Mixed-race students struggle to find their identity

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-28 19:43Z by Steven

Mixed-race students struggle to find their identity

The Daily Pennsylvanian
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Elizabeth Winston

Many students seem to effortlessly fit into cultural groups at Penn [University of Pennsylvania], but for some, it’s more complicated than simply choosing one.

For mixed-race students, finding racial or cultural groups to identify with can be more of a challenge. Being from a mixed cultural background comes with unique experiences that are more complex than simply combining the two — or more.

College sophomore Emily Marucci is Chinese, but was adopted into a white family at a very young age. She said people “are always confused [why] my last name is Italian. It’s too long to be Asian.”

“I feel like sometimes I’m expected to be in different circles than I am,” Marucci added. “Racially, I’m supposed to be Asian-American, but I identify more as white. No one ever thinks that when they look at me.”

Wharton sophomore Deena Char also identifies with this frustration. With a mix of Japanese, French and Native-American backgrounds, she finds it insulting when people pigeonhole her into one identity.

“Just because I’m Asian, it doesn’t mean that I want to be in an Asian organization,” Char said.

One of the struggles mixed-race people face is formally identifying their ethnicities on demographic forms. Often they must fill in a bubble marked “other,” choose one identity over the other or occasionally have the option to choose a “multiracial” or “mixed” bubble.

“To lump us all into one ‘none of the above’ category just doesn’t feel right,” Wharton sophomore Avery Stephenson, who identifies as Filipino and black, said…

Read the entire article here.

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