Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

About Oronde Miller

Oronde Miller is the Author of the book:

"Facing the Rising Sun: Perspectives on African American Family and Child Well-Being"

Professionally:

Oronde A. Miller serves as a Program Officer focusing on racial equity at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Prior to this role, Oronde was a Senior Associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington, DC, where he led efforts to promote racial justice and racial equity among families involved with this nation's foster care, juvenile justice and school systems.  Before this, Oronde was the Chief of Staff to the Secretary at the Maryland Department of Human Resources, Maryland’s public human services system.  Oronde was also a Senior Director of Strategic Consulting at Casey Family Programs, where he was responsible for providing consultation and support to state and local public child welfare systems throughout the United States, including a focus on the implications of race, racism and culture.  Prior to this role, Mr. Miller served as Director of Systems Improvement Methodologies and was responsible for the Breakthrough Series Collaborative child welfare systems improvement work efforts and the Technical Assistance Unit’s racial disproportionality work efforts. He also managed Casey Family Programs’ Breakthrough Series Collaborative on Reducing Racial Disproportionality and Disparate Outcomes for Children and Families of Color in the Child Welfare System, a national systems improvement effort addressing race, culture, and child welfare practice and policy and involving 13 public child welfare agencies nationwide.

Prior to joining Casey Family Programs in March 2005, Oronde worked in the National Center for Research and Data at the Child Welfare League of America, where he was responsible for the evaluation of the Collaboration to AdoptUSKids, a multi-year national adoption initiative of the U.S. Children’s Bureau.  He also worked for several years as a Research Associate for the National Center on Permanency for African American Children in Washington, DC.

Oronde’s professional experience includes direct service, program development and management, community engagement as well as child welfare and educational system reform efforts.  Before working in child welfare, Oronde was involved in similar urban public school system reform efforts addressing race, cultural socialization, teacher training and institutional bureaucracy.  Oronde earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, as well as a Master of Science degree in Developmental Psychology from Howard University in Washington, DC.  Oronde is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, also at Howard University.

 

Personally:

Oronde Miller is the second of two sons born to an interracial couple in a rural town in north central Ohio.  At just several months old, Oronde and his brother were both placed by their white mother in the county’s public foster care system.  Attempts by their African American father and paternal family to retrieve them from the foster care system were denied during the following weeks.  Before being placed with their permanent adoptive family in Detroit,Michigan, they had experienced multiple foster care placements, as well as one disrupted adoptive placement.  At one point, Oronde and his brother were briefly separated during an emergency foster care placement in Michigan.  Their final adoptive placement in Detroit, Michigan was arranged and finalized through Homes for Black Children (in Detroit), at that time the nation’s first and only independent African American adoption agency.

It was during his latter graduate school years at Howard University that Oronde gained a more complete awareness of his and his brother’s experience with the child welfare system.  He and his brother intensively researched their personal history, and Oronde immediately sought to understand the complex political, social, racial and cultural dynamics as they play out in child welfare, particularly adoption, foster care, and kinship care.  He is now committed to working closely with child welfare systems and organizations in their efforts to more effectively support children and families in need.

Oronde's passion is in working directly with individuals and organizations to better understand and support holistic and culturally centered child and family development and socialization, processes of schooling and education, family dynamics, and traditional African conceptions of character formation and development during childhood.  During his spare time, Oronde operates the Institute for Family and Child Well-Being, and its comprehensive online resource repository (www.ifcwb.org).  This blog, as well as the Institute and online resource repository are completely independent of Oronde's work at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and his former work at the State of Maryland and Casey Family Programs.  Oronde has (co-)authored several scholarly journal articles, and has consulted with a number of child welfare and educational organizations throughout the country.  He has also spoken before dozens of audiences throughout the United States, as well as in Canada and South Africa.

You can reach Oronde Miller directly, via email, at omiller@ifcwb.org.

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