‘I have a dream’ was Dr Martin Luther King’s iconic clarion call speech delivered on August 28th on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial back in 1963 how those words are still sculpting and forging a future especially for transracial adoptees still fighting for justice, inclusion, acceptance and freedom from cultural ignorance that still blights our society today. As we engage in another Black History Month it’s important to not only celebrate the past, but to honour the treasures and wisdoms in the people we do life with, from our work peers to our lifelong pals. All around us new revelations are popping up if we can steady our hearts and listen to the new voices and sounds around us. For Black History Month I was asked to deliver a seminar - Transracial Adoption: A Personal Reflection and I have loved being able to reflect, breathe and look again at my journey.
Transracial Adoption ‘A personal Reflection’ is a brand new 75 minute seminar that aims to shed light not just on the complexities and intricate bonds that make up transracial adoption but explores new revelations, new thinking and new science that can explain some of the issues that myself and other transracial adoptees can face. I wanted to write this short blog to give you some background into the motivation and thinking behind this seminar.
My story: Joy carter
I am a transracial adoptee from Nigeria to the UK arriving into the arms of my new white family against all the odds in a washing up bowl and I’ve hated washing up ever since! Diversity and difference have been my ‘life language’ as I’ve had to overcome bulling, racism at school and in my career, mental health issues and much family loss but my experience has left me with knowledge and wisdom that is only deposited in the long-term endurance training that life delivers.
I am not an expert and I don’t seek to be. I am however a keen learner and hungry to search out truths and share with others. I desire never to never stop learning and developing wisdom, knowledge and understanding because truths are valuable life diamonds that are always worth a ‘glean’.
When we look back at the era that we are living in it could be titled the ‘gold rush of technology’, you can’t even look at your phone without it suggesting an instant upgrade that you never asked for, but we all accept without question knowing that our product will work better, we could look cooler and we feel better connected to stuff! The academic world that we live in is catching up to this fast new era of ‘The New’, so we must give ourselves permission to stop, relearn, recharge and rethink.
Covid was the forced catalyst literally coughed upon us. Change is here and change is now. As a creative person I believe the real truth that we are all born with the ‘creative in gene in us’, during this seminar I give us all permission to go deeper into the nuance of our true creative selves. I have friends who claim they are not 'creatives' this may be true, however doesn't problem solving in any capacity involve getting ‘creative’ and thinking outside of the box? It involves knowledge of the past and the desire of the present to cause the ability to think of a different solution then execute it. Difference involves thinking.
The ‘Covid Reflection’ as I call it, has enabled me during the quiet days over the past 18 months to listen to emerging truths shared with friends and colleagues as we ponder life! There is space for more than one truth to exist at any one time and I think Covid has shown us all that we don't all agree! I’ve learned again the quest for absolute agreement at all times is so limiting, difference is about allowing space for different thinking to exist. Therefore, truths can co-exist together productively and it’s powerful and healthy to be around people who don’t solely agree with me!
I have enjoyed reflecting and reading afresh about some of the great role models from the past from Albert Einstein and Nicolas Tesla to Nelson Mandela and even Joan of Arc! Amazing! I’ve also enjoyed engaging with new role models for me including Gareth Southgate during the Euro’s this year
The wisdom that he spoke concerning diversity and inclusion to the whole world about the importance of unity in sport and society was a truth that opened up the closed window of unity again. I’m not a huge football fan but I was glued to my TV screen as English footballers were forced to fight for the face of their much loved sport to be cleaned up.
Truthfully, we are all responsible to shape better futures for those in our field and we all have a part to play knowing that to turn round a huge ship it only takes a tiny rudder and the desire to chart a new course. I believe that society is seeing turnaround for better outcomes for adoptees on all levels which is brilliant. I'm excited about this new seminar and I'm looking forward to delivering it and meeting you. We will open up new conversations, new pathways into productivity and learning.
We become the change and it starts with love.
‘Brilliant! You are a force of nature and not afraid to question practice truths’
Chukumeka (Chukes) Maxwell
Orchid Community & Associates CIC
Action to Prevent Suicide
‘When talking about impact, outcome, action Joy brings all of this and more! Her passion presented through her lived experience truly energises her audience and captures hearts and minds. Joy is refreshing and compelling and a true champion of how society tackles oppression, and inclusion’
Simon Homes, Principal Social Worker, Community Well Being and Social Care Directorate, Isle of Wight Council
‘Super thought provoking’
Social Work strategy and development officer/principal social worker, Wakefield Rachel Jennings
If you are interested in booking this seminar then please do get in touch simply email firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the rest of Black History Month - learning is always colourful! :-)