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Thank you for considering these speakers and authors for your next event.


Melanie Chung-Sherman has worked in the field of child welfare since 1999 and is the founder and owner of a private practice in Allen, Texas. She speaks locally, state-wide, nationally, and internationally on issues impacting vulnerable children and families. It is her firm belief that it is never too late to make a difference in the lives of others.



April Curtis is one of the co-founders of the Illinois Chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America, which focuses on connecting alumni through community events, as well as advocating to improve the foster care system. 

April Curtis


Chad Goller-Sojourner is an adult transracial adoptee, educator, coach, and author of the forthcoming book From Lutefisk and Lefse to Cornbread and Collards: Narratives, Essays, and Interactive Exercises in Transracial Adoption. His personal and professional insights on transracial families have been featured by various media, including Time Magazine and NPR’s Weekend Edition, where his story “Growing Up ‘White,’ Transracial Adoptee Learned To Be Black.” was selected as the 2014 Pick of the Year.



Julian Goodson is a foster care advocate and author of Thoughts of a Foster Dad. Julian has walked down a path of which many can relate to. He encourages people to help foster kids break their current cycle by using their God-given talent, skills, and love to pour into kids that need it the most. All kids deserve a loving home.



Michelle M. Hughes is a cofounder of Bridge Communications, Inc., which includes about a dozen other speakers and trainers (you can read their bios at the link below). Since 1991, Michelle has been organizing and conducting seminars on transracial adoption.



Daren Jones is a Training Specialist with the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development (KP ICD) at TCU. As a training specialist, Daren’s main focus is instructing professionals working with children who have experienced trauma, in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI).



Rhonda M. Roorda was adopted at the age of two into a white American family with Dutch heritage. She was raised with her two non-adopted siblings in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Rhonda is an author and international speaker on transracial adoption.s



Sabra D. Starnes has worked as a clinical social worker in the Washington, D.C. area for over 20 years in various settings, such as hospitals, adoption agencies, schools, daycare centers, outpatient clinics and inpatient treatment centers.



Angela Tucker is a nationally-recognized thought leader on transracial adoption and is an advocate for adoptee rights. In 2013, at the age of 26, Angela’s own story of adoption and search for her birth parents was featured in the groundbreaking documentary, CLOSURE.



Krista Woods, M.S.W., LCSW, is a national speaker and trainer on a variety of clinical and non-clinical topics. She holds a BA degree in Sociology from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She openly shared that she is a biracial (African-American/Caucasian), transracial adoptee from foster care, raised in Chicago.



Tara Vanderwoude speaks nationwide at conferences, support groups, culture camps, churches, schools, and beyond. As a social worker, Tara educates and challenges parents and professionals on various adoption and race-related topics. She has experienced and studied the many complexities of adoption and has had countless conversations with other adoption-competent professionals but more importantly with fellow adopted persons and their families. Tara, a Korean-born adopted person and adoptive parent, is able to look beyond her own experiences, and teaches with expertise and reality balanced with humor and grace.



Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker is a licensed psychologist specializing in adoption, trauma and racial identity development. She provides services through a unique lens, combining clinical knowledge with her lived experiences as an international adoptee and adoptive parent. Dr. Wirta-Leiker offers counseling, play therapy, EMDR, evaluations and parent education through her private practice, Beyond Words Psychological Services.



Carissa Woodwyk is a Korean adult adoptee and professional counselor/marriage and family therapist. She has the ability to leave the listener inspired and moved to see and hold more of the human heart.