TRANSFORM speaker series: Peter and Adenike Harris

Peter and Adenike Harris, Pops'nAdePeter and Adenike Harris (also known as Pops’nAde) are a father-daughter duo who will be speaking at our upcoming TEDxPasadena conference about how they chose healing and wellness over anger and depression, revenge and retaliation.

When she was 14 years old, Adenike endured sexual abuse from her stepfather up until she was 22. The most transformative time in her life was the moment she felt safe, secure and courageous enough to tell her pastor about the abuse and having support from her to tell her mother; that moment when in her mind she knew that “now is the time…now you will tell the truth.”

Adenike had originally wanted to apply to speak at TEDxPasadena individually, but she decided that applying jointly with her father would offer a more unique and powerful opportunity to share their story.

“As daughter-father collaborators, we’ve given presentations to community orgs and churches in which we discuss how we worked together to legally prosecute Ade’s former stepfather after he sexually assaulted her; and how we found the courage to create a ‘call and response’ candor that helped us heal, face and transcend the impact of sexual trauma in our lives,” Peter said. “We felt that if selected, giving a TEDxPasadena talk would help amplify our story and help us share our message with a wider audience.”

In September, Peter and Adenike will talk about how road trips and the creative arts were tools they used to create deep intimacy and friendship to neutralize the distance and division that Adenike’s predatory ex-stepfather tried to instill as his legacy. The story they’ll be sharing is a personal one where they found healing after one of the most traumatic experiences in their lives by going through the trauma and not avoiding it.

“We’re all worth healing and no silence is good that keeps you from talking to people who can help you.” – Pops’nAde

The father-daughter duo hopes that their talk will enable listeners to cultivate and tap the emotional and psychological faculties to identify and define health and wellness, and to ethically cope with any challenges they may face.

“The courage, candor, honesty, risk-taking we’ve embraced are all valuable, whether confronting a sexual predator and the fallout from his actions, or whether feeling through other transitions and transformations that come with living a whole life.”

Peter says that collaborating with his daughter has enriched his sense of fatherhood beyond measure, while Adenike says that her father has shown her what true love looks like through listening and guidance.

“He has shown me how to maintain my peace even in the midst of storms. I’m proud to be his daughter,” she said.

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