A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2018-04-12 19:46Z by Steven

A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Pacific Citizen: The National Newspaper of the JACL
Los Angeles, California
2018-03-28

Rob Buscher, Contributor


Ken Tanabe, left, and Jeff Chiba Stearns lead the Community Caucus at CMRS. (Photo: Rob Buscher)

Leaders in the multiracial movement gather to ‚ÄėResist, Reclaim, Reimagine‚Äô ‚Äď a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the U.S.

Over the past few decades, the Japanese American community has become increasingly inclusive of multiracial and multiethnic individuals. However, for those of us who appear less phenotypically Japanese, it is sometimes difficult explaining our connection to people who are less familiar with interracial marriage and mixed-race children.

Multiracial Japanese Americans are in many ways the direct result of institutionalized racism that stigmatized Japanese-ness in the 20th century. From the Alien Land Laws to the mass incarceration during World War II, the very existence of our Japanese immigrant ancestors was deemed objectionable. Is it any wonder that so many of our parents and grandparents would choose intermarriage with partners from other ethnic and racial communities?

Yet, despite the growing prevalence of mixed-race Japanese Americans, there are many outside our community who do not acknowledge the legitimacy of our existence within the spectrum of Japanese American identity.

This is why it was so empowering to attend an event like the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, where nearly every one of the 200-plus participants were mixed race. While each individual has a totally different experience being mixed race (even within the same mixed community) the fact that multiracial folks were a super majority in this space meant that everyone had at least a basic understanding of the shared complexities surrounding our mixed identities.

Hosted at the University of Maryland on March 1-3, the 2018 conference‚Äôs theme was ‚ÄúResist, Reclaim, Reimagine‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ titled with a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the United States

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