BIPOC Adult Siblings Roundtable

BIPOC Adult Siblings Roundtable

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 Hall, 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 Hall, Jeniece Dortch, Lisa Matthews, Melanie Martin, Richard Mullens, Adanna Abakporo, Devaki, Karee Lee, Spinisha Rains Johnson, Lisa Nicole Rosado (pictured left to right)



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.

Siblings: Christina + Gianna

Siblings: Christina + Gianna

My sister is my Irish twin (13 months younger than me). I have an older brother who is also my Irish twin (13 months older than me). My sister, Gianna, has intellectual disability, epilepsy and diabetes. I loved our relationship growing up because despite her difficulties communicating and engaging with others, she enjoyed many of the same things I did such as getting her nails and hair done. My friends would always say my sister looks “fresh”, which she is! Thanks to my parents, she also had the same opportunities we did to join in dance, soccer and other recreational sports! I’m so lucky she’s my sister because it’s truly humbled me and changed my life forever.


Special Needs Siblings - sisters Christina + Gianna
Special Needs Siblings - sisters Christina + Gianna


Hi, this the omoqui family.

My name is Maggie omoqui I am 16 years old, i have autism and prader willi syndrome. My borthor has autism and some of my cousins do I have autism.


While our adult autistic man of the house Zen takes care of all of us and just graduated, his little sister Sophie Anaïs has always watched out for him. She even taught him how to tie HIS shoes. We love each other BIG like the SKY.



I’m Joni Robinson mother of Toni Alford who was born with a large hole in her heart and had an asd repair at the age of 9 months.. is non verbal & mentally delayed and at 12 years old still has no actual diagnosis ..

I’m bragging for her for her big sister.. my oldest daughter Dajanel who is Toni’s best friend . I don’t know what we would do without her.. she takes such good care of her sister and also tries to take her with her every where she goes like Toni’s her age which is 19.. but I’m bragging because this experience with her sister has made her want to be a special needs teacher and is now in her second year of college taking the required courses to become the best teacher and helper for her sister.