TRJ Announces Hannah Jackson Matthews M.S. Ed as a Featured Speaker for 2022

Transracial Journeys is pleased to announce Hannah Jackson Matthews, M.S. Ed., as a featured presenter for Family Camp 2022, August 4-7th. Hannah will be sharing her experiences and expertise helping us to better understand the importance of connections to family and culture of origin as well as how to navigate racism. As a writer, an educator, a speaker and a transracial adoptees champion, Hannah has made it her mission to advocate for the needs of transracial adoptees. Matthews, a transracial adoptee herself, offers invaluable insight, experience and passion as she works to support transracial adoptees by helping to shift the responsibility of facing the realities of racism from the adoptee to their adoptive parents.

 

More About Hannah

Without the racial literacy necessary to navigate racism, the endless song playing in her childhood mind was "I don't belong".

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a white birth mother and Black birth father, Hannah Jackson Matthews, M.S. Ed. was adopted privately and domestically adopted. The Jacksons eagerly brought home their last baby and only baby girl and raised her in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Matthews enjoyed romping around her suburban neighborhood with her older brothers. And despite the simple joys of childhood, it seemed her joys were often being interrupted by the bias and discrimination of others.

In a town comprised of not even one percent of people who shared Matthews' brown skin and curly hair, she didn't know how to navigate these painful experiences. Deeply lonely and insecure, she longingly searched for if and where she belonged.

Her journey seeking what was missing continued on for years. In those years, Matthews found solace in the croon of Ella Fitzgerald, the flowing poetry of Q-Tip, the prose of Audre Lorde. She found beautiful friendships within my racial community. She found love with a beautiful Black man and in their two incredible children.

Ultimately, with all of the help of those previously listed, and many more, she found herself. She discovered that in many ways, she was what she was missing. Today Matthews works tirelessly to support transracial adoptees as they find all the magic that they are, too.

 

More About Transracial Journeys

Transracial Journeys is a social and educational organization designed to provide practical tools and support for families experiencing transracial adoption.  Our goals include:

  • Building community and promoting racial justice and equity
  • Developing healthy racial identity for all members of the family
  • Encouraging greater cultural competence for parents
  • Fostering a deeper understanding of core issues of adoption

To learn more about our flagship event, Transracial Journeys Family Camp, go to our Family Camp page and check out our schedule of events. If you would like to be notified as future camp details become available, please make sure to sign-up for our monthly newsletter by using the subscribe feature on the bottom of this page..


Book Corner: My Seven Black Fathers

My Seven Black Fathers:

A Young Activist’s Memoir
Of Race, Family, and the
Mentors Who Made
Him Whole

By Will Jawando

 

Recommended books for white mother of black son

Will Jawando is a civil rights lawyer, an activist, and a loving husband and father of four. Currently a councilmember in Montgomery County, Maryland, he has worked for Nancy Pelosi, Sherrod Brown, and Barack Obama. My Seven Black Fathers is the story of how Will grew from a young boy with a white mother and an absent father to a successful adult. In his book, Will celebrates the Black men who stepped up to provide guidance and support – from a fourth grade teacher to the President of the United States. My Seven Black Fathers is an enjoyable, inspiring, and hopeful read.

The book is also a call to action. The author encourages Black men to become mentors, and encourages white people to “relearn and retell the story of Black men in this country and in turn help to shape a new story about who America is… help enable mentoring relationships between Black men and boys…” Will Jawando is “…working for a future that’s less like the past, a future where race and gender are less predictive of our outcomes, especially those of Black boys.”

Book Recommendations for Families Created in Transracial Adoption

Our Transracial Journeys families regularly seek out books to share with their children and to read for themselves, as white parents of black children. We are fortunate to have a resource in the Transracial Journey's Board of Direcors Secretary, Avril McInally. With a Master of Library Science from Kent State University and over 35 years as a public librarian, Avril and her colleague, Vicki Richards, collaborate to curate phenomenal book recommendations for our children and parents.   The Book Corner is a regular feature in our Transracial Journeys monthly newsletters. If you would like to receive monthly book recommendations via email, please subscribe.