Franklin College’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Terri Roberts-Leonard, has written a children’s book, titled Danda the Panda: Welcome to My World. The main character is adopted. The book is dedicated to Roberts-Leonard’s three children, Jaylynn 6, Justin 5 and Jordan 1 – all three of whom are adopted.
“I think it is important to normalize adoption so that kiddos who are adopted do not feel like outcasts,” said Roberts-Leonard. “Children need to know that families form in many different ways.”
Roberts-Leonard does plan on the book being part of a series, but it is dependent on sales.
Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Roberts-Leonard said she is committed to community service, education and inclusion and that her devotion to improving the community is reflected in her work. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in African-American studies from the University of Cincinnati. She earned a master’s in education in sport administration from Xavier University and a master’s degree in school counseling from Morehead State University. In addition to Franklin College, she has held positions in higher education at the University of Cincinnati, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Morehead State University and Ball State University.
Although accomplished in her profession, her reach extends far into the greater community. Roberts-Leonard serves on the board of directors for Windrose Health Network and the United Way of Johnson County. She is a part of the Turning Point Domestic Violence Services Johnson County Community Coalition, Clark-Pleasant Education Foundation Special Events and Fundraising Committee, Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation Diversity and Equity Committee and a member of the Alpha Sigma Indianapolis Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Johnson County. She also serves as a professional mentor for several individuals in the field of higher education as well as several undergraduate students.
Roberts-Leonard is the recipient of a Champion of Diversity Award from the Indiana Minority Business Magazine, the Center for Leadership Development Distinguished Achievement Award and the WTLC 106.7 FM Accentuate the Positive Contest Winner. She also received an Ollie V. Green Humanitarian Award for the Central Region of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., on three separate occasions.
Roberts-Leonard resides in Greenwood with her husband Eddie and three young children.
The book, illustrated by Lucas Smith, can be purchased on Amazon.com. To stay connected on news of future books in the series, visit the Facebook page, Danda the Panda, and on Instagram, @lovemakesafamilystories.
For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.