Culture Connection Collection

A library collection for lifting up children of color in care.


Announcing ORPARC's new "Culture Connection Collection"!

ORPARC library's new Culture Connection Collection (CCC) is designed to uplift children of color in foster care, adoption, guardianship and kin care, and those working hard to support them.

ORPARC was honored to partner with six skilled Oregon Cultural Consultants. These experienced foster adoptive parents—either of color and/or transracially parenting—are also talented writers and illustrators, in addition to a foster-adoptive youth and foster care-experienced adult and birth parent. Their expertise helped curate a collection that celebrates diverse representation, featuring authors and illustrators of color, so as to better support our kids of color in care.

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Please Admire Our CCC Consultants!

Meet Believe in Wonder – Brian & Josie Parker, dynamic duo of Believe in Wonder, are foster adoptive parents and talented authors, illustrators, and publishers of over 17 whimsical children’s books, most of which are found in ORPARC’s library. Plus, they also offer classes and workshops! The Parker's sons star as their Chief Inspiration Officers. Watch a sneak peek of the not-yet-released documentary short about this remarkable family. Explore the wonder at believeinwonder.


Meet Melissa Hart – Transracial adoptive parent Melissa Hart grew up in a diverse household with an LGBTQ+ parent and brother with Down Syndrome. She has authored countless essays and articles in well-known publications like CNN, The Washington Post and Oregon Quarterly along with 4 award-winning books in ORPARC’s library. Enjoy more of her prolific writing at melissahart.com.


CCC_MaiaHart-resized.jpgMeet Maia Smith-Hart – When not reviewing books, foster-adoptee teen Maia Smith-Hart, who identifies as Afro-Costa Rican American, dances and hip hops her way through life while caring for her cats and working hard towards her high school diploma. Maia suggests visiting sites like Northwest Adoption Exchange or AdoptUSKids to learn more about supporting kids in care.


Meet Nabil Zerizef – Transracial adoptive parent Nabil Zerizef, who identifies as biracial Arab-American, keeps more than busy as a beloved Oregon elementary school principal but still found time to co-author "100 Diverse Voices on Parenthood" as well as the popular “A Kid’s Book About Adoption” with transracial adoptee Leul Gurske, both housed in ORPARC’s library. Hear Nabil and his student Leul read their book aloud.


Meet Christina Morgan – Enrolled member of The Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde, Umpqua Band, and foster alum Christina Morgan is working diligently towards completing her Master of Social Work at Arizona State, while working for her Tribe, interning at ORPARC, and growing her writing skills. A grandmother and mother, she also speaks some Spanish. Check out one of her new CCC favorites, The Blue Roses by Linda Boyden (United Lumbee Nation).

Our Gratitude to Other Supporters & Kind Helpers

Meet Ruthie Murray – Transracial adoptee Ruthie Murray just finished her Master of Social Work with Arizona State University and previously kindly graced ORPARC as an intern. A data whiz, she entered thousands of racial demographics for the CCC rollout! Hear directly from Ruthie in ORPARC’s moving video "Having ADHD is Like..."


CCC_Pearl-resized.jpgMeet Pearl Boswell – Elder and enrolled member of The Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde, Umpqua Band, Pearl Boswell shared her wisdom informally on the Tribal-specific CCC materials. Pearl is a grandmother, mother, sister, aunt, and great grandmother. Pearl fell in love with the new CCC book The First Blade of Sweetgrass: A Wakanabi Story by Suzanne Greenlaw (Maliseet).


CCC_ChristinaMorgan-resized.jpgMeet Cristina Duarte – Foster alum Cristina Duarte is a bilingual Native Spanish speaker, ORPARC intern, an artist, and just finished her Master of Social Work with Arizona State University. Cristina previewed some of the CCC materials and offered helpful Spanish translation assistance. Cristina is most excited about Where Wonder Grows by Xelena Gomez in the new CCC collection.


Meet Third Eye Books – Foster parenting couple Michelle Lewis & Charles Hannah’s 100% Black-owned, Third Eye Books, Accessories & Gifts is an extraordinary, well-stocked African-centered, Portland area bookstore where many CCC books came from! Visit thirdeyebag.com and hear directly from Michelle & Charles in their video.


Meet Your State Library of Oregon staff – Granted we're biased about librarians. But the State Library of Oregon staff are truly some of the most helpful and knowledgeable people. We thank the Institute of Museum and Library Services and we thank you State Library of Oregon!