Author Archives: Sandra Patton-Imani

About Sandra Patton-Imani

Sandra Patton-Imani is an Associate Professor of American Studies at Drake University, where she teaches Anthropology, Sociology, and Women’s Studies. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from University of Maryland at College Park in American Studies with a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies. She is a former postdoctoral fellow at the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota Law School. She earned a B.A. in Radio/TV/ Film and American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. She is the author of BirthMarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America, New York University Press 2000, as well as numerous scholarly articles on adoption, race, gender, and family, including her most recent “Orphan Sunday: Narratives of Salvation in Transnational Adoption.” She is currently writing her next book Sophie Has Five Mothers: Lesbian-Headed Families and the Rights of Citizenship, based on in-depth interviews conducted with a racially and ethnically diverse group of over 100 lesbian mothers living in a range of states with contrasting laws regarding marriage, adoption, and other family policies. She and her wife Melanie are editing a documentary based on this research Red Light, Green Light: Family Values, Family Pride.

“Beauty” by Claire Franksen

Claire Franksen created this digital story in the 2017 J-term class Documentary Video Challenge: Digital Storytelling for Social Justice.

“Invisible” by Mitch Kedzior

Mitch Kedzior created this digital story in the Drake University J-term class SCS 153: Documentary Video Challenge: Digital Storytelling for Social Justice, taught by Professor Sandra Patton-Imani.

“Haven” by Ian Estrem


Ian Estrem created this digital story in the Drake University J-term class SCS 153: Documentary Video Challenge: Digital Storytelling for Social Justice, taught by Professor Sandra Patton-Imani.

“Wings” by Sally Diehl

Sally Diehl created this digital story in the Drake University J-term class SCS 153: Documentary Video Challenge: Digital Storytelling for Social Justice, taught by Professor Sandra Patton-Imani.

“Silence” by Adam Ussher

This digital story was created by Adam Ussher in the 2017 J-term course Documentary Video Challenge: Digital Storytelling for Social Justice, taught by Professor Sandra Patton-Imani at Drake University.

“February Crisis” by Natalie Larimer

Natalie Larimer created this digital story in Documentary Video Challenge: Digital Storytelling for Social Justice, a 2017 J-term course taught by Professor Sandra Patton-Imani, Department for the Study of Culture and Society, Drake University.