Beth Hall
Co-Founder and Executive Director
E-mail: beth@pactadopt.org

Beth Hall is the white adoptive mother of a Latina daughter and an African American son (both now young adults), and grew up with an adopted sister. She co-founded Pact in 1991 to combat the discrimination she witnessed against adopted children of color and their birth families. Since that time, she has facilitated the placement of over 1000 infants of color into strong, loving homes. She is the co-author, with Gail Steinberg, of the book Inside Transracial Adoption (Perspectives Press, 2000), as well as numerous articles on adoption and race. She is a nationally known advocate for adopted children of color who regularly lectures and leads workshops on ethical, non-racist adoption practices. In 2010 she received the Outstanding Practitioner in Adoption Award from the Adoption Initiative at St. John's University. To learn more about Beth including information about her publications, speaking engagements, and various film clips she has appeared in, click here.

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Aaryn Belfer
Point of View Editor
E-mail: editor@pactadopt.org

Aaryn Belfer is the editor of the Pact Point of View, Pact's e-Newsletter, and various other Pact communications. Aaryn works part-time by day as a clinical research coordinator, one member of a talented team looking for a cure for ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). She is a writer by night, penning a biweekly column at San Diego CityBeat, and works as a copy editor and freelance writer during the witching hours. She likes to write, run, practice yoga, play tennis, travel, and do just about anything under the sun (except for bungee jumping, hot air ballooning, deep see diving, or laundry). Spending time with her transracially adopted daughter, Ruby, and her husband, Sam is paramount to everything. No matter what hat she is wearing, she approaches all tasks with an eye on social justice, anti-racism, and equality, including advocating appropriately on behalf of the often-marginalized members of the adoption triad: adoptees and first parents.

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Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander
Adoption Agency Supervisor
First/Birth Family Specialist
E-mail: susan@pactadopt.org

Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander, LMFT is a first mother, transracial adoptee, and a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in the adoption and foster care triads. As First/Birth Family Specialist, Susan focuses on the needs of expectant parents considering adoption, and first/birth families of who have placed children of color for adoption. Susan placed her daughter for adoption in 2001 in an “open” adoption which was subsequently closed by her daughter’s adoptive parents. She was transracially adopted as an infant and, with the support of her adoptive parents, reunited with her first families as a teenager. Susan envisions a world where all expectant parents and first/birth parents are fully empowered, accurately informed, and emotionally supported, in order to make the best decisions for their children and themselves.

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Christina Feliciana
Pre-placement Consultant
E-mail: christina@pactadopt.org

Christina Feliciana, LCSW, has been teaching in the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare and supporting MSW students in their internships since 2007. She teaches courses on child welfare practice, school social work, and an introduction to multi-level practice. She previously was employed as a child welfare worker and as a school social worker. She coordinates the Title IVE program, an intensive curriculum designed to prepare social workers to work in children’s protective services in California. Christina also consults with SOAR for Youth, a foster youth educational advocacy program. Christina and her spouse are fost/adopt parents. Their older daughter joined their family at six months old. When she was nearly two, her biological sister (age three months) joined the family. They have contact with the girls' first mom and feel blessed to raise the sisters together. Christina also serves as a Pact Board member.

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Deanna Matthews
Pact Family Camp Director
E-mail: deanna@pactadopt.org

Deanna Matthews is a biracial (African American/white) single parent who has found great commonality between her own experience of racial ambiguity and that of many adoptees of color. She brings that understanding to all her work at Pact, as well as a passion for educating adults and supporting children in defining their identity in positive ways in a racialized world. She has been involved in organizing Pact Family Camp since 2009, and became Camp Director in 2011.

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Malaika Parker
Adoptive Parents of Color Collaborative Director
E-mail: malaika@pactadopt.org

Malaika Parker works with adoptive parents of color (and their parenting partners) to design resources and create community for same-race adoptive families. As an African American adoptive parent, she understands how hard-and important-it is for same-race adoptive parents to find resources that apply to their own family dynamics as opposed to those that apply to transracial families.

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Ben Powning
Youth Programing Coordinator
E-mail: ben@pactadopt.org

Ben Powning, Pact’s Youth Programing Coordinator, is a mixed raced (Colombian, Filipino and white) transracial adoptee born and raised in the Bay Area. Ben attended and graduated from San Francisco State with a degree in communications. Ben has many years of experience working with children and is inspired by the importance of his own role models to be one for the children of Pact. Because of his own struggles to find and create a healthy racial and adoption identity, he is excited to work with both the youth and families at Pact. Ben feels like being at Pact is being at home and he looks forward to providing that kind of welcoming and nurturing space for all of the youth who participate in Pact programing.

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Michele Rabkin
Communications Specialist
E-mail: michele@pactadopt.org

Michele Rabkin and her African American husband adopted their multiracial daughter with help from Pact. Michele is tremendously grateful for all that Pact does to create and support families like her own. In addition to working as a university administrator, she does free-lance writing and editing for Pact and other organizations she cares about.

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Takai Tyler
Pre-placement Consultant
E-mail: takai@pactadopt.org

Takai Tyler, MSW, holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and has over 20 years of experience in non-profit management. She is passionate about working with youth and families in the areas of trauma healing and empowerment through an equity lens. As a Black adoptive mother, she holds a special commitment to supporting families of color created through adoption. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Adoptive Parents of Color Collaborative at Pact and is the co-founder of the Village APOC, an Adoptive peer parent support group.

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Katie Stickles-Wynen
Adoption Social Worker
LGBTQ Advocate
E-mail: katie@pactadopt.org

Katie Stickles-Wynen, MSW, a Colombian adoptee, has a Masters in Social Work. After college, Katie worked at Hyde School in CT where she helped design a program for adopted youth and parents. Katie studied under Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao in Boston before moving to California and joining the Pact staff where she leads groups, works with tweens and teens and provides psycho-educational counseling to pre-adoptive parents.

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