920-373-0192

UMOJA 2021 Presenters


Dr. Darron Smith

Dr. Darron Smith is an African American scholar, author and blogger. His research and scholarly writing focuses on social injustices impacting African Americans and trans-racial adoptive families.

Krista Woods MSW,LCSW

Krista Woods is a clinical social worker/therapist who is also a black transracial adoptee. She will be working with both the adults and teenagers.

Past Presenters


Darron Smith is an African American scholar, author and blogger. His research and scholarly writing focuses on social injustices impacting African Americans and trans-racial adoptive families in the US.

Baba Tony and Kucha Brownlee are a dynamic storytelling duo that combine their experiences to weave a rich tapestry of African American folktales, proverbs, and dialect.

Susan Harris O’Connor is a pioneer and national leading voice on transracial adoption. Her groundbreaking autobiographical narratives are compiled in The Harris Narratives: An Introspective Study of a Transracial Adoptee.

Rhonda Rhoorda is the coauthor of multiple books on transracial adoption including the In Their Own Voices series. She is also an advisor to the TV show This Is Us.

John Raible is one of the adult adoptees featured in the documentary film Struggle for Identity: Issues in Transracial Adoption. He was a returning cast member for the award-winning 2007 Struggle for Identity: 10 Years Later.

Chad Goller Sojourner’s personal and professional insights on transracial families have been featured by various media, where his story “Growing Up ‘White,’ Transracial Adoptee Learned To Be Black.”

Lisa Marie Rollins is the founder and Executive Director of AFAAD (Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora). Lisa has been featured on CNN, NPR and has been featured in many articles on race and adoption

Ms. Angela Tucker is a transracial adoptee and the subject of the documentary, Closure. She uses her personal story to educate others and encourage stimulating and transformative conversation

Keith L. Brown is named a “World Class Speaker” and one of the top speakers and consultants in Education by “Insight Publishing.” Keith empowers hundreds of thousands of people annually. He is turning the impossibilities into “I’M POSSIBILITIES.”

Shannon Gibney is a writer, educator, activist, and the author of See No Color (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), a young adult novel featuring themes of transracial adoption that won the 2016 MN Book Award in Young Peoples’ Literature.

Stacey Letrice Smith is a performer, choreographer, instructor, and dance/movement therapist with over 20 years of experience in the field of dance.

Judith Craig has worked in child welfare, fostering, private adoption, developed/facilitated workshops for adoptive parents and professionals and has been a keynote speaker at numerous events focused on adoption.

Edna Bland is a puppeteer, certified educator, teaching artist, and arts integration specialist has dedicated her life to helping people discover their gifts and talents in the area of theatre arts. Edna is known to be one of the only African-American female puppeteers in America.

Mr. Bresean Jenkins is an arts administrator, educator and teaching artist known for his admirable skills in directing, program development, costume/fashion design and teaching. He helps children explore what it means to be black through art.

Michelle M. Hughes is a lawyer skilled in adoption, negotiation, diversity training and cultural competency. In addition to the practice of law, a regular speaker and facilitator of cultural competency and diversity training at conferences, camps, and company programs.

Ty & Leslie Lewis are co-founders of Educationally Speaking Center for Learning, Inc., in Atlanta, GA. Together they are educators who empower youth to work towards their greatest potential.

Beth Hall is a nationally acclaimed author, speaker, and adoption educator and, co-founder Pact. She is also the author of numerous articles and a book, Inside Transracial Adoption.

Mariama Lockington is an author, nonprofit educator, and transracial adoptee who calls many places home. Her debut middle grade novel FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is out now

Lawrence Binkey Tolefree sings, writes and recites poetry, freestyles, writes plays and skits, acts and hosts open mic sets all over the world.

Dr. Veronica Warren has over 23 years of experience working with children in foster care children, many of whom who were adopted or placed in relative placements.

James Gavin is the Creative Director of the First Wave Hip Hop & Urban Arts Scholarship Program at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Marguerite Parks work centers on issues of power, privilege, and oppression with a particular emphasis on the incorporation of quality literature in K-12 classrooms.

Ina Onillu caters to the teaching and showcasing of west African drum and dance.

Top