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  • Writer's pictureMaria Vandenburg

Getting Grounded at RootsTech 2024

Updated: Mar 18

Ever just listened to your heart?

Even when the world is telling you not to?

Like travel to SLT by using your Alaska airline miles and put your hotel on your Hilton Amex Card

This story has two sides of it:

  1. The assumption that I am weathly

  2. I'm actually the opposite due to abuse from Pillar Properties

  3. No legal firm has yet responded to my plea for help

  4. I took a deep breathe to dive into my roots/lineage and

Remember: Mirror Pyramid at the Entrance
Remember: Mirror Pyramid at the Entrance


and with that... I bring you Roots Tech 2024

Day One

Learned that:

Day Two:

Met Robert Cho who was SO FUNNY that I snorted MULTIPLE times during my recordings. AND..

I had the opportunity to tell him that he inspired me to consider doing stand-up, as I have never really viewed myself as a comedian. BUT, the way he uses satire to express pain is genius... I'm just not there yet. I'm bursting into tears every 0.02 seconds. 🥲

Day Three

Met Lynne M. Jackson of the Dred Scott foundation. Here is how she describes her vision and her passion:

Whose Mission Statement is...

"To educate the public of the critical impact of the Dred Scott Decision and the struggle for freedom of Dred and Harriet Scott through commemoration, education and reconciliation."

And Goal: To promote the commemoration, education and reconciliation of our histories. These objectives overlap and are constantly being addressed in the various  opportunities we create and we are involved in to ensure that we never forget the struggle for freedom, citizenship and equality, with an eye towards helping to heal the wounds of the past.

And I told her my journey was similar but different and I didn't know if I would ever be able to make it public, of which she said - "I'm here, just email me"♥️🖤✨

Final Day:

I listened to my heart BEFORE I even knew that someone I have looked up to MY ENTIRE LIFE would be the keynote speaker. That was announced a few days after I paid for the ticket and booked the flight I had approx 30 seconds with her sequenced below:

"I love you. You're my idol. I love you. I'm so glad I got to meet you"

Seriously, that was what I thought I would experience with RootsTech 2024 for. However it ran SO MUCH DEEPER then that. And for that, I will always be grateful.

And Finally... What's Your Story..

Where I was brave enough TO BEGIN telling my own Story

I could go on and on.. some of the highlights for me though were:


Nathan Dylan Goodwin: who SERIOUSLY felt like a cousin. I bought his first two books and promptly left them behind... LOL. 😂 They are enroute to me though. He can be found here:

Find my Path: who've inspired me to make a trip to the UK in December to visit the British Library with new Eyes

Connect our Kids: For those in the social work field who would like an additional tool to do exactly what the name of the company is. The Founder was and is INCREDABLY inspiring

And many more, including FamilySearch, My Heritage, - it was a bit sad for me to not see 23andme.

Also AMAZING....

Million Names Project: Link mindblowingly amazing the level of collaboration and bravery of those involved and leading the way for all of us to have access to the same information

Nancy Borowick: whose photography, humility and genius truly inspired me

Technological advances were spoken of, and lots of German ancestry discovered

I also decided that I want to go back to the UK for Winter Solstice, do I know how I am going to figrue it out? Nope.

Is the desire to return back to consulting to be able to figure it out there? Yup.

So much more I could share, but thenthis would turn into about 20 different blogs. 🥸 💃🏻

Interested in learning more about my personal journey?



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