Who is John W. Raible?

Dr. John Raible has been educating audiences about transracial adoption for more than thirty years. He began speaking to adoptive parents in the 1970s as a teen panelist at regional and national adoption conferences. He is one of the adult adoptees featured in the widely-shown 1998 documentary film Struggle for Identity: Issues in Transracial Adoption. More recently, he was a returning cast member for the award-winning 2007 Struggle for Identity: A Conversation 10 Years Later.

As an outspoken and nationally-known adult adoptee, Professor Raible has appeared on television talk shows such as the Joan Rivers Show and Sally Jesse Raphael, and has been interviewed by numerous media organizations, including Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and BBC Radio’s World Service.


Forrest Crawford (left) and John Raible (right), recipients of the G. Pritchy Smith Multicultural Educator of the Year Award at the 2017 NAME conference, with Pritchy Smith (center).

Dr. Raible received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies, concentrating in Language, Literacy, and Culture. His thesis examined the experience of non-adopted white siblings who grew up with adopted African American or Korean brothers and sisters. Educating white parents who adopt children of color is an aspect of multicultural education that is not typically understood as important anti-bias work.


John with some of his favorite students in New Mexico, 1984.

After a long career as a public school teacher in diverse sites such as the Navajo Nation, Compton California, and upstate New York, John returned to graduate school to pursue a doctorate in Multicultural Education. Dr. Raible currently teaches courses in Multicultural Education and Family Diversity at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he received tenure as Associate Professor of Diversity & Curriculum Studies.

Prof. Raible’s research examines the ways racial identities unfold in multicultural social contexts, as for instance, among members of transracial/transnational adoptive families or within racially integrated schools. Dr. Raible’s publications include Lifelong Impact, Enduring Need in Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption (2006)Beyond Categories: The Complex Identities of Adolescents (2003 & 2008, with Dr. Sonia Nieto); Transracialized Selves and the Emergence of Post-White Teacher Identities (2007 with Dr. Jason Irizarry); and Real Brothers, Real Sisters: Learning From the Non-adopted White Siblings of Transracial Adoptees (2008). His Checklist for Allies Against Racism has long been a popular reprint, along with his more recent 9 Steps to a Transracialized, Anti-racist Lifestyle.

Over the years, Dr. Raible has provided trainings, lectures, keynotes, and other presentations to a variety of audiences, including Black Administrators in Child Welfare (BACW), the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), National Court-Appointed Special Advocates for Children (National CASA), the Africana Studies & Research Center at Cornell University, the University of Washington School of Social Work, and the School of Social Work at Hunter College.

John Raible receiving the “Friend of the Children” Award

from Dr. Ruth McRoy at the NACAC Annual Conference, August 2010

Dr. Raible is available as a speaker, trainer, and consultant on a variety of topics, including transracial adoption and foster care, family diversity, multicultural identities and anti-racism, and multicultural education issues.