March 24, 2023 

Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Through a Critical Race Lens

Dr. Zea Malawa will explore the history and value of recognizing the impact of ACEs on parent’s and children’s well-being. She will explore the way systemic racism impacts these factors in a call to all of us to change the systems that relegate Black and Brown children, their families and communities to be pathologized instead of being seen as strong resources worthy of support. Learn what we know about the resilience features that can be encouraged in children in order to support their long term health, particularly those who may be subject to child welfare interventions and the family disruption that occurs in adoption.

Dr.-Zea-Malawa-smZea Malawa is a Black mother, pediatrician and public health professional committed to improving health outcomes for children of color. Upon completing her undergraduate degree at Columbia University, she earned a medical doctorate from UCLA and a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley. Currently, Dr. Malawa is the director of Expecting Justice, a public health program that uses systems change and justice-oriented approaches to close the racial gap in birth outcomes; she also sees patients at Mission Neighborhood Health Center in San Francisco, teaches anti-racism at UC Berkeley, and is the Vice Chair of San Francisco’s First 5 Commission.

March 25, 2023

Adoption is More than an Event: Supporting Adoptees Throughout Their Lives 

Adoption is seen as an intervention for children, but what happens when the adoptee becomes an adult and embarks on a process of personal reflection and identity development? Many adoptees describe the process of becoming more aware of the complexities of adoption as “coming out of the fog.” In this keynote, Drs. Susan Branco and JaeRan Kim will discuss adoption-related issues and concerns many adoptees have as adults. Their framework, the Adoptee Consciousness Model, advocates for a long-term lens on adoption and presents adoptee-centric considerations for those working with, or connected to, adoptees.

JaeRan_Kim-smJaeRan Kim is an Associate Professor at University of Washington Tacoma. She has over 15 years of experience working with foster and adopted children and families and has developed numerous training curricula for child welfare professionals. Dr. Kim’s research is focused on adoption, particularly looking at issues of disabilities, race, and transnational experiences on post-adoption stability and adoptee well-being. Dr. Kim also researches the intersection of disability and social work, and explores the preparation and training of professional social workers. Dr. Kim was adopted from South Korea and is the author of the blog Harlow’s Monkey which explores transracial and transnational adoption from the adoptee perspective).

Susan-Branco-smSusan Branco, PhD, LPC (VA), LCPC (MD), NCC, ACS, BC- TMH, (she/her/ella), is a transracial and transnational adoptee from Colombia, South America. She is an advocate for increased adoption related research and training within counselor education and is passionate about improving mental health outcomes for transracially adopted persons. For fourteen years she maintained an independent clinical practice specializing in working with persons connected to adoption and foster care. Dr. Branco is a practicing counselor, clinical supervisor, and a tenure track Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education program at St. Bonaventure University. She has multiple peer-reviewed publications related to transracial adoption and clinical training and supervision practices for BIPOC counselors.