Celebrating a Decade of Dedication: Honoring Avril McInally’s Inspiring Journey with TRJ

by TRJ Executive Director, April Dinwoodie

Honoring Avril McInally

A decade ago, Transracial Journeys (TRJ) was graced by the presence of an exceptional individual, Avril McInally. Her relationship with TRJ has been nothing short of transformative, not only for her family but for our extended family of adoption. As Avril takes her leave from the TRJ Board of Directors, her commitment and contributions will always be remembered.

Avril's journey began when she and her daughter Mary attended their first camp, in northern Pennsylvania. Inspired by their initial camp experience, Avril and Mary became dedicated volunteers, and Mary evolved into a counselor-in-training and Co-Director of Children’s Programming. Avril's other daughter, Maggie, also joined as a camp counselor, solidifying their family's bond through TRJ's unique experiences.

The McInally connection to TRJ has fortified their multiracial family formed through adoption. Through TRJ, they have delved into discussions about adoption, race, racism, family, and trauma. Avril acknowledges the pivotal role that TRJ has played in helping her balance these complex issues. The organization has provided them with a platform to explore and commit to these important matters, fostering a sense of security and solidarity among them.

Avril has witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of TRJ on its counselors, who found a sense of community among their peers. She encourages families with teenage children to consider becoming counselors-in-training, emphasizing the privilege she has experienced in watching counselors she has known since childhood blossom into inspiring leaders.

Avril's journey with TRJ took another significant turn when she joined the board and later became an officer. As the board secretary, she dedicated herself to various tasks, from recording meeting minutes to fundraising, building connections, and helping to organize annual camps. Her contributions extended to creating content for the monthly newsletter and curating an annual bibliography of essential books for families.

While Avril recently retired from her lifelong career as a public librarian and embarked on her small business venture, an exciting opportunity emerged. She was invited to write music for an independent film. Despite her deep sense of honor and curiosity, Avril realized that she couldn't fully commit to the project without relinquishing another responsibility. With a heavy heart, she made the difficult decision to tender her resignation from the TRJ board.

As Avril McInally steps away from her role as board secretary at TRJ, her spirit continues to resonate. Her camaraderie and unwavering dedication have left an indelible mark, and her hope for TRJ's continued growth and success remains. Avril's journey with TRJ serves as an inspiration to all, a testament to the transformative power of commitment and community. Thank you, Avril for the decade of dedication to TRJ. We are deeply grateful and we look forward to our continued connection.