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Your uniqueness, your individuality, and your life experience mold you into the fascinating human that you are today.

These are words that we must all understand.

Words that give us the strength to know that we are loved and accepted.

Words that not only strengthen yourself and your identity, but also your community.

A group of people who will always accept you, and upon which you can always rely.

Join us on December 8th, 2018 in San Diego, CA for a day of workshops focusing on acceptance and authenticity, networking with like-minded individuals, learning from insightful speakers, and of course, appetizers & refreshments.

Know that your story matters. Embrace it. Share it. Live it.

**This event welcomes all people & the venue is wheelchair accessible**

 
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MICHELLE MADRID-BRANCH

Author, speaker, international adoptee, and global advocate for women and children; specializing in the areas of adoption, foster care, abandonment recovery, and identity reconciliation. Her mission is to ensure that the adoption community is heard, seen, valued, respected, and understood. She is a host of The Greater Than Podcast which focuses on the strength and resilience within the adoption and foster care community. Michelle shares stories of triumph over challenge and asks: What is the internal drive that urges a person to move beyond struggle?

 

 
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JOHN ROBINSON

Raised in the suburbs of Chicago, a proud graduate of Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Marketing and DePaul University with an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship. In financial services, he spent years of strategic service in senior marketing roles for Discover Card, G.E. Capital, and Citibank; time and time again, he found myself selected to lead key business initiatives. In healthcare, he tackled co-CEO responsibilities for Arrowhead Health … Above all, he is deeply dedicated to his family and community, investing time and energy toward his local church, National Society of Hispanic MBAs, American Marketing Association, Senior Center …

 

 
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STACY JOHNSON

“Foster kid.”

A term that became a part of her identity at the age of two.

The tender age that marked the beginning of her long, tumultuous journey through ten different placements.

A journey filled with fear, abuse, shame and abandonment. A journey that could have had an entirely different ending, had she not decided to enter a group facility after her ninth placement at the age of 15.

 

 
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MARK GUAY

Writer, creator, student and teacher in New York. He believes in living life on purpose and tuning into inspiration. A few years ago, he met up for a cup of coffee that inspired him to change the way he looked at coincidence. A former student had just graduated from a prestigious university and wanted to ask him for some advice. He wanted to live out the greatest version of himself and knew that time is our most valuable asset. As Mark sat there sipping some super snobby coffee, he felt as if he were looking in a mirror. He precisely remember asking myself these very same questions not too long ago, struggling to connect the dots in his own life.

 

 
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Published author, actor, playwright, musician and teacher, Kalif believes that everything that we will ever need in life is within us.

Born into generations of active drug addiction, racism and poverty, Kalif found the strength within himself to overcome all odds and break the cycle to become the change his family and he needed, and wanted to see.

 

 
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TIFFONY JACOBS

What would you do if you became homeless today?
 
It’s a condition that is unimaginable to most, if not all of us.
 
A condition that made Tiffony become more resourceful, so she would never have to lay her head on the concrete ground again to sleep, or beg at a church or soup kitchen for a meal in order to survive.
 
She said, “I started to realize that at 36 years old if something really bad had happened… I didn’t have long-term care protection…”

 

 
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OLEG LOUGHEED

Uncertainty, guided him during a time of tragedy and pain.

Opportunity, found him a new home halfway across the world and gave him a reason to believe that there was more in life to gain.

Rejection, affirmed his thoughts and feelings of the change that needed to take place.

Fear, gave Oleg Lougheed the confidence to create the much needed adoptee/foster care space.