BIPOC Adult Siblings Roundtable

Written by Jeniece

July 4, 2021

 The BIPOC Adult Sibling Roundtables are a bi-monthly event co-hosted by the Sibling Support Project, Special Needs Siblings and Sibling Leadership Network.

November 18 launched the first of a series of sibling discussions dedicated to expanding the inclusion and diversity of the sibling support community. The series highlights the experiences, insights, perspectives and stories of Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color who have brothers and sisters with disabilities. 

I am soo loving this—the experiences and words of wisdom that are being shared.  Thank you to the panel and organizers for making this happen! – Don Meyer

The organizors of this incredible event are Emily Holl, the Director of the Sibling Support Project and Jeniece Dortch, Executive Director of Special Needs Siblings and Lisa Matthews, the DC Chapter Representative and board member of the Sibling Leadership Network. 

The idea of this event came about following a Sibshop Facilitator Training by the Sibling Support Project, attended by Jeniece. Sibshops have been around for almost 40 years and during the training the group discussed the need for Sibshops to be equitable, safe, nurturing spaces where all children, and especially BIPOC children, to feel genuinely welcome and supported.  

From that discussion, the idea of a BIPOC sibling roundtable was born.  Emily and Jeniece invited Lisa to be part of the panel and planning process, and they knew the event could be a powerful way to highlight the importance of considering and learning from the experiences, insights, perspectives and stories of BIPOC siblings, and to unite BIPOC siblings in new and meaningful ways.

Listen to past roundtable discussions and learn more about the BIPOC Sibing experience. Contact us at 470.322.5632 or for ways to support and get involved.

November 18, 2020 – BIPOC Adult Sibling Roundtable
Patrica Portis, Jeniece Dortch, Shannon Lewis, Angela West-Brown, Richard Mullen, Lisa Matthews
(pictured left to right)

January 18, 2021 – BIPOC Adult Sibling Roundtable
Emily Holl, Jeniece Dortch, Lisa Matthews, Atikah Bagawan, Kimrah Brotherson, Sam Johnson Lyle Lasala, Elda Elmario,  (pictured left to right)

March 18, 2021 – BIPOC Adult Sibling Roundtable
Emily Holl, Jeniece Dortch, Lisa Matthews, Melanie Martin, Richard Mullen, Adanna Abakporo, Devaki, Karee Lee, Spinisha Rains Johnson, Lisa Nicole Rosado (pictured left to right)

May 18, 2021 – BIPOC Adult Sibling Roundtable
Lisa Matthews, Richard Mullen, Jeniece Dortch, Barr (Mrs.) Ifeoma Philippa Peterkins-Itoe, Heather Shin, Jacqueline Moreno, Elena Marte



Thank you for your responses and our panelists for sharing. I’m in tears. I feel heard and seen and supported. That’s all we siblings want/need.

First time in 31 years I’ve had this.

Wow- Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences. I am in awe. Grateful to have been here tonight.

So grateful for the intentionality in getting this roundtable together. It’s so important that we’re listening to BIPOC voices and is long overdue in most settings! Thank you!

I’m glad I’m not the only one in tears. I have finally found people that understand.

I thought the round table was EXCELLENT. They gave wonderful insight and I definitely will be taking the information and experiences shared with me in my work to support people with disabilities, their families and their siblings. I would love for this conversation to continue! Here at ESMW, we are really working hard right now to find ways to bring education on Autism to black communities in STL and connect families to necessary resources, so this was so incredibly helpful to be a part of this and here about their experiences!!

This was a wonderful learning experience! I would love to see this discussion continued in the future.