. October 5, 2016.