In June, 11 graduates of the 2020 Minority Professional Leadership Development (MPLD) program at AdoptUSKids gathered in Washington, DC, to network with national child welfare leaders, share the findings of their action research projects, and celebrate overcoming the many obstacles to completing the program, including those presented by COVID.
This latest cohort of MPLD fellows hailed from private and public child welfare organizations and researched topics including the importance of generational trauma, transracial adoption, and building kinship connections.
“It was inspiring to be in a room with leaders of color who are bravely addressing challenges facing our child welfare systems and proposing solutions to move the field forward,” said AdoptUSKids National Project Director Bob Herne.
The 16 members of the 2020 cohort officially graduated in January during an online celebration. The June event—a poster session and awards ceremony—was an opportunity for fellows to gather in person and share their work with leaders from the Children’s Bureau and other national child welfare organizations. During the awards ceremony, fellows heard from child welfare leaders including Children’s Bureau Associate Commissioner Aysha E. Schomburg, who shared her own story as a leader of color navigating white spaces and encouraged MPLD fellows to work to create change and lead with courage. MPLD alumna Ligia Cushman also shared her story and words of inspiration during the event.
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