Raising Black Children Across Racial Lines

Thursday, February 22, 2018
6:00 - 9:00PM
Location: YMCA of Metro Chicago, 1030 W. Van Buren St, Chicago, IL, 60607
$50 per person. Indicate how many people are in your party and click Submit at the bottom. We’ll capture your payment information on the next screen. Parking: There is limited parking available behind the YMCA and typically, ample street parking nearby.

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6:00 - 7:00 PM Cocktail Reception | 7:00 - 9:00 Program

At The Cradle, it is a priority of ours to address the needs of all of the families we serve. On Thursday, February 22, we are pleased to offer the latest roundtable in The Cradle’s ongoing Our Children initiative: “Raising Black Children Across Racial Lines.”

Join us as we hear the experiences and perspectives of both adult adoptees and adoptive parents. We will explore an array of topics, such as race, racism and privilege, and the types of conversations that are taking place in transracial adoptive homes.

The adult adoptees on the panel, all of whom are Black or biracial and were adopted by white parents, will talk about their personal experiences growing up and share some of the things they wish their parents had done differently.  

Our adoptive parent panelists will discuss what factors went into their decisions to adopt across racial lines, and what awareness and sensitivities they’ve gained through parenting Black children.

Attendees will have a chance to engage with panelists during a Q&A session following the roundtable.

Our panelists for the evening will be:

Anna Bonick earned her BS in Nursing from Rush University and worked as a labor and delivery RN for over 12 years. Shifting gears, in 2017 she completed a training program through Doula Trainings International. Anna founded It Takes A Village Birth + Family Support LLC, a doula partnership serving the greater Chicagoland area, and created We Are Your Village, a peer-based new parents support group in Oak Park where she lives. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Mike, for 17 years. They have a son by birth, Ben (12), a daughter they lost at birth, Sarah, and a daughter, Elise (6), who they adopted through The Cradle’s Sayers Center in 2011.

Ryan Liebl and his wife Katherine are the parents of four African American children, Matthew (12), Olivia (9), Levi (5) and William (1), adopted through The Cradle’s Sayers Center. The couple met in Innsbruck, Austria, where Ryan spent a year as part of his undergraduate studies. Following graduation, Ryan and Katherine spent three more years in Europe. He was on active duty in the United States Army for four years prior to attending law school in Chicago. Ryan is an Employment & Benefits partner with Mayer Brown LLP in the Loop. The Liebl family lives in Oak Park.

Hannah Moor’s connection to adoption is twofold: She is a transracially adopted person as well as a Cradle birth mom. A lifelong resident of Evanston, Hannah is a hair stylist and the mother of a four-year-old son. She will share her candid feelings about growing up as a biracial person in a Caucasian family, and offer parents who are looking to adopt transracially her thoughts on what they can do as a family to prepare. Hannah resides in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood with her son Dorian (4).

Scott Smith is a biracial/transracial adoptee who was born in St. Joseph, Michigan and raised in Matteson, Illinois. He has a degree in Political Science from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and served in the military as a US Paratrooper. Scott works as an independent IT migration specialist and volunteers his time to different non-profits and equality advocate groups. He has also worked within the adoption community for almost 20 years, leading classes and panels on a variety of adoption topics and presenting at adoptee and culture camps. Scott lives in Chicago and has a 17-year-old daughter who dreams of becoming a humanitarian advocate.

Karen Thomas holds a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Southern Illinois and teaches 3rd grade at Hatch Elementary School in Oak Park. She has helped create reading and writing curriculum for the district, trained teachers and served on the diversity council. She is currently serving on District 97’s Ad Hoc committee to ensure that policies are equitable. As a biracial and transracial adoptee who strives to understand her place in the world, Karen has also researched racial identity and colorism in America and led conversations around racial identity development and adoption.

Our moderator:

Yael Mayer is a member of The Cradle Associates Board. She completed her BA at Carleton College in Northfield, MN and is a Certified Research Administrator (CRA). She has worked in the field of research administration for the past eight years and is the Research Administrator for Northwestern University’s Center for Synthetic Biology. Yael was transracially adopted at three months old from foster care.

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