African American Cultural Day

suereardonAdoptive Parent Mentor and Coach Sue Reardon is organizing Adoption STAR’s First Annual African & Caribbean American Culture Day on Saturday February 22nd from 10:30am-12:30pm, celebrating Black History Month through cultural crafts, music, foods and more. The celebration will be held at 131 John Muir Drive, Amherst, NY 14228 (see all event details here. Please call (716) 639-3900 to RSVP or email Every Monday leading up to this event and in celebration of National Black History month, we will be featuring blog posts on African American culture and transracial adoption.

As our Adoption STAR families and children have grown over the years, so has the need for additional services and resources. One of the areas in which many of our families thirst for knowledge is in regards to the specific needs of raising their black or biracial children. In order to effectively parent transracially, we must acknowledge that there are certain skills and information we lack. As parents, we understand that we cannot do this alone and that it is not only ok, but necessary, to rely on others in the community who can help us fill in the gaps. Which is why Adoption STAR is very proud to be hosting our first African & Caribbean American Culture Day. The event will be held at our Main Office from 10:30 – 12:30 on Saturday, February 22nd.

Below are individuals and groups that will be participating in this exciting event.

Cheryl Hayward



CHERYL HAYWARD is the proud owner/hairstylist of Cheryl H Hair Care and founder of Curly Que’s Consulting. Cheryl specializes in healthy hair care and teaching clients how to properly care for their hair (no matter the texture). Cheryl believes it is important to educate clients about taking care of their hair in between salon visits. Her passion for healthy hair care and recognizing the needs and concerns of many multi-racial families led to the founding of Curly Que’s Consulting.

Curly Que’s Consulting offers families the opportunity to become familiar with caring for their child’s hair in a supportive environment. Cheryl recognized through her interactions with families that ethnic hair care can cause anxiety, frustration and self-doubt for parents and the child as well. She believes that educating individuals and families that are unfamiliar with the required care for ethnic textured hair will help to eliminate many of these feelings; building parents confidence and improving the child self-image and esteem.

Cheryl brings over 15 years of experience in social work and training along with five years of experience in the beauty industry. Cheryl has extensive training and experience in hands-on training and workshops presentations for adults and youth. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Social Work, Business Studies and is a NYS License Cosmetologist. Cheryl has presented various workshops to organization such as the Girl Scouts of Western New York, City of Rochester Recreation Department and at Soy Unica, Soy Latina and Save our Sister conferences.

Curly Que’s offers families informational and hands-on workshops. Workshops are delivered in various community environments/meeting places and salon settings. Professional products and tools are available for purchase. Cheryl Hayward thanks you in advance for considering Cheryl H Hair Care & Curly Que’s for the opportunity to serve you and your family’s hair care needs. For more information contact Cheryl Hayward at 585-615-7480 or email at

Knowing that every culture has its stories, I believe that storytelling is a perfect medium for teaching about the customs, traditions, and history of a people…. listeners come to know that we are united by common human experiences in spite of our differences. Karima Amin

Karima Amin


Storyteller, Educator, and Author

KARIMA AMIN is a storyteller, educator, and author from Buffalo, NY who shares tales in her repertoire throughout the US and Canada with story lovers of all ages. With 24 years in public school education to her credit, and more than three decades of storytelling, she provides performances, workshops, keynotes and author visits to promote literacy, increase cultural awareness, enliven staff development, and improve human relations. She is known for creating programs that are tailor-made to suit the needs of her audiences. Her voice is very familiar in a community where she has shared fables on local radio (WBLK-FM) for a decade.

Karima is a co-founder of “Spin-A-Story Tellers of WNY” and “Tradition Keepers: Black Storytellers of WNY.” She is also a member of the “National Storytelling Network” and the “National Association of Black Storytellers.”

Ms. Amin is available for a variety of events, including: live performances, workshops, lecture, staff development and consulting. To learn more, please visit her official website at

Daughters of Creative Sound

Daughters of Creative Sound is an African American women’s drum and percussion ensemble. Founded in 2004, the group expresses itself through vocal, visual, and percussive avenues. Their performances speak to Spirit and speak through Spirit via instrumental and vocal music, storytelling, and movement that touch the soul. Although women and girls seem to be most inspired by and responsive to the work of DAUGHTERS, all people who witness the group’s presence and energy are moved by the women’s ability to entertain, inspire, uplift, and educate.

These women are storytellers, dancers, singers, and percussionists whose diversity of talents lends itself to a broad-based level of creative expression.

“Preventionfocus/Womanfocus” honored the group with its “Women of the Arts” award in 2005. The group has brought joy, education, and healing to countless numbers of people who have enjoyed the “sound” and the “spirit.” The women have performed all over Western NY and beyond for schools, colleges and universities, libraries, churches, community center, festivals, and more. The group has also been the highlight of family gatherings and fraternal, social, and political events.

Charlotte Cardwell

Charlotte Cardwell

Dancer/Dance Teacher

Charlotte Cardwell At the early age of 14 months, Charlotte started in a “Mommy and Me” tap and ballet class, and ever since has had a deep love for dance. She continued to dance through grammar school at Miss. Anita’s school of Dance and then moved on to DCDP (Darlene Ceglias Dance Project). For those eight years at DCDP, Charlotte had taken tap, jazz ballet, modern, hip- hop, and musical theater. She attended multiple regional competitions in Toronto, Canada and as well as Las Vegas for multiple national competition titles. During her junior and senior years of high-school Charlotte attended BAVPA (Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts) as a dance major, and performed at various occasions and functions such as weddings, black history programs, and birthday parties. Currently, Charlotte attends Buffalo State College as a Senior Dance major and is determined to get her masters degree in dance as well. “I’ve always wanted to become a dance teacher! Even after I’ve tried other majors, branched out to new ideas and even took a break from college. But there was always something inside of me that lead me back to my first true love, Dance”.

We are thrilled to have Charlotte joining us on behalf of Studio J Dance and she is looking forward to teaching the kids (and parents) some modern hip-hop moves!

The African & Caribbean American Culture Day event is open to all adoptive families, as well as those who are waiting. To RSVP please contact Adoption STAR at (716) 639-300 or

Read More About Transracial Adoption:

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