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 ‘Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine’ – 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’s theme was “Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine” — titled with a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the United States

Read the entire article here.

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Reflections on the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference (CMRS) 2017

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-22 17:08Z by Steven

Reflections on the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference (CMRS) 2017

Multiracial Media: Voice of the Multiracial Community
2017-03-22

Thomas Lopez, President
Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC)

Back in February 2015 I met with Duncan Williams, Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Sonia Smith-Kang and Shannon Haugh over Vietnamese fusion food in Atwater Village to kick-off the site planning meeting for the Critical Mixed Race Studies 2016 conference to be held at the University of Southern California (USC). It occurred to me then that fusion food gets its name from the people eating it as much as what is on the menu. As the President of Multiracial Americans of Southern California, I knew my involvement would be more oversight than direct action since seeing to the management of MASC keeps me busy enough. Still, I sat-in in part because I needed to know in what direction we were moving and also in-part for the good eats.


Thomas Lopez with Maria P. P. Root

We quickly realized this conference would be unlike any of the ones before. For starters, one of the first things we did was review dates in the Fall to hold the conference to maintain the biannual schedule set by the initial organizers. It soon occurred to us that many dates were unavailable due to USC’s football schedule. For those that don’t know, you don’t want to be anywhere near USC on a game day, unless you’re going to the game. As we started striking out dates due to conflicts we eventually settled on a shift of the conference to the Spring and thus was born the new Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference of 2017

Read the entire article here.

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Misc.: How to Really Kill Affirmative Action or Why Abigail Fisher Ain’t Rachel Dolezol

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-01-22 17:36Z by Steven

Misc.: How to Really Kill Affirmative Action or Why Abigail Fisher Ain’t Rachel Dolezol

The Multiracial Advocate
2016-01-20

Thomas Lopez, President
Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC)

Abigail Fisher was a mediocre high school student applying to the University of Texas (UT). She couldn’t get in based on her grades and test scores alone so she was put into a pool of students that would be considered for admission based on alternative factors meant to diversify the campus student body. Most of the students admitted from this pool were white like Fisher, but a small number were racial minorities. Any number of factors may have been the basis for a discrimination law suit but Ms. Fisher chose to sue for racial discrimination all the way to the Supreme Court. This has been a tactic tried numerous times to chip away at affirmative action programs, but there is another strategy yet to be tried that would probably kill it for good yet for some reason no one has attempted.

Applications for college are much like the Census in that they provide the opportunity for self-identification. Since the end of Jim Crow in official legislation, the government has been accepting self-identification as the means for collecting racial demographic information more and more. So what is stopping someone from identifying as a racial minority and taking advantage of affirmative action programs? Could someone be sued for racial fraud in this case?…

Read the entire article here.

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Should “Latino” be a Race on the Census?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-10-29 16:08Z by Steven

Should “Latino” be a Race on the Census?

National Institute for Latino Policy
Guest Commentary
2014-10-26

Thomas Lopez, President
Multiracial Americans of Southern California

Few questions cause as much existential angst among Latino intellectuals as this one. The Latino origin question was added to the Census in such a hurry back in 1970, that little thought was likely given to how it would fold into the existing racial categories at the time. It has remained a separate question ever since; thus was born the ubiquitous phrase “Latino (or Hispanic) can be of any race.”  It has been stated so often that it has become more of a platitude than a validated scientific fact.  Kudos should be given to the Census Bureau for finally addressing this issue.  Even if nothing changes in the Census, just considering the question forces us into a deeper conversation about identity in general. Because in order to answer the question of whether or not Latino should be a race, one must first answer a more fundamental question: what is race?

Perhaps it would be easier to start with what race isn’t. There is no biological or genetic basis for race. The full argument supporting this assertion is beyond the scope of this commentary so we will just have to accept that as truth for now.  So what is race? Race is a social construct, which is fancy academic speak for simply being made up. That isn’t to say it doesn’t have meaning just because it is made up. We infuse numerous social constructs with meaning. However, it does create a challenge for demographers to determine what society considers a race and what it doesn’t. The key is looking at the context in which it is used…

Read the entire article here.

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Census Data Confusion, Manipulation, and Latinos of Mixed Ancestry or “Should Latino be a Race?”

Posted in Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2014-07-30 14:23Z by Steven

Census Data Confusion, Manipulation, and Latinos of Mixed Ancestry or “Should Latino be a Race?”

Presented at The Second Annual Mixed Heritage Conference
University of California, Los Angeles
2014-04-16

Thomas Lopez, President
Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC)

Multiracial Americans President Thomas Lopez delivers a talk on changing the Census categories to allow Latino to become a race. In this episode, the talk is introduced with a brief history of the Census. Special emphasis is made on how Hispanic became a Census category and mixed race people succeeded in checking one or more racial categories.

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More Americans consider themselves multiracial

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-06-13 22:52Z by Steven

More Americans consider themselves multiracial

The Los Angeles Times
2013-06-12

Emily Alpert

The number of mixed or multiracial people in the United States jumped 6.6% between 2010 and 2012, according to the Census Bureau. Their ranks will only continue to grow, experts say.

The number of Americans who consider themselves multiracial has grown faster than any other racial group nationwide, new Census Bureau data reveal, a sign of slow but momentous shifts in the way that Americans think about race.

Mixed or multiracial people are still just a small slice of the American public, but their numbers jumped 6.6% between 2010 and 2012 — four times as fast as the national population, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Experts say their ranks will only continue to swell.

…Mingling of races “has been with us forever in this country, and it has been erased and denied,” said G. Reginald Daniel, professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara. Today, “that has begun to unravel. That is what you’re seeing with these figures.”…

…For African Americans, in particular, the “one drop rule” that historically defined blackness is relaxing. Sixteen years ago, when golfer Tiger Woods dubbed himself “Cablinasian” — Caucasian, black, American Indian and Asian — critics said Woods was denying his black heritage, said New York University associate professor of sociology Ann Morning

…”For mixed Latinos there’s no answer,” said Thomas Lopez, director of Latinas and Latinos of Mixed Ancestry, a project of the nonprofit Multiracial Americans of Southern California. When the Census Bureau ran an experiment three years ago giving people a chance to claim Hispanic along with at least one other race, 6.8% did so…

…”Americans are becoming more nuanced in their understanding of race,” said Carolyn Liebler, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. “But I don’t think race is becoming less important in our society.”

Read the entire article here.

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SoCal multiracial families create their own Cheerios ‘ads’

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2013-06-07 15:37Z by Steven

SoCal multiracial families create their own Cheerios ‘ads’

Multi-American: How immigrants are redefining ‘American’ in Southern California
89.3 KPCC: Southern California Public Radio
2013-06-06

Leslie Berestein Rojas, Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter

Call it a reaction to a reaction.

A group of multiracial Southern Californians, happy to see a new Cheerios commercial featuring a mixed-race family—but upset over the flood of hateful comments it generated online—has come up with “ads” of its own.

The Cheerios ad went up on YouTube last week. In it, a little girl with brown skin asks her mother, who is white, if it’s true that the cereal is “good for your heart.” After her mother answers, the little girl runs off. The camera then cuts to her father, who is black, waking from a nap to find a pile of Cheerios on his chest.

Online, the ad drew praise for addressing shifting demographics when the number of multiracial American families is on the rise. But it also triggered a flood of hate-speech comments so vitriolic that Cheerios disabled the comments section under the video.

“We knew there would be some kind of backlash, but we did not expect it to be such hatred,” said Sonia Kang, a board member of Multiracial Americans of Southern California, a group formed in 1986 that celebrates and advocates for multiracial families and children.

Read the entire article here.

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Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference 2012 and Mixed Roots Midwest

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2012-11-14 21:02Z by Steven

Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference 2012 and Mixed Roots Midwest

2012-11-13

Camilla Fojas, (CMRS 2012 organizer) Associate Professor and Chair
Latin American and Latino Studies
DePaul University

Laura Kina, (Mixed Roots Midwest 2012 co-organizer) Associate Professor Art, Media and Design and Director Asian American Studies
DePaul University


Photo of Mixed Roots Midwest: Filmmakers Panel by Laura Kina.

Presented by DePaul’s Center for Intercultural Programs and co-organized by Fanshen Cox, Chandra Crudup, Khanisha Foster, and Laura Kina, Mixed Roots Midwest featured three evenings of programming that explored what it means to have a mixed identity:

  • Nov 1, 2012 Selected Shorts: Silences by Octavio Warnock-Graham, Crayola Monologues by Nathan Gibbs, Mixed Mexican by Thomas P. Lopez, and Nigel’s Fingerprints by Kim Kuhteubl.
  • Nov 2, 2012 Filmmakers Panel: Fanshen Cox in conversation with Kim Kuhteubl, Jeff Chiba Stearns, Kip Fulbeck.
  • Nov 3, 2012 Live Event – featuring spoken word artists CP Chang, Chris L. Terry and Sage Xaxua Morgan-Hubbard from Chicago’s own 2nd Story along with a preview of Fanshen Cox’s solo-show-in-progress, One Drop of Love and invited Chicago writer Fred Sasaki reading from a manuscript of e-mails called “Letter of Interest.”
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MASC’s Thomas Lopez Discusses Mixed Latina/o Identity

Posted in Audio, Census/Demographics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Interviews, Latino Studies, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2012-10-10 04:12Z by Steven

MASC’s Thomas Lopez Discusses Mixed Latina/o Identity

Mixed Race Radio
Wednesday, 2012-10-17, 16:00Z (12:00 EDT, 09:00 PDT, 17:00 BST)

Tiffany Rae Reid, Host

Thomas Lopez

Thomas Lopez continues to amaze me. He has held various positions with Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC), Los Angeles, CA since 1995 and continues to organize numerous conferences, workshops and events such as “Race In Medicine: A Dangerous Prescription” and “A Rx for the FDA: Ethical Dilemmas for Multiracial People in Race-Based Medicine” at the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, DePaul University, 2010.

Thomas is also a filmmaker, having produced, Mixed Mexican: Is Latino a Race? which was shown at the Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival (2010), Readymade Film Festival (2010), and Hapapalooza Film Festival (2011)

On today’s episode of Mixed Race Radio, Thomas will announce the start of a new program by Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC) called: Latinas/os Of Mixed Ancestry (LOMA).

The purpose of the LOMA project is to:

  • Provide space for expression of mixed Latina/o identity.
  • Provide culturally relevant material to the mixed Latino community.
  • Raise awareness of this community to society at large.

This will be accomplished by:

  • The establishment of a website with blog and forum discussions.
  • Social media campaign.
  • Attendance at conferences.
  • A public relations awareness campaign.
  • MASC seeks to broaden self and public understanding of our interracial, multiethnic, and cross cultural society by facilitating interethnic dialogue and providing cultural, educational, and recreational activities. In 2009 MASC celebrated twenty years of incorporation.

As a part of our mission, MASC has always worked to raise awareness of the impact of multiracial identification. During the 1990’s, we successfully worked to revise the Census to allow multiple racial classifications.

For more information, click here.

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AP Exclusive: Many resist census race labels

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-01-31 21:42Z by Steven

AP Exclusive: Many resist census race labels

Miami Herald
2012-01-31

Hope Yen, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — When the 2010 census asked people to classify themselves by race, more than 21.7 million – at least 1 in 14 – went beyond the standard labels and wrote in such terms as “Arab,” “Haitian,” “Mexican” and “multiracial.”

The unpublished data, the broadest tally to date of such write-in responses, are a sign of a diversifying America that’s wrestling with changing notions of race.

The figures show most of the write-in respondents are multiracial Americans or Hispanics, many of whom don’t believe they fit within the four government-defined categories of race: white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander or American Indian/Alaska Native. Because Hispanic is defined as an ethnicity and not a race, some 18 million Latinos used the “some other race” category to establish a Hispanic racial identity.

“I have my Mexican experience, my white experience but I also have a third identity if you will that transcends the two, a mixed experience,” said Thomas Lopez, 39, a write-in respondent from Los Angeles. “For some multiracial Americans, it is not simply being two things, but an understanding and appreciation of what it means to be mixed.”

Lopez, 39, the son of a Mexican-American father and a German-Polish mother, has been checking multiple race boxes since the Census Bureau first offered the option in 2000. Marking off the categories of Hispanic-Mexican ethnicity, “other” Hispanic ethnicity and a non-Hispanic white race, Lopez opted in 2010 to go even further. He checked “some other race” and scribbled in a response: “multiracial.”…

Roderick Harrison, a Howard University sociologist and former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau, predicted a wider range of responses and blurring of racial categories over the next 50 years as interracial marriage becomes increasingly common. Still, he said racial categories will continue to be relevant so long as racial gaps persist in educational attainment, income, jobs and housing.

“These histories of exclusion, discrimination, and racism are central to the identities of several minority populations,” he said.

Read the entire artice here.

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