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AdopteeBridge Panel: Adoptees as Immigrants and Adoptee Citizenship Act
November 12, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm EST
Do transnational adoptees identify as immigrants? Or, do we mainly feel “American” (or citizens to the countries where we were adopted?) This Who We Are panel will first have a presentation of Emma Wexler’s Honors Thesis, Invisible Immigrants: The Politics of Transnational/racial Asian American Adoptees, followed by members of Adoptees for Justice who will discuss the importance of the Adoptee Citizenship Act.
**Open to adoptees, adoptive family members, adoption professionals, and general public
A.J. Bryant – A.J, is a transracial adoptee from Kerala, India, and the eldest of three adopted Indian children in his family. Raised in both Wisconsin and New Jersey, he has called Washington, D.C. home since 2005. AJ is the author of ‘WordCitizensblog.com, his personal blog since 2009, and is an adoption writer and speaker, bringing a unique perspective on identity, culture and family as a male, Indian adoptee. AJ has been fighting for adoptee citizenship since 2014 and is a member of Adoptees for Justice. He is the father of four-year old Sonali and 15-month Valentine and his wife, Sasmita, was his former translator whom he met when he volunteered with an Indian NGO in 2011.
Anissa Druesedow—Anissa is an activist, mother, and American adoptee without citizenship. Adopted from Panama by an American military family, Anissa was deported in 2006 when her daughter, Vanessa, was only 12 years old. She is fighting for the Adoptee Citizenship Act from Panama, and shares her story in order to educate others about the issues faced by adoptees without citizenship. Anissa co-leads the Adoptees for Justice Impacted Adoptee Committee and is a member of the A4J Board of Directors.
Emma Wexler—Emma (she/her) is a transnational transracial Asian American adoptee who is passionate about medicine, social justice and advocacy, and the adoptee community. She was adopted in 1998 from northern Vietnam by a single mom and raised in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. A recent graduate in Ethnic Studies from Brown University, Emma currently serves as the Outreach & Communications Coordinator of Adoptees for Justice and will attend the Alpert Medical School in Fall 2021.
Mia Ives-Rublee– Mia is a Korean American Disabled Transracial Adoptee who grew up in Greensboro, NC and graduated with a Masters in Social Work from UNC at Chapel Hill. She worked as a vocational counselor for the NC Department of Health and Human Services in Chapel Hill, but left to go into community organizing after becoming frustrated with state and federal policies that kept community members disenfranchised. She organized in DC with the Women’s March, Families Belong Together, the March on Climate Change, DC Action Lab, Adoptees for Justice, and numerous other organizations. Her work with these organizations included accessibility and policy reviews, Disability Inclusion toolkit creation, ADA event planning, ADA event management, and public speaking. In 2019, Mia returned to NC to work on the Elizabeth Warren Campaign for President. As a public speaker, Mia advocates on the national stage for the rights of Disabled people and immigrants. She currently works as a Field Director for Down Home NC, working on electing member endorsed candidates in Rural NC. She also works on the side as an independent consultant around accessibility and disability inclusion and public speaking.
Olivia Pearl—Olivia (she/hers) is a Russian transnational and transracial adoptee. She is employed as the NYC Junior Organizer at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), where she builds power with Asian and Pacific Islander women, trans+, and nonbinary folks around the issues of economic, immigrant, and reproductive justice. She leads the efforts on the Health Equity and Access Under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act of 2019 (H.R. 4701) campaign in New York. She is also a member at Adoptees for Justice. She serves on the Fundraising Committee, Digital Communications and Outreach Committee, and is part of the onboarding team; she supported the 2019 Adoptee Citizenship Act resolution in NYC that has been introduced at the city level.
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