The importance of living in a diverse community

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The importance of living in a diverse community

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In America, race is complicated. We like to think that we are a multi-cultural and diverse society. None of us want to be labeled, or think of ourselves, as a racists; most of us. We are not explicitly doing racist things or having racist thoughts. Let's think about how we actually live. Who do you worship with? Who do you eat dinner with? Most of us do that with people who share our race. If we are very honest about it. Those are two very intimate experiences. In our most intimate experiences, most of us are living monoracially. If our families and our children were built across more racial lines aren't; which means that we have some different things to navigate. It doesn't work very well, according to research and according to the vast majority of adoptees of color to live in racially isolating environments. What happens is, those kids grow up and want to leave. I'll tell you, as a parent, the reason I adopted was because I wanted the profound closeness that comes from being a parent and having that relationship. I don't want to live somewhere where my kids don't feel like they can be their authentic self. I don't really think you do either. I know you don't want to hear this, but it is important that you live in an area where cross-racial relationships are possible. Where your child is not an only. We know that, so, yes, it matters. For those of you that live there, I urge you to think about how that is really going to affect your child.

View Beth Hall's video on The importance of living in a diverse community ...

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Beth Hall

Director, Pact - An Adoption Alliance

Beth Hall is an adoption educator who co-founded Pact, An Adoption Alliance, which is a multicultural adoption organization dedicated to addressing essential issues affecting adopted children of color. Pact offers lifelong support and placement services for birth and adoptive families with adopted kids of color. A national speaker, she is also the author of numerous articles and a book, Inside Transracial Adoption, which is filled with personal stories, practical suggestions, and theory, and delivers the message that race matters; racism is alive; and families built transracially can develop strong and binding ties. In 2010 she received the Outstanding Practitioner in Adoption Award, from the Adoption Initiative at St. John's University. She currently serves as a contributing author and advisory board member for “Adoption Clubhouse,” a project promoting positive identity in transracially adopted children for the Evan B. Donaldson Institute for Adoption and as an Advisory Board Member for the On Your Feet Foundation, dedicated to supporting birth mothers of adopted children.Commitment to family is a way of life for Beth. She is the white adoptive mom of two young adults: Sofia, a Latina, and James, an African American. Beth grew up a member of an adoptive family—her sister, Barbara, was adopted. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and sometimes her adult children, when they are home.

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