|Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-25 13:08Z by Steven|
Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York
Celisa Calacal, Opinion Editor
Sophomore Walt Martzen created the group IC Mixed, where students can discuss mixed-race issues, a topic Martzen believes is often missing from conversations on race and identity.
Jade Cardichon/The Ithacan
This semester, sophomore Walt Martzen plans to expand the conversation on mixed-race identities through a new student discussion group, IC Mixed. As a biracial student himself, Martzen created this group over the summer to bring students of mixed race together and educate other students about what it means to be biracial or multiracial.
Though the group is not an official student organization recognized by the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs, Martzen hopes the group will inspire an organic discussion about mixed-race identities beginning this semester.
Opinion Editor Celisa Calacal spoke with Martzen about his inspiration behind creating the group, why it’s important to talk about mixed-race identities and his personal experiences as a biracial student.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Celisa Calacal: What inspired you to start this group?
Walt Martzen: I think one of the things that really got me thinking about how mixed people define themselves is when I went to ECAASU [East Coast Asian-American Student Union] last year with Asian-American Alliance. … There was a lot of good discussion that happened around talking about what it means to be Asian in that context and also what it means to be mixed. … It’s something that I struggled with at first and I didn’t realize, but I would call myself half-Chinese or half-white and that kind of language, I didn’t realize how it kind of isolated me. And so, I think from those conversations I kind of realized how important it is that, even while as mixed people, we are allies for different people, especially when maybe you look more white and people can’t tell you’re Asian or you look more like a certain race, and it’s important that we also take care of ourselves and that we look after our own health, and I think that’s one of the things that we want to do…
Read the entire interview here.