**This is a recording of our We the Experts Ally event held on February 19, 2022.**
We are so excited for the first 2022 edition of We the Experts: Adoptee Ally Speaker Series!
Join us as we listen and learn from these remarkable panelists who will share their experiences of being raised by their parents who are also adoptees. This discussion is for anyone who is wanting to explore the complexities of raising our children with a healthy sense of their racial identity.
So many of us transracial/interracial adoptees have had little to no role models and are often exploring our own racial and cultural identities alongside our children. This panel will explore how adoption has a generational impact!
Megan Hammerschmidt (she/her) is the daughter of a Korean adoptee. Megan is a current Social Innovation and Sustainability graduate student at Goddard College with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from California State University San Marcos. Her graduate work focuses on environmental justice and the connections between Asian identity and environmentalism. Megan enjoys drinking coffee, exploring new places, snowboarding and playing with her mini aussie pup. Megan is excited to connect with other children of adoptees!
Joseph M. Pierce (he/him), a Cherokee Nation citizen, is Associate Professor at Stony Brook University and author of Argentine Intimacies: Queer Kinship in an Age of Splendor, 1890-1910 (SUNY Press, 2019); co-editor of Políticas del amor: Derechos sexuales y escrituras disidentes en el Cono Sur (Cuarto Propio, 2018) and the 2021 special issue of GLQ, “Queer/Cuir Américas: Translation, Decoloniality, and the Incommensurable.” Along with S.J. Norman (Koori of Wiradjuri descent) he is co-curator of the performance series Knowledge of Wounds. His father, Randall Pierce, is an adoptee. Joseph is excited for this panel because making community through storytelling is literally his favorite thing.
Christian Alexander Harvey (he/him) is an Asian American college student currently attending the University of Utah. He studies musical theatre and is also a full time drag performer in the Salt Lake City area. (Hoe Shi Minh). He is the child of a Vietnamese/Chinese adoptee, and is very excited to be on the panel for y’all today. Christian is honored to be a part of this panel because he thinks it is time to acknowledge the race dysphoria that can often come with adoption. Instagram: @Christianharveyx || Drag Instagram: @hoeshiminh
Maya Castro Dabbeni (she/her) is a first-gen U.S. citizen. She is biracial; Latina and white. Growing up, Maya has been very involved in the world of adoption because her mother is a Colombian Adoptee. She is white presenting and she has struggled to connect to her Colombian culture and roots. Maya speaks Spanish fluently and communicates with her maternal birth family in Colombia. Now, as a young adult, she strives to connect and learn about the parts of her and her mother’s culture that were taken from them. Maya is excited to be on this panel because she feels it is valuable to share the unique experiences she’s had as an adult child of an adoptee.
Alternative panelist: Jacqueline Fitzgerald, M.Ed. (she/her) is an embodied equity coach, healer, educator, facilitator, writer and musician. Over the last several years, her personal healing journey has brought her to a deeper sense of collective belonging after spending most of her life longing for a connection to her roots. Her father was adopted from South Korea to white parents living in Oregon and she has recently reunited with Puerto Rican family from her biological grandfather’s lineage. Jacque believes healing generational trauma brings our ancestors closer to us, guiding us towards a resilient future held in love. Jacque is excited to be on this panel because it is not everyday we have an opportunity to be witnessed and reflected in stories of second generation adoptees.