Multi attends fourth annual Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-21 01:45Z by Steven

Multi attends fourth annual Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

The Occidental Weekly
Los Angeles, California

Kristine White

For the first time, Multi, Occidental’s cultural club for multiracial and multicultural students, sent a group of eight members and nonmembers to the 2017 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference at the University of Southern California from Feb. 24 to Feb. 26. The conference brought together scholars, activists and artists from around the globe to explore the field of critical race studies with over 50 panels, roundtables, caucus sessions and performances. In celebration of the 50-year anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, which declared interracial marriage legal, the theme of this year’s conference was “Explorations in Trans(gender, gressions, migrations, racial) Fifty Years After Loving v. Virginia.”

After last semester’s Multi Week, Oct. 23 to Oct. 28, Multi President Miki Konishi (junior) noticed that Multi garnered increased attention around campus from students. Konishi, Khloe Swanson (junior) and Eushrah Hossein created Multi three years ago in an effort to provide space for and discuss the experience of multiracial and multicultural identities. The club meets bimonthly to discuss issues that multiracial students face and to provide a safe space to discuss the various factors that affect their identity. Konishi explained that, before joining Multi, he attended other monocultural clubs on campus and found it necessary to provide a space for students who identify with multiple cultures…

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Author Junot Díaz Packs Thorne Hall

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-27 20:01Z by Steven

Author Junot Díaz Packs Thorne Hall

Oxy Newsroom
Occidental College, Los Angeles, California

Media Contact: Jim Tranquada / (323) 259-2990

Marc Campos/Occidental College

Ranging from profane to profound, from wisecracking to wistful, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz discussed the complexities and heartbreak of race and identity in America with a capacity crowd at Occidental College Tuesday.

For two hours, Díaz mixed readings from his critically acclaimed books The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This Is How You Lose Her with thoughtful, often self-deprecatory answers to questions from the crowd of 800 students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members that packed Thorne Hall.

Diaz was introduced by novelist Danzy Senna, Occidental’s writer-in-residence and an old friend, who called him “One of the few writers I teach again and again, year after year … His characters contain multitudes.”

A native of the Dominican Republic who emigrated to the United States as a child, Díaz repeatedly critiqued the idea of authenticity among communities of color – the existence of an internal formula or standard of authenticity that leaves most people believing that their identity, and the lives they lead, are somehow lacking.

“I grew up in central Jersey in a big African-American community, and black folks were no more willing to accept my complexity than white folks … they wanted to deny my multiplicity. They said I was just black. And my Dominican family said we’re not black,” he said. “Neither of these formulas satisfy, because a huge portion of me disappears. I fought tooth and nail so every little part of me could be at the party.”

Such formulas tend to create hierarchies, and “solidarity is impossible with hierarchies,” he continued. “It might give you a little psychic capital, but its disrupts your ability to connect … There’s a lot at stake when a community exercises this kind of internal exclusion.”…

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