How Race-Studies Scholars Can Respond to Their Haters

Posted in Articles, Campus Life on 2014-06-29 19:39Z by Steven

How Race-Studies Scholars Can Respond to Their Haters

Vitae
A service of The Chronicle of Higher Education
2014-06-27

Stacey Patton, Senior Enterprise Reporter

Graduate school prepares students for a range of intellectual and professional endeavors. Unfortunately, responding to scholarly insults and academic shade-throwing isn’t one of them.

But for scholars in the fields of race and ethnic studies—including those who work outside the ivory tower—dealing with snide questions, nasty comments, and occasional name-calling is just part of the job description. Over the years, these academics have repeatedly told me that their work is uniquely misunderstood and dismissed by students, fellow faculty, and the general public. The election of Barack Obama, some say, has only made it tougher to defend ethnic studies: Amid declarations of a “post-racial” America, how do you explain why you study and write about racism?

Nearly every race-studies scholar—white professors included—can identify a phrase that drives them uniquely nuts: “Stop playing the race card.” “What about white studies?” “Racism is no longer an issue. Why are you beating a dead horse?”…

…“We were hoping for a black candidate.” —Matthew Pratt Guterl, Professor of Africana studies and American studies,  Brown University

…“Ethnic studies isn’t a real discipline.” —David J. Leonard, Associate professor of critical culture, gender, and race studies, Washington State University at Pullman

…“Do you have a Ph.D.?”  —Kerry Ann Rockquemore, CEO and president, National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

UCLA Mixed Heritage Conference 2014 – Mixed Stories

Posted in Campus Life, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2014-06-29 19:02Z by Steven

UCLA Mixed Heritage Conference 2014 – Mixed Stories

Team Mixed Show
University of California, Los Angeles Mixed Heritage Conference 2014
2014-06-18

Recorded at the Mixed Student Union at UCLA’s Mixed Heritage Conference, April 2014. Participants at the conference share their stories.

*Our apologies to the people who we filmed but did not make it into the video. Our second data card malfunctioned and we lost quite a bit of footage, unfortunately this was the footage of the mixed Black participants.

Thank you to all who participated on and off camera and to the Mixed Student Union for inviting us.

Tags:

Future Children

Posted in Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2014-05-29 21:15Z by Steven

Future Children

Campus MoveFest
2014-05-03

Emily Eaglin—Captain, Director, Writer, Producer, Editor
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

A comedy/documentary about race relations especially pertaining to racial micro-aggressions of those who are more than one race.

Created by Emily Eaglin’s Crew at University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2014 as part of Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest student film festival.

For more information, click here.

Tags: ,

Mixed: Four young alums open up about their multiracial heritage and how it shapes them

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, United States on 2014-05-26 07:15Z by Steven

Mixed:  Four young alums open up about their multiracial heritage and how it shapes them

Dartmouth Alumni Magzine
May/June 2014
pages 42-47

Book Excerpt from: Garrod, Andrew, Christina Gómez, Robert Kilkenny, Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013).

Seeking to be Whole
By Shannon Joyce Prince ’09

Whenever I’ve been called on to define my heritage, I smile and say, “I am African-American, Cherokee (Aniyunwiya) Native American, Chinese (Cantonese) American and English American.” I excise nothing of myself. I claim the slave who was a mathematical genius; the storyteller, the quilt maker and the wise healer; the bilingual railroad laborer; and the farmer—regardless of the amount of melanin in any of their skins. I pay no attention to the pseudoscientific idea of blood quantum (the idea that race is a biological, measurable reality) and am uninterested in dividing myself into fractions, I am completely, concurrently and proudly all of my heritages.

From the time I was able to think about such things, I have considered myself both quadricultural and ana-racial (my personal neologism for “without race”). I am zero (raceless) and hoop (part of the peoples from all over the world). I think my parents might have been a little less comfortable in it, but I felt that four peoples had found space in my blood; thus, people of all bloods belonged in every space in general. I was comfortable at school not because I didn’t know who I was but because I did. And I knew who I was because I came from a strong family.

At my secondary school, melanin in an adult person’s skin most likely meant he or she was a menial laborer. In Hanover, melanin was a status symbol: It automatically meant you were an Ivy League student or a professor. Many nonwhite students felt uncomfortable in such a white space, even to the point of leaving the College. I was stunned by their reaction…

Read entire excerpt here.

Tags: , , , ,

Mixed Feelings

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-05-26 06:04Z by Steven

Mixed Feelings

North by Northwestern
Northwestern University’s leading independent online publication
Evanston, Illinois
2014-05-22

Sarah Turbin, Class 0f 2016
Medill School of Journalism

There’s no question quite like it. “What are you?” has trailed behind me my whole life, tapping me on the shoulder with a different lilt to its tone each time: curious, doubtful, complimentary, surprised, sympathetic.

I used to respond with what I thought was simplest. “I’m half-Japanese and half-white.” Still no good – that, too, is typically met with more curious inquiries about the nature of my whiteness (eastern European, mostly) and questions about which parent is the Asian one (hold on, I’m getting to it).

My class, the class of 2016, is listed on Northwestern’s Office of Undergraduate Admission website as 8 percent African-American, 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native, 20 percent Asian, 9 percent Hispanic, 7 percent international students and 55 percent white. This adds up to 100. Here, on one of the first pages that parents and high school students might look at when dancing with the idea of applying to our school, I am incorrectly listed. There’s not even a meager “other” category to be found.

Samantha Yi, a Weinberg junior, isn’t bothered by the question. “All growing up, people would ask me,” Yi says.

Yi’s father is Korean, and her mother is Jewish, of Russian and Polish descent. She identifies as Jewish Asian-American. “I think, recently, I’ve been thinking about [the question], because it’s been in the Northwestern discourse – ‘Is that a microaggression?’”

But Yi attributes the question as an attempt to understand. “I think it’s linked to a curiosity about who I am … it just makes me realize that, oh, a lot of people didn’t grow up like me, with mixed-race families,” she says.

When I do answer to that curiosity, I stick to the barest of bones by describing my parents, though they weren’t even in the question to begin with. It’s almost down to a science. “My mom is Japanese, and my dad is a Jewish guy from Illinois.” Yes, good. All of the bases are covered.

For some, the question feels constraining. Weinberg senior Amrit Trewn identifies “generally speaking, as just black.” His mother is African-American, and his father is Indian. Strangers, peers and professors alike have asked him the question, and Trewn does not always oblige by giving an answer…

Nitasha Sharma, a professor of African-American Studies and Asian American Studies at Northwestern, has done research on mixed-race studies. She taught “Hapa Issues,” a course that was previously offered at Northwestern and focused on the experience of people who are hapa – “hapa” being a Hawaiian term meaning “half” that has evolved into denoting a person who is partially of Asian or Pacific Islander descent.

Sharma notes that the spectrum of reactions to the “What are you?” question is telling. “Like black, Asian, white, middle-class, college student – like any category, you’re going to have a huge diversity of views … and part of it is that people change how they feel about that question over the course of their lives.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

What Does the Education Dept. Know About Race?

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2014-04-29 00:29Z by Steven

What Does the Education Dept. Know About Race?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
2014-04-28

Johnah Newman, Database Reporter

Our post last week on minority enrollment and diversity at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor sparked a lively debate in the comments section about demographic data and diversity.

“I must admit that I am scratching my head,” one reader, Candis Best, wrote in response to the post. “Minority enrollment is down, but the school isn’t less diverse?,” she asked. “Diversity isn’t about statistics. It is about relationships.”

Ms. Best is, of course, correct that diversity is more than percentages and bar charts. “Diversity” includes identities that cross genders, cultures, and other ways people define themselves. A diverse campus involves interactions among students and faculty and staff members, all trading and sharing points of view and gaining understanding as they learn from others’ backgrounds.

Nevertheless, data and statistics are able to provide some insights into the makeup of a population and the degree to which that population consists of people associated with various groups.

Before we explore some different ways of measuring diversity through data and statistics, it’s worthwhile to look first to the demographic data themselves. What do the data show? What can’t they measure? And what are some of the complications and pitfalls of using such data to measure racial and ethnic diversity?

Categorizing Race and Ethnicity

The first factor that complicates any discussion of race and ethnicity is how to categorize a person’s race in the first place. Before the 2000 Census, people were asked to check a box indicating their race. The selections were mutually exclusive. You were either white or black. Hispanic or Asian. By 2000, though, a cultural shift had caused people to think about racial categories not as distinct groups but as elements that can combine to form a person’s identity. People could now check multiple boxes…

…So a drop in the number of black students reported at a university from 2009 to 2010, as we noted at the University of Michigan, doesn’t necessarily mean that there were actually fewer black students. It could also mean that some of the students who would have been counted in the black category before 2010 were instead counted in the two-or-more-races category under the new reporting methods…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Louisiana Ordered to Provide Voucher Data to U.S.

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Louisiana, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-04-09 23:01Z by Steven

Louisiana Ordered to Provide Voucher Data to U.S.

Education Week
2014-4-09

Mark Walsh, Contributing Writer

A federal judge has ordered Louisiana to provide annual data to the federal government on the students participating in the state’s private school voucher program.

The April 7 order by U.S. District Judge Ivan R. Lemelle of New Orleans appears to bring to a conclusion months of skirmishing between the state and President Barack Obama’s administration over the voucher program and whether it will affect racial balance in the school districts still under court supervision for desegregation.

The judge largely sided with the U.S. Department of Justice, ordering the state to provide data about the racial background of students enrolling in the voucher program…

…The judge sided with the federal government in a skirmish over race classifications. The state had sought to exclude data on students who marked “black” as one of several race or ethnic categories they meet.

“The state is now suggesting, for reporting purposes, a ‘new definition of black’” that would fail to take account of mixed-race students, the Justice Department said in a March court filing.

“Adopting the state’s new proposed definition would thus undermine the United States’ ability to accurately and fully count students in public and private schools by race to evaluate … whether the voucher program has an impact on segregation in those schools,” the Justice Department said in the filing.

Lemelle’s order requires the state to include data for black students “defined as any student who indicated black either alone or as one of several race/ethnic categories.”

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Natasha Trethewey Links History to Poetry at Convocation

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, United States on 2014-04-06 17:10Z by Steven

Natasha Trethewey Links History to Poetry at Convocation

Fearless and Loathing: Oberlin’s Independent Student Website
2014-04-19

Zoey Memmert-Miller

Natasha Trethewey, the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States spoke in Finney Chapel for the third convocation of the spring semester. She read poetry from throughout her career and spoke on the ways she understands history through the lens of her intimate, personal relationships.

In his introductory speech President Marvin Krislov cited this understanding, noting the presence in her poems of “personal and social histories intertwined.” This was particularly pertinent given the date of her visit: March 4. This year marked the first anniversary of the day that classes were suspended following the vandalism and hate crimes on campus.

Before ceding the stage to Trethewey, Krislov acknowledged the student activists who have been working to change campus discourse, as well as Sarah Cheshire ‘14, Lillian White ‘16 and Cuyler Otsuka ‘14, the organizers of the “Oberlin History Lessons Project” which was displayed in the lobby of Finney Chapel and based around one of Trethewey’s poems.

The connection between Trethewey’s poetry and Oberlin’s remembrance of these events was clear. “I believe history is ongoing,” Trethewey said, before quoting Faulkner: “the past isn’t dead, it isn’t even past.” Poetry, she emphasized, is a way to connect people, a way to affect the heart and the intellect.

A Southerner and the daughter of a white father and a black mother, Trethewey’s work focuses on the history of race in American society and history, some poems more obliquely than others. She began the evening with “Miscegenation”, a poem about her parents’ illegal marriage in Ohio. The poem introduced Trethewey’s style—lovely language and loaded statements fitted into the confines of strict form. She then recounted when the KKK burned a cross on the lawn of her childhood home, after her grandmother allowed the parking lot to be used for voter registration, and followed this with a pantoum, which further recalled the incident…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Mixed Race Related Sessions at ACPA 2014

Posted in Campus Life, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-03-31 12:44Z by Steven

Mixed Race Related Sessions at ACPA 2014

American College Personnel Association
2014 Annual Convenetion
Indianapolis, Indiana
2014-03-30 through 2014-04-02

574: Coloring Outside the Lines: How to Advocate for Multiracial Students on the College Campus
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)
Tuesday, 2014-04-01, 10:30-11:30 CDT (Local Time)
Location: Indiana Convention Center, 141

Program Presenter:

Jessica Harris
Indiana University

Additional Presenter

Jordan West
The Pennsylvania State University

Utilizing Milem, Chang, and Antonio’s (2005) campus climate framework and existing literature, this session explores the racialized experiences of multiracial students on the college campus. Systemic factors that create challenges for the growing population of multiracial students in higher education are explored. Additionally, to create praxis, we offer suggestions on how participants can support and advocate for multiracial students within the campus climate.

Research Paper Session #11
723 Race in the College Experience
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown – Indiana D
Tuesday, 2014-04-01, 15:00-16:15 CDT (Local Time)

Discussant:

Nick Bowman
Bowling Green State University (Ohio)

Chair: Claire Gonyo

Mixed Messages: The Role of Multiraciality in Students’ Racial Claims

Marc P. Johnston
The Ohio State University

Prema Chaudhari
University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)

Race in College Students’ Leadership Development: A Longitudinal Assessment

Cassie L Barnhardt
University of Iowa

Jiajun Liu
University of Iowa

Wei Lin Chen
University of Iowa

Importance of American Indian/Alaskan Native Cultural/Resource Centers

Bianica Yellowhair
Michigan State University

759: Where Do I Fit?: Serving and Supporting Multiracial College Students
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI); Student Learning and Development
Location: Indianapolis Marriott
Downtown, Indiana F
Tuesday, 2014-04-01, 16:30-17:45 CDT (Local Time)

Program Presenter:

Jennifer B. Chapman
CSU Channel Islands

Additional Presenter:

Janson Chapman
CSU Channel Islands

For more information, click here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

When it Comes to Diversity, Who Counts?

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2014-03-27 15:19Z by Steven

When it Comes to Diversity, Who Counts?

The Huffington Post
The Blog
2014-03-26

Martha S. Jones, Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Associate Professor of History and Afroamerican and African Studies
University of Michigan

When talking diversity at colleges and universities, the numbers count. Still, when it comes to mixed-race students, too often they do not count at all. This is a missed opportunity. University leaders rely upon statistics for a measure of where students of color stand on campus. Data on those who self-identify as Black, Latino and Native American are said to reflect how well diversity goals are being met. What about those who check more than one box? Their numbers and their contributions to campus diversity are largely overlooked.

On my campus, the University of Michigan, numbers matter. This past fall, student activists set off a debate. Their movement began with a Twitter speak-out known by its hashtag #BBUM, Being Black at the University of Michigan. The declining number of Black students has been much discussed, and with good reason. Black students were 7.8 percent of the student body in 2004. Ten years later, their number has dropped to 4.8 percent. As we respond to this challenge, administrators, faculty, staff and students all recognize that the numbers reflect a diminishment in campus diversity. And as student testimony makes plain, there is a correlation between dropping enrollments and the increasing marginalization of Black students.

At Michigan, we also count mixed-race students. Since 2010, students have had the opportunity to check more than one box when reporting their race. The numbers have remained steady. 3.3 percent of the university’s 37,000 students report that they are mixed-race. This new demographic parallels what we know from the United States census. There, in the year 2000, respondents were given the option of checking more than one box for the first time. By 2010, over 9 million people self-identified as more than one race, nearly three percent of the population. By these numbers mixed-race people have become visible…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,