We Were Once a Family: Journalists Investigating Child WelfareSaturday, May 6 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Brower Center - Goldman Theater
- Current Affairs
- Writing & Publishing
On March 26, 2018, an SUV carrying two married white women and their six adopted Black children was found at the bottom of a 100-foot cliff in Mendocino County. Officials quickly ruled the incident a murder-suicide, which was shocking enough—but over the weeks and months that followed, an even more sickening narrative emerged, one that indicted not only the Harts but also the foster care and adoption systems that so tragically failed these children. In We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America, Texas-based journalist Roxanna Asgarian begins with the Hart family tragedy but doesn’t stop there—her immersive, investigative account, the culmination of five years of research, centers the stories of the children and their birth families and uncovers, among other factors, the racial biases and corruption that placed these children, and countless others, in positions of profound peril. Joining Asgarian is Garrett Therolf of the Investigative Reporting Program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. For a decade at the Los Angeles Times,, Therolf covered children and families living on the margins, and he produced the Netflix docuseries The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, based on his reporting of an eight-year-old boy’s murder in Los Angeles County. Their conversation will be moderated by David Barstow, the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism and head of investigative reporting at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Book signing information: Bookshop West Portal, at the venue