A passionate, poised, and professional speaker, Ligia delivers a powerful message about adoption, her Afro-Latina experience, and her family with a graceful and personal touch.
Inspired by her very deep and personal connections to adoption, fueled by being the daughter of immigrants and motivated by the realities of a complex society, Ligia has become a fierce advocate for adopted children and multiracial families. Her ability to have authentic conversations about her Afro-Latina experience, adopting a multiethnic child, and being married interracially is genuine and insightful.
Part of her personal mission is to address how differences of class, culture, and race impact adoption in today's world. Ligia is also dedicated to changing the narrative surrounding adoption by introducing a modern understanding of adoption through her own professional and personal story. She shows her intimate journey via speaking engagements and written works.
Lovingly known as More’ (short for Morena meaning pretty brown girl) by family, Ligia was born in The Bronx, NY to Dominican parents. When she was nine, her mom moved them to Washington Heights New York, a primarily Jewish and Dominican community. Her experiences in that community developed the foundation for who she is today.
Ligia shares that "Growing up, I had to constantly justify how I was Dominicana. People had a difficult time with my complete package. My dark complexion and physical features didn’t fit the traditional idea of what it means to be Latina. I am Afro-Latina and I love it. However, living in the hyphen of Afro-Latina is complex, beautiful, and at times bittersweet."
Ligia married her best friend, a white guy from Jersey in 1999 and together they moved to the South. In the South, this love faced its fair share of challenges. In 2005, they adopted their then infant son who is multiracial. As an adoptive mom of a budding scientist, Ligia has had to face the hard truth that her son, with all his brilliance, diversity, and love of all people, will still face racial inequality in his lifetime.
Earning a Masters Degree in Professional Counseling and with over 16 years experience as a social worker, Ligia oversees the Post Care Service (reunification and adoption) in an 8 county region in North Carolina. Through her work she finds herself educating and coaching others regularly on issues of diversity and culture. Her work has lead her across the country speaking on the needs of multiracial adoptive families and their related challenges. As an educator Ligia has challenged her college students to not judge a book by its cover but rather let a persons character help them see the true nature of a person.
As an influencer, writer and speaker Ligia shares many personal experiences which provide teachable moments from her own life. Her hope is to raise awareness and change the narrative of what it means to be a multiracial family in a world that often wants to put you in a box. The belief that multiracial families can thrive is what drives her work.