Tony Hynes is a transracial adoptee, and was adopted by Mary Hynes and Janet Simons in the mid 1990s. His family faced a custody battle with his birth family, who felt Mary and Janet, two white women, were not the right people to raise him. Tony writes about his experiences growing up as both a transracial adoptee and as a child growing up in a same-sex headed household in his memoir “The Son With Two Moms.” Today, Tony is an advocate for families like his, and serves on the Board of Directors for Rainbow Families, an organization devoted to promoting the rights of LGBTQ families everywhere. Tony Hynes works with Adoptions Together, an adoption placement agency, as a discussion group facilitator. He also has been invited to be a speaker at several conferences on adoption throughout the nation, especially those involving trans-racial adoptions.
In the spring of 2016 Tony began doing research on programs for youth success in the Takoma Park, MD area, during the course of which he interviewed many youth who used the local recreation center. In September, 2016 he issued a report, “Pathways to Youth Success”, in which he documented some of the many challenges that low-income and minority youth face in accessing the support and help they need. In the fall of 2016 Tony was awarded a full scholarship to begin his PhD studies in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County. (UMBC), where he is set to continue his research in the field of transracial adoption. He and Beth have worked together in discussing trans-racial adoption, raising black boys within white, lesbian-headed households, and the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and adoption.
Eliza Alexander teaches Spanish and is the Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships at The Maret School in Washington DC. Her graduate studies focused on emergence of the Central American community in Washington DC and her early work in social justice included working with Sol y Soul, a non-profit promoting dialogue between Latino and African-American youth. Since 2002, she has developed and implemented training institutes in service learning for teachers from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, partnering with a broad range of non-profit organizations. Starting in 2012, she has served as a lead co-facilitator for Maret’s Deepening the Discussion about Race seminar and in that capacity, has trained over a hundred and fifty faculty members at Maret. In addition to her work at Maret, Eliza has presented at local and national conferences about race, and advised a variety of other governmental and nonprofit organizations in their work for greater racial justice. She is a proud Mainer who currently lives in Takoma Park with her husband and two young boys. She and Beth have worked closely in developing workshops for white people around deeping understanding of white identity, white privilege, white supremacy and anti-racist advocacy.
Timothy Rehberg, LICSW is licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Independent Clinical Social Worker. He graduated with a Masters of Social Work (MSW) through Wheelock College located in Boston, Massachusetts in 2011 and graduated with his Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2004. He has extensive experience working with adolescents and young adults and is currently employed as a supervisor with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) located in Worcester, Massachusetts where he oversees an adolescent unit. Prior to becoming a supervisor, he was employed as an adolescent social worker for approximately 8 years and has held and worked with multiple non-profit agencies (i.e. MSPCC, Worcester Youth Center, Wayside Youth and Families, Bridge of Central Massachusetts) providing case management, crisis stabilization, and counseling services to adolescents and young adults.
In addition to working for DCF, Tim works part time for Milford Regional Medical Center providing on-call services to patients in need of mental health and substance abuse evaluations. He received a unique opportunity to teach at Wheelock College part time after graduating with his MSW, where he was able to give back as well as learn from the students who were enrolled in his classes. Along with teaching, Tim has facilitated workshops for the White Privilege and Undoing Racism Conferences, where he has been able to teach and learn from others.
Lastly, Tim has experience working with and counseling adolescents and young adults who have been adopted transracially and internationally and who are struggling with identity issues. He has the unique ability to understand and develop strong working relationships through a strength-based and Christian perspective with adolescents and young adults, in order to support them with developing effective coping strategies to help deal with their emotions, self-esteem, and attachment issues. He believes that hard work, dedication, patience, faith, trust, and compassion are some key components where impactful change can occur. He and Beth have worked together co-leading workshops at The White Privilege Conference on “Navigating White Supremacy and White Privilege as a Transracial Adoptee in The United States.”
Ellen Kahn, since 2005, has served as Director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Children (HRCF), Youth & Families Program. In her role, Ellen provides national leadership and expertise in public education and advocacy efforts to achieve full equality for LGBTQ families. Under Ellen’s leadership, HRCF launched three highly successful, innovative programs that promote fair and inclusive policies and practices; All Children—All Families; Welcoming Schools; and the Youth Well-Being Project, which features the annual Time to Thrive conference to support LGBTQ youth. Ellen is sought out as an expert on LGBTQ adoption, speaking at numerous national and regional conferences, and providing training for hundreds of child welfare and adoption professionals.
Prior to joining HRC, Ellen spent 13 years at the Whitman-Walker Clinic in various roles; Director of the Lesbian Services Program, Associate Director of LGBTQ Health Promotion, and as supervisor of a behavioral health program for people with HIV/AIDS. Ellen and Beth have worked on panel’s about LGBT families, Adoption and Identity.