International Exhibition: Life In Motion – “I Want To Walk”

30 11 2011

Life in Motion, a unique photo exhibition created to raise awareness about orphaned children who are unable to live a fulfilled life due to their physical limitations will premier on December 8th at the Rita K. Hillman Education Gallery in New York city.  Life in Motion, is an international collaboration between the International Center of Photography, the “Artist Foundation” and Happy Families, Inc. (a Joint Council Member-Partner).

In our supporting role and continued partnership with HFIC, Joint Council is participating in the premier of the exhibition and is working with HFIC to bring this very special exhibition to Washington DC in 2012.

Led by renowned photographer Ed Kashi, the exhibition showcases the work of 10 students from the International Center of Photography (ICP) and the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia who photographed children at orphanages and rehabilitation centers in Russia.

This project is part of a greater program, I Want to Walk, created by HFIC to help orphaned children obtain their dream of walking. For some children this meant physically being able to walk, while for others “walking” also meant being able to leave the orphanage and achieve their goals. All of us at Joint Council are proud to join other partners in supporting I Want To Walk and Life In Motion. Those supporting the exhibition include Flotek, Transaero (Official Transportation Partner of the Life in Motion” project), the Renaissance Moscow Hotel, the Restaurant Mari Vanna-Ginza Project, Social Mavens, the Venta Group, Arts+Business Partners, the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, and the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation.

For more information on Life In Motion and I Want To Walk, please call 212.857.0001.

Be Their Voice – by Rebecca Harris

8 10 2010

When I speak to a group of adoptive families one of the first questions I ask is, “How many of you traveled to the country your child was adopted from?”  The next question I ask, “How many of you think of another child you met in the orphanage and wonder what they are doing now?  And how they are?”  And then I ask, “How many of you have followed up on that kid?”  “And how many of you learned that the child isn’t thriving?  That they are barely surviving?  Or worst, they have died alone in an orphanage?”  Next month, as part of our National Adoption Month advocacy, we’ll be sharing with you some of the stories of children who are lost and alone in this world…or who lost their lives, alone.  We’ll be sharing with you how we, as a global society, failed these children.  If you know the story of child who missed out on one of the most basic rights a child has, a right to be in a safe and permanent family, then send us their story.  Click here to learn how.

Request for stories: National Adoption Month Advocacy

13 09 2010

This November Joint Council will be participating in National Adoption Month in an unprecedented and unique way.  Everyday in November, we will be highlighting the stories of those children throughout the world who have yet to be served by adoption, celebrate those children who have thrived in their adoptive family, and ask individuals to take small actions everyday to help children in need.

From today September 13, 2010 through October 15, 2010 Joint Council will be accepting stories from professionals, families and other concerned individuals who have seen the plight of children who live outside of family care and those who have gained permanency, safety and love through adoption.  To submit a story, follow the directions below.  The advocacy campaign will be one part of of Joint Council’s larger National Adoption Month Campaign, which hopes to encourage individuals to Be The Answer to the world orphan crisis.  The idea from the campaign was generated by Joint Council staff following this post in last month’s Mbali’s Message and the Be The Answer blog.

Directions for submitting a story:

  • Email the story of a child who has yet to be served through adoption and/or a story of a child who has thrived in his/her adoptive family to Jason Cohn at by October 15, 2010
    • Stories may be:
      • Three minute video
      • 750 words, please include photos of yourself and the child
    • If applicable, please include a release of information for each story submitted.
    • If the child highlighted is living outside of family care, individuals are encouraged to use a pseudonym for the child and send photos with discretion and with the child’s safety in mind.
  • Questions regarding the campaign and submitting stories should be directed to

Joint Council looks forward to the community participating in this advocacy effort.

Hoping for a Family: prospective parents attend AMETZ Conference

27 04 2010

On Sunday, April 25th, over 150 families, all hoping to give a loving family to a child in need, attended the AMETZ Conference in New York City.  The AMETZ Conference is for many, the first step in the long education process needed to become an adoptive parent.   Families heard presentations on domestic infant adoption, adopting a child from U.S. foster care and intercountry adoption.

Rebecca Harris discussing the Hague Convention

For the fourth consecutive year, Joint Council presented at the conference on intercountry adoption.  This year over 40 families participated in the presentation by Joint Council’s Tom DiFilipo and Rebecca Harris along with Susan Orban of Children’s Home Society and Family Services.

All of us at Joint Council extend our thanks to AMETZ for their continuing partnership and all that they do to educate and support adoptive families.

Tomorrow’s Leaders

26 04 2010

Joint Council at American University and the University of Richmond Law Schools

Joint Council’s Tom DiFilipo recently spoke to law students at American University Washington College of Law and the University of Richmond School of Law.

On April 18th, Tom along with Professor Patricia Maskew and Tina Leone of the U.S. Department of State had a robust discussion on intercountry adoption with second and third year law students at American University.

On April 6th, Tom, at the invitation of the student organization SPEAK, presented on Joint Council’s efforts in Haiti to over 40 law students at the University of Richmond Law School.

In addition to working with these law students, Joint Council has provided 6-month internships to 22 graduate and undergraduate students in 2009 and 2010.   We value these and other opportunities to cultivate and  influence tomorrow’s leaders in a way that serves every child’s right to a permanent and safe family.   Thanks go out to Professor Maskew, SPEAK and all of our interns for caring about children…now and in the future.

Haitian Prime Minister Approves Travel

29 01 2010

It has been confirmed that the Prime Minister of Haiti has approved the travel of those children who have received humanitarian parole from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  It is our understanding that over 100 children will be traveling to the U.S. today and tomorrow.

Joint Council extends it appreciation to the Prime Minister for the approvals and his support for children in need of a permanent and safe family.

Upcoming Events

10 11 2009
Joint Council invites you to come out and support Be The Answer at these local events.  So if you live near Old Town Alexandria, stop by and give your support!

Tapas for a Cause

Enjoy a night of Spanish tapas, wine, and great company at Tapas for a Cause, benefiting Old Town’s own Joint Council on International Children’s Services. Spend the evening with friends old and new while savoring delicious Spanish delicacies. Up to 20% of the evening’s food sales will go to achieve Joint Council’s mission of finding a permanent, loving, and safe home for the 132 million orphans worldwide

Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Time: 6-9 PM

Location: La Tasca Restaurant, 607 King Street, Alexandria, VA  22314

Family Fridays at Teaism

In support of Joint Council’s Be The Answer Campaign and National Adoption Month, 10% of all Teaism revenue from each Friday in November will be donated to Joint Council.

Dates: Every Friday in November (the 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th)

Location: Any of the 3 Teaism locations in the Washington, D.C. area –

Lafayette Park
800 Connecticut Ave N.W.
Washington D.C. 20006

Dupont Circle
2009 R. Street N.W.
Washington D.C. 20009

Penn Quarter
400 8th St N.W.
Washington D.C. 20004

Ten Thousand Villages

Joint Council cordially invites you to join us for an evening of fun, friends, food, family…and SHOPPING.

Ten Thousand Villages will be donating a portion of the proceeds of all items sold between 7 and 9 PM on December 3, 2009 to Joint Council.  Light refreshments will be provided by Teaism.  So come enjoy the festive atmosphere, delicious food and drink, knock out your holiday shopping early, make some new friends, and help support Joint Council!

Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009

Time: 7-9 PM

Location: Ten Thousand Villages, 915 King Street, Alexandria, VA  22314

To learn more about these events or to RSVP, please visit our Facebook page!

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