We Are Not Our Cruxes | Session Four

Join us Saturday, February 3, 2024, from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. in Los Angeles at Peace4Kids in South LA or online for We Are Not Our Cruxes, a project that centers the voices and mental health of adult adoptees and those who have gone through the foster care system. The project seeks to strengthen community and provide healing using art.

Through a series of hybrid convenings, participants engage in critical conversations aimed at exploring their unique struggles and experiences of those who identify as adopted or foster care alumni. Additionally, these gatherings offer art-based healing workshops, carefully designed to explore the emotional landscape of adult adoptees and foster care alumni while simultaneously promoting emotional well-being and resilience. Invited panelists for the critical conversations include adoptee artists, activists, mental health professionals, and scholars. The art-making portion of the events will be led by artist, art therapist, and transcultural adoptee Nicole Rademacher.

This second session will feature scholar and professor JaeRan Kim, poet and activist Julayne Lee, and artist and illustrator Katelyn Leon Diaz.

Events are designed for adults, 18+. Those who identify as adult adoptees and/or foster care alumni are invited to be part of a larger project, that includes an online interactive multilayered visualization.

All events will be recorded to form part of a short documentary at a later date. Please indicate on the ticket form if you do not want to be recorded, and we will exclude your likeness from being used. If you attend via Zoom, all names will remain anonymous.

Register for the event here.

Peace4Kids is wheelchair accessible.

COVID Health & Safety: While we look forward to this in-person event, the health and safety of our guests remains our top priority. Please do not attend the event if you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms.

This project is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.


JaeRan Kim, PhD, MSW, (she/hers) is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice at the University of Washington at Tacoma. Prior to completing her doctoral degree, Dr. Kim worked with foster and adopted children and families and with adults with disabilities in residential care. Dr. Kim’s research is focused on the well-being of adoptees, exploring disability, race, and transnational experiences for adoptees. Dr. Kim’s research also explores the preparation and training of professional social workers. JaeRan is passionate about engaging in community-based projects. Her blog, Harlow’s Monkey, focuses on the transracial/transnational adoptee experience.

Julayne Lee is an overseas adopted Korean poet, artivist and producer. Her debut collection of poems Not My White Savior was on Bitch Media’s Bitchreads: 15 Books Feminists Should Read in March and Entropy’s Best of 2018: Best Poetry Books & Poetry Collections. Not My White Savior has been taught in Freshman Lit, Race & Ethnicity & other courses. Julayne has read and spoken on adoption in the US & Korea. She is also an advisor for a forthcoming docu-drama about a transracial, intercountry adoptee. You can find her writing in The Washington Post, The Nervous Breakdown & elsewhere. @julayneelle

Katelyn Leon Diaz, a 19-year-old Hispanic woman who grew up in Los Angeles. She was in foster care from the ages of 11 to 15-years-old. She is an artist and loves to portray her emotions in much of her art. Her preferred method of art is digital, however she is very talented with sketching, painting, and clay. Currently, she is illustrating for a children’s book titled A Spot for Speedy, which is about sibling experiences in foster care. She has been volunteering at a non-profit organization that serves youth in foster care called Peace4Kids.


Nicole Rademacher is a socially-engaged artist, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, and Registered Art Therapist working in video, photo, collage, and community engagement. The influence of her adoption and reunion (with her birth family) feature prominently in her studio practice where she explores concepts of intimacy, identity, belonging, and family. She held an artist residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts, received an Artistic Community Engagement Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and is a recent recipient of the Adoptees for Awareness Grant, the Arts Council for Long Beach’s Creative Corps Grant and the California Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. Rademacher holds an MFA in Electronic Integrated Arts from Alfred University and a BFA in photography and video from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in addition to an MA in Marital & Family Therapy with a Specialization in Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She has collaborated and shown work widely both nationally & internationally including the Centro de Arte Digital en Memoria de Juan Downey in Chile, Harvestworks in NYC, LOOP Video Art Festival in Barcelona, and Transmediale in Berlin. Rademacher lives and works in Los Angeles, USA. nicolerademacher.com


Yes! You are more than welcome to attend and join in the community healing. We just ask that you allow the adoptees and former foster youth to have space to voice their experiences.

If you attend in-person, art supplies will be provided. If you Zoom in, feel free to bring whatever art supplies you prefer to use. Nic encourages colored pencils, collage, markers, slick sticks, and pastels.