new artistic director Lanise Shelley
Lanise Antoine Shelley, artistic director taps a new beat for The House Theatre of Chicago. Photo by Orel Chollette

The Haitian Times is sharing profiles of individuals and groups driving change in their communities throughout Haitian Heritage Month. This installment looks at Lanise Antoine Shelley, a Haitian-American actor whose work is bringing more diversity to theatre and deeper perspectives to adoption conversations.

CHICAGO – The sonorous voice of Lanise Antoine Shelley starts her Saturday-morning podcast — not with acting tips or talk of her upcoming play — but with how to understand the nuances of interracial and international adoption. “When They Were Young: Amplifying Voices of Adoptees” is borne of Shelley’s own experiences of self-doubt as an adoptee from Haiti. 

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J.O. Haselhoef is the author of “Give & Take: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti.” She co-founded "Yonn Ede Lot" (One Helping Another), a nonprofit that partnered with volunteer groups in La Montagne ("Lamontay"), Haiti from 2007-2013. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.