Andrea "Andy" Marra: Korean American adoptee and leader in LGBTQI advocacy

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Andrea "Andy" Marra is well-known nationwide in the LGBTQI and Asian American communities for her work and advocacy with and for the LGBTQI community.  She has found by sharing her story, it carries the power to move and inspire. Her professional career has been dedicated to "progressive advocacy, particularly at the intersections of social, racial, economic, and gender justice" (votemarra.com). 

In an exciting announcement, made in early February, Ms. Marra announced she is running for a seat in the New York Senate. If she wins, she will be the first trans woman to be elected in the state and, if her bid is successful, she will also be the first Asian American elected to the New York State Senate. 

Ms. Marra has been interviewed and personally has shared her story, both as a trans woman and as a Korean adoptee. The following are links to some of the articles:
Korean American Story
Kore.Am
Huffington Post
New York Times

Ms. Marra's official campaign website can be found at the following link.

 

 

Adoptees Participating in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics

The Opening Ceremonies for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics are here!

Two Korean adoptees have made the spotlight as they participate for their birth country, South Korea, during the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Thanks to legislation that was passed, which allow Korean adoptees to acquire dual citizenship, Marissa Brandt (Park, Yoon-jung 박윤정) and Jackie Kling  (Lee, Mee-hyun 이미현). Marissa will participate in ice hockey and Jackie will participate in free style skiing. Marissa's story has been a bit more widely publicized, due to the unique nature that her sister, Hannah, will also participate in the Olympics, playing hockey for the United States. 

Lee, Mee-hyun / Jackie Kling

Lee, Mee-hyun / Jackie Kling

Jackie is 23-years old and was born in Chinju. After high school, she moved to South Korea to work at a freestyle skiing school. She obtained dual citizenship with South Korea in December 2015. Jackie is quoted as saying, "I hope to meet my South Korean birth parents through the Olympics. My goal is to put my best effort forward and produce a result, which I can take a pride of being Korean in."
Read more about Jackie's story here and here

Park, Yoon-jung / Marissa Brandt and her sister, Hannah

Park, Yoon-jung / Marissa Brandt and her sister, Hannah

Marissa is 25-years old and attended Gustavus Aldolphus College, where she played Division III hockey. In 2015, she received an offer to try out for the Korean national hockey team as she was identified as being an eligible player, located in North America, to play for South Korea during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Marissa obtained her dual citizenship with South Korea in 2016. Marissa's story has been covered by local, national, and international news outlets, including: the Star Tribune, CNN, and Yonhap

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There are other adoptees also participating in the 2018 Olympics, including:


--Mialitiana Clerc, a 16-year-old adoptee from Madagascar. She was adopted by a French family at the age of one. She will represent Madagascar in alpine skiing. She is the first woman to compete for Madagascar in the Winter Olympics. During the Opening Ceremonies, Mialitiana was the flag bearer for Madagascar. 
 

 

 

--Michael Poettoz, a 19-year-old adoptee from Colombia. He was adopted by a French family at the age of 21 months. He is also an alpine skiier and will represent Colombia in this event. Michael was the first Colombian ever to participate at the Winter Youth Olympics in 2016. He decided to compete for Colombia at the age of 15. Michael is quoted as saying, "I could represent France but I prefer to do it for Colombia. I am Colombian, I like my country's food, music, and the charm of the people."

 

Do you know of other adoptees participating (or who have participated) in the Olympics? Comment below!

One of North America's best League of Legends Players...

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Our Adoptee Highlight features Korean American Adoptee, Ian "MistyStumpey"Alexander, one of North America's best League of Legends Players. Ian does not let his disability hold him back and according to Drake Porter, Columbia College's Esports Senior Strategic Analyst, "He's a professional-level player missing four fingers on his keyboard hand...If anything, he should not be nearly as successful as he is."

..."[The] emphasis on the importance of hard work has helped keep him humble in spite of his apparent natural talent for the game."

Keep up the hard work, Ian!

Read the full story here

Adoptee Highlight

AdopteeBridge would like to recognize the achievements of adoptees throughout the United States. Today, we would like to highlight Dr. Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter.

Photo from Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina

Photo from Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina

Dr. Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter is an Indian American adoptee and was recently hired as the Executive Director at Leading On Opportunity to lead a community initiative to work for equal opportunities for all children in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a longtime leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic communities, devoted to the cause of equal opportunity for all.

Dr. Cooper-Lewter was adopted when she was a toddler. She is quoted as saying, “My journey has guided my life purpose to ensure every child – regardless of income, race and zip code – has the same opportunities as yours and mine...I have given my heart to this cause, and to racial equity."

Cooper-Lewter has ties to Minnesota, as she graduated from Bethel College (now University) and earned her master's in social work from the University of Minnesota!

Read more about Dr. Cooper-Lewter's at this link.