Meet Your AC Member: Grace Newton

Name: Grace Newton

Gender Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Where do you call home? Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2017 - Taken by Allen Majors at the KAAN gala dinner

Tell us a little about yourself. How do you spend your time outside of KAAN?

Currently, I am a graduate student in Social Work at the Brown School at Washington University in Saint Louis, which means I spend most of my time in class, in practicum, doing homework, or doing work for my research fellowship. In my free time, I like to cook, paint, read, write letters, and spend time with my friends and family. I'm also a beginning ukulele player, and in non-COVID times, I love traveling. Outside of my involvement with KAAN, I think about adoption a lot, too. For the last 7 years, I've authored a blog called Red Thread Broken (redthreadbroken.wordpress.com), where I write about personal reflections on my adoption experience as well as reactions to adoption portrayals in the media and broader adoptions issues.

What is your role on the Advisory Council?

Advisory Council Member/ & Communications Team Member

Nanjing, China, 1997/2015 - I had the chance to reunite with the woman who was my nanny during my stay at the Nanjing Social Welfare Institute in 2007 on my first trip back to China and again when I returned to my hometown for a study abroad semester. The picture on the left is from when I was adopted, and the picture on the right is from our 2015 reunion.

How did you hear about KAAN? How did you decide to get involved in the AC?

I heard about KAAN in 2014, when the conference was in Minnesota. I was living in Minneapolis that summer and decided to attend at the last minute. I wasn't sure if KAAN was a place for me, since I'm not a Korean adoptee, but I was welcomed warmly and encouraged to continue participating through volunteering, presenting conference sessions, and in 2018, I was invited to join the Advisory Council. I thought that becoming involved with the Advisory Council would be a great way to give back to an organization that has given me so much and would allow me to build upon leadership skills that the conference has given me the opportunity to develop in other ways.

How many KAAN conferences have you attended?

5 (6 if you count the recent KAAN Connect)