Our events honor and celebrate individual and corporate commitment to improving adoption policy and practice.
Women, Family and Adoption: Reclaiming Our Narrative
On Tuesday, March 21st, The Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) held a special Women’s History Month event that highlighted our most recent seminal studies led by researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington. Hosted by DAI Chief Executive April Dinwoodie and Program Director Kimberly Paglino, and in collaboration with the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, “Women, Family and Adoption: Reclaiming Our Narrative,” explored DAI’s recent comprehensive studies surrounding options counseling experiences followed by a robust panel discussion that included first/birth mothers and an adoptive mother.
Thanks to our panelists Leslie Pate Mackinnon (L.C.S.W. and DAI Board Member), Brina Collins (first mother and “Reflections of a Birth Mother” blogger) and Sheila Anderson (adoptive mother with 50 years of experience as a champion of children and families) for sharing their personal and professional narratives in child welfare and adoption. And special shout-out to Dr. Gerald Mallon (Associate Dean of Scholarship & Research and Lathrop Professor of Child Welfare at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College) for generously hosting our event.
Special Preview Screening of Lion
The Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) held a special preview screening of Lion on Friday, November 18, 2016, at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York City. Based on Saroo Brierley’s memoir “A Long Way Home,” this poignant film follows Saroo’s determination to find his birth mother with the help of Google Earth. Lion perfectly captures the raw yearning to know who you are, who you came from, and how this journey consumes you in a primal way. Saroo could be every adoptee, and his story gives those who haven’t known adoption first hand the rare privilege of finally seeing a film that gets it.
After the screening, DAI Chief Executive April Dinwoodie hosted a Q&A with Saroo and his adoptive mother, Sue Brierley. Thanks to The Weinstein Company for letting us screen Lion.
Taste of Spring 2016
The Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) held its 13th annual Taste of Spring Food and Wine Benefit on Thursday, May 5, 2016, at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City.
Honorees included Michaela Pereira, adopted person and former anchor of CNN “New Day” and upcoming anchor at CNN’s sister channel HLN later this year, and the family of Michele and Wayne S. DeVeydt.
More than 200 guests attended DAI’s signature fundraising event and connected with each other over savory appetizers, food, cocktails and wine, all in celebration of the strengthening of children and families through sound research, education and advocacy.
Thanks to our spectacular food, wine and beverage purveyors: Zarela Martinez, Lucy’s Whey, 67 Orange Street, Les Trois Petits Cochons, Landmarc, Dean & DeLuca, The Ainsworth, The Cocktail Party Chef, The Chester, Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream, The Mini Cook, Monkey Shoulder, Glazed & Confused, Solomon & Kuff, Korali Estiatorio, Imperial Wine & Spirits, Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits, Xavier Flouret Wines, and Laughing Man Coffee and Tea.
And special thanks to Sugar Couture for providing goodie boxes of assorted cookies and truffles and to our guests for their generous donations, sponsorships and auction purchases.
Let’s Adopt Reform Town Hall in Chicago 2016
The fourth Let’s Adopt Reform Town Hall in Chicago was an amazing success thanks to so many wonderful people who participated in this vital conversation. A great big thank you to our excellent participants: Cami Anderson, Dr. Amanda Baden, Gabriel Blau, Leslie Pate Mackinnon, Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao and Nathan Ross and to all of you who took the time to join us in Chicago as part of our live audience. We extend our sincere apologies to our Virtual Town Hall audience for the technical issues experienced during the event. A full archive of the Town Hall can be found here.
Our Town Hall National Tour included discussion topics and panel questions inspired by our public opinion research. Each Town Hall opened with a thought-provoking presentation from DAI, followed by a moderated panel discussion of experts. Audience members onsite also posed questions for the panel.
Let’s Adopt Reform Town Hall in San Francisco 2016
The third Let’s Adopt Reform Town Hall in San Francisco was an amazing success thanks to so many wonderful people who participated in this vital conversation. A great big thank you to our excellent panelists, Dr. Amanda Baden, Dr. Christopher Harris, Leslie Pate Mackinnon, Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao and Nathan Ross and to all of you who took the time to join us in San Francisco as part of our live and virtual audiences. If you missed the San Francisco Town Hall, you can view the archive of the live stream here.
Hot topics explored at the DAI’s San Francisco Town Hall included discrimination in adoption, distortions in the adoption process caused by wealth and income inequality, and the need for national standards.
Let’s Adopt Reform Town Hall in Dallas 2016
On Wednesday, January 13th, 2016, The Donaldson Adoption Institute held our second Town Hall event in Dallas, TX. DAI Chief Executive, April Dinwoodie moderated a rich conversation with our esteemed panel of experts covering topics including pre- and post-adoption services, national standards and access to original birth certificates. Here a few highlights from the evening. If you missed the Dallas Town Hall, you can view the archive of the live stream here.
Let’s Adopt Reform New York Town Hall 2015
On Wednesday, November 4, 2015, The Donaldson Adoption Institute kicked off our National Tour with a Town Hall in New York City. Hundreds of people in person and online ignited the Let’s Adopt Reform conversation. CNN New Day Anchor Michaela Pereira moderated the lively discussion with questions from both our live and virtual audience. The panel was made up of amazing experts, all themselves members of the adoption and foster care adoption community.
Our New York City Town Hall used our groundbreaking public opinion research to educate and raise awareness about adoption, inspire solidarity within the adoption community and advocate for evidence-based policy changes.
Taste of Spring 2015
The Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) held its 12th Annual Taste of Spring benefit on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in New York City.
Guests of honor were Jane & Bill Donaldson and Chef Marc Murphy who have all provided longstanding and continued support for DAI’s mission. DAI Board member and inspiration behind Taste of Spring Kim Donaldson was our fourth and very surprised honoree. We were joined by over 250 guests all eager to salute these exceptional individuals and celebrate another year of DAI innovation and activity.
Taste of Spring 2015 was once again, a wonderful place to see old friends, share stories and experience the spirit of community. Supporters came from across the greater New York area to hear about DAI’s exciting new direction and to help make it happen through their contributions, ticket sales, sponsorships and auction purchases.
DAI wishes to thank the amazing food, wine and cocktail purveyors whose contributions made the evening such a great success: Corner Social, Fatty Sundays, Landmarc, Lucy’s Whey, Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream, Zarela Martinez, Paige Hospitality Group, The Cocktail Party Chef and Trois Petit Cohcon. Wine and beverage suppliers include 67 Orange Street, Altaneve, Laughing Man Coffee and Tea, Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits and Xavier Flouret Wines. And special thanks to Sugarella for the sweet treats everyone enjoyed at the end of the evening.
Taste of Spring 2014
After months of planning and hard work, DAI held its 11th Annual Taste of Spring: Food & Wine Benefit to great success. Close to 300 people attended the fun evening featuring food, wine and cocktails from New York’s best known restaurants and wine purveyors. We hosted this year’s event at Manhattan Penthouse, which provided a warm ambiance and spectacular views of the New York skyline.
We were delighted to publically recognize an amazing women, Marie Osmond. Most people know her as an extraordinary entertainer with a celebrated five decades long career. More importantly Marie is also a loving mother and grandmother who champions issues that better the lives of children across the country and around the world.
We were also proud to recognize DAI President Adam Pertman for his years of dedicated service to DAI.
The Institute also extends its thanks to our fantastic restaurants and food purveyors: Corner Social, Landmarc, Lucy’s Whey, Sfoglia, Zarela, NYY Steak, Treat House, The Writing Room, and The Cocktail Party Chef. We also offer a bow of appreciation to the generous beverage companies: 67 Orange Street, Cognac One, Laughing Man Coffee & Tea, Shea Vineyards, Altaneve, Michael Skurnik Wines, and Sherry-Lehmann. We would also like to thank our event leadership, Honorary Chairs Jane & Bill Donaldson, Jurate Kazickas & Roger Altman and Mimi & Jim Stevens; Honorary Co-Chairs Mario Batali, Katie Brown & William Corbin, Kristin Chenoweth, Christine Ebersole & Bill Moloney, and Deborra-lee Furness & Hugh Jackman; and Co-Chairs Mike Clifford, Kim Donaldson, Barbara Eager, Hollis Forbes, Annie Lansing, Cathy Lorenz, Sandy McManus, Holly Heston Rochell, Ben Rosen and Lisa Selz – whose tireless work over the last year have made this wonderful event possible.
Thank you to honoree Marie Osmond and everyone who made our big night a success.
Taste of Spring 2013
Adoption Institute friends and supporters enjoyed outstanding food, beverages and company at the 10th Taste of Spring at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York on May 9. The evening celebrated the Institute’s achievements and honored Jack Sussman and CBS Entertainment for their annual broadcast of the acclaimed Home for the Holidays. We are deeply indebted to Jack for both his commitment to children who need homes and for all he did to make this event so wonderful. Special thanks go to Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman for presenting our award to their good friend.
The Institute also extends its thanks to our fantastic restaurants and food purveyors: Alison 18, Butter & Scotch, Corner Social, Fresco by Scotto, Landmarc, Lucy’s Whey, The Mercer Kitchen and Sfoglia. We also offer a bow of appreciation to the generous beverage companies: 67 Orange Street, Cognac One, Laughing Man Coffee & Tea, Kobrand, Opici Wines, Shea Vineyards and Sherry-Lehmann. We would also like to thank our event leadership, Honorary Chairs Jane & Bill Donaldson, Jurate Kazickas & Roger Altman and Mimi & Jim Stevens; Honorary Co-Chairs Mario Batali, Katie Brown & William Corbin, Kristin Chenoweth, Christine Ebersole & Bill Moloney, and Deborra-lee Furness & Hugh Jackman; and Co-Chairs Kim Donaldson, Hollis Forbes, Annie Lansing, Cathy Lorenz, Sandy McManus, Holly Heston Rochell and Lisa Selz. The overwhelming success of the 10th Annual Taste of Spring was the direct result of your support and hard work. Thanks to you all! And remember it’s not too late to contribute.
Celebrating … Our Families, Our Children
The historic Castillo del Lago in the Hollywood Hills was the site of our 2012 California event, “Celebrating … Our Families, Our Children.” The afternoon included wonderful food, activities for children and two very special presentations. DAI was proud to recognize Ame Austin Max and Max Studio for all they have done for the Institute and adoptive families. And our Spotlight Award – recognizing outstanding contributions by practitioners in the field – was presented to Children’s Action Network and was accepted by Executive Director Jennifer Perry.
59 Middle Lane Premiere
The Adoption Institute and Jazz at Lincoln Center were the beneficiaries of the New York City premier of 59 Middle Lane, a new documentary by DAI Board member and filmmaker Greg Ammon. Held on November 15, 2012, the unique evening of remembrance and celebration included a special performance by music legend Wynton Marsalis and members of the JALC Orchestra. Special thanks go to Greg and to our friends at JALC for hosting the evening in the spectacular Allen Room.