Mixed race and mixed reactions

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-10-19 20:46Z by Steven

Mixed race and mixed reactions

Columbia Daily Spectator

Laura Salgado

“But, like, what are you?”

It’s a question I’m asked pretty often, both inside and outside of Morningside Heights. You’d think that after almost two decades on this planet I’d finally be able to answer it easily, but you’d be wrong. This seemingly innocent query still manages to fill me with dread, discomfort, and anxiety every time I hear it. My heart leaps into my throat, my hands start to sweat, and my words get caught on the tip of my tongue.

I know how most people want me to answer. They expect to hear something simple and comprehensible, like “Hispanic” or “white.” They want to know which box to put me in. Their world is one of simple distinctions, one where everyone fits into only one category…

Read the entire article here.

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Being “Dual Heritage” In Modern Britain

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-10-12 20:04Z by Steven

Being “Dual Heritage” In Modern Britain

HC At Exeter Cornwall

Stacey Harris, 2nd year Environmental Science Student
Solihull, West Midlands

As many of you may be aware, October is Black History Month, which acts as a platform for education, reflection and a celebration of the trials and triumphs of African and Caribbean communities throughout history. It provides a vital means to raise the voices of minorities whose history is often sorely overlooked.  Every year a different thought-provoking theme is selected for the month, with this year’s being “tackling conscious and unconscious bias”. As a person of dual heritage, this got me thinking about my own intentional and unintentional bias towards my own ethnic background.

After spending 19 years of my life with a very vague understanding of my own family history – merely using the provided census classification of “white black Caribbean” – I suddenly had a bit of an identity crisis, and decided I needed to know more about my heritage in order to solve this. This, in tandem with my impulsive spending habits, led to me undertaking a 23andMe DNA test. The process involved sending away a saliva sample, and then an agonising two month wait until my results were sent back and revealed. I found the whole thing strangely more emotive than I was expecting when I first saw the detailed breakdown of my ancestry, as so much of my history was presented before me in just a few words and numbers…

Read the enitre article here.

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Meritocracy in Obama’s Gilded Age

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Campus Life, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-10-07 19:46Z by Steven

Meritocracy in Obama’s Gilded Age

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Aziz Rana, Professor of Law
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

The Obama administration’s vision of social mobility in America is bound up with a story about higher education. According to this story, elite colleges and universities are engines of American opportunity. They select the most talented and hardworking people, from across all backgrounds, and provide them with the training to achieve even the most “impossibly big dreams,” as Michelle Obama would say. There is truth to this account. Indeed, Barack Obama’s lived experience speaks to the possibility of meritocratic achievement. He is the multiracial child of a single mother from a middle-class background, who through skill and determination made it to top universities and eventually rose to the highest echelon of political power.

But this familiar story of higher education as a spur to social mobility blinds us to both what is pernicious and what is worth defending about the modern American university…

Read the entire article here.

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“So, What Are You?”

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-10-05 14:05Z by Steven

“So, What Are You?”

Columbia Daily Spectator
New York, New York

Alexandra Peebles and Eliza Solomon

Members of the Mixed Heritage Society at a club meeting. (Jared Orellana / Staff Photographer)

“For me, personally, thinking of myself as defined by race has never really worked, because I don’t fit in with the Asians, [and] I don’t fit in with white people,” Zina Sockwell, a Columbia College senior, explains when asked about her identity as a mixed-heritage student.

Sockwell is half Korean on her mother’s side and a quarter Native American on her father’s side, and she identifies as mixed heritage. Her entire “nuclear family” is Asian, white, and Native American. Growing up, Sockwell did not feel different or perplexed by her mixed background. “I didn’t realize for a long time that I was mixed race—I was just a person, in a family. I was a Sockwell; that’s what was normal,” she says matter-of-factly.

But when Sockwell got to college, things were different. When the Mixed Heritage Society (previously known as the Mixed-Race Students Society) debuted on campus in the spring of 2015, it filled what some saw as a glaring cavity by providing an identity-based discussion space for students like Sockwell. These students don’t identify strictly with one race or ethnicity, and as a result must combat the pressure to define themselves as belonging to one specific culture. The club set out to meet a need for the students who wanted to share their often unique experiences with their fellow “mixed” classmates…

Read the entire article here.

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A space of their own?

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-30 19:57Z by Steven

A space of their own?

Yale News

Noah Kim, Staff Reporter

Multiracial students at Yale

Haleigh Larson ’18 spent her North Dakotan childhood in a community she characterizes as “almost completely Scandinavian.” She and her two siblings, the adopted children of white parents, are some of the few residents of color in the entire town.

When she came to Yale in the fall of 2014, Larson was, like all other students of color, assigned a peer liaison and invited to attend events at one of the campus’s cultural houses — in her case, the Afro-American Cultural Center. Never having socialized regularly with people of a similar racial background, Larson was initially eager to explore an aspect of her identity with which she was unfamiliar. But she found it difficult to fully engage with many of the other students and began to feel as if she were not a member of the African-American community at Yale.

“Many of the students there had come to the Af-Am House looking for a space to engage with others who had been raised in similar environments, while I came there trying to learn more about a side of my identity I wasn’t as immersed in,” Larson said. “As a result, there was a huge barrier between me and many of the other students. Besides the occasional email, I certainly didn’t feel like a member.”

Though Larson acknowledges the importance of Yale’s cultural houses for many students of color, she was disappointed with her experience trying to explore her identity within the campus’s existing cultural spaces.

Jessica Nelson ’18, a half-black, half-white student “tangibly involved but not extremely active” in the Af-Am House, experienced similar feelings of alienation upon visiting the center during her freshman year…

Read the entire article here.

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Opinion: “White spaces” are everywhere – including ARC

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-09-28 00:03Z by Steven

Opinion: “White spaces” are everywhere – including ARC

The American River Current
Sacramento, California

Shiavon Chatman

Imagine being alone in a place where there was no one who looked like you or understood your experiences.

Imagine having a conversation with someone who assumed the actions and behaviors of people who looked like you and made predictions about the way you conducted yourself.

Being a person of color in a predominantly “white space” is similar to this.

Author Toni Morrison addresses this very idea of oppression and loneliness that comes with being racially stereotyped in her first novel entitled “The Bluest Eye.”

In her novel, the main character Pecola is “(the) little black girl who want(s) to rise up out of her pit of her blackness and see the world with blue eyes.”

The idea of “colorblindness” doesn’t exist. No matter how progressive and accepting a person is, they will see color.

Recognizing color, or rather, race and ethnicity, is being consciously aware of the social injustices and stereotypes that people of color experience.

American River College [(ARC)] student Alyssa Senna said “I feel like there’s a stereotype for all people of color and that’s how white people see us.”…

…The stigma of being a person of color in predominantly white spaces has the same level of intensity for mixed people.

“I feel almost like an alien at times,” said ARC student, Sade Butler, “because I’m black, white, and Filipino and I’m of a medium complexion, (so) a lot of people don’t see me as a person of color.”

Mixed people typically experience more privilege, referred to as “passing”, than non-mixed people of color, except in predominantly “white spaces.”…

Read the entire article here.

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A Qualitative Analysis of Multiracial Students’ Experiences With Prejudice and Discrimination in College

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-09-25 23:26Z by Steven

A Qualitative Analysis of Multiracial Students’ Experiences With Prejudice and Discrimination in College

Journal of College Student Development
Volume 57, Number 6, September 2016
pages 680-697
DOI: 10.1353/csd.2016.0068

Samuel D. Museus, Associate Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs
Indiana University

Susan A. Lambe Sariñana, Clinical Psychologist
Cambridge, Massachusetts

April L. Yee
University of Pennsylvania

Thomas E. Robinson

Mixed-race persons constitute a substantial and growing population in the United States. We examined multiracial college students’ experiences with prejudice and discrimination in college with conducted focus group interviews with 12 mixed-race participants and individual interviews with 22 mixed-race undergraduates to understand how they experienced prejudice and discrimination during their college careers. Analysis revealed 8 types of multiracial prejudice and discrimination which were confirmed by individual interviews: (a) racial essentialization, (b) invalidation of racial identities, (c) external imposition of racial identities, (d) racial exclusion and marginalization, (e) challenges to racial authenticity, (f) suspicion of chameleons, (g) exoticization, and (h) pathologizing of multi-racial individuals. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

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Audiology freshman talks finding cultural identity on campus

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Texas, United States on 2016-09-04 00:48Z by Steven

Audiology freshman talks finding cultural identity on campus

The Daily Texan: Serving the University of Texas at Austin community since 1900

Henry Youtt

Audiology freshman Karis Paul is the daughter of an Indian father and a half-Irish, half-Austrian mother. Mixed-race students make up only 3 percent of the students on campus.
Photo Credit: Juan Figueroa | Daily Texan Staff

“What race are you?” the questionnaire reads above a set of yet unmarked boxes.

White. Black. Hispanic.

For many people, this requires just another stroke of the pen, but for audiology freshman Karis Paul, there’s a little more to it than that.

Growing up in El Paso — where the population is approximately 80 percent Hispanic — Karis, the daughter of an Indian father and a half-Irish, half-Austrian mother, found acceptance in a town that exudes racial diversity. However, Karis was seen as white, leaving her uncertain of her identity in a nation that didn’t allow people to check multiple boxes in the census’ race category until 2000.

“My situation was nothing that I was very aware of until I got a little older,” Karis said. “I would tell people I’m Indian, and they’d be like, ‘What? Are you serious? Show me a picture of your dad.’ They would say, ‘You’re so not Indian.’”

Only about 3 percent of students on campus identify as mixed race. Karis said this underrepresentation often leads to misunderstandings in conversations about racial identity or, in her case, a sheer lack of such conversations…

Read the entire article here.

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Recognizing the Need to Support Multiracial College Students

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-25 13:22Z by Steven

Recognizing the Need to Support Multiracial College Students

Insight Into Diversity
September 2016

Allen Kenneth Schaidle

Roughly 2.4 percent of Americans identified as multiracial in the 2000 census. In 2010, that number increased to 2.9 percent, and the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that individuals identifying as multiracial will dramatically rise in the following decades. This increase can in part be attributed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to decriminalize interracial marriage in the case Loving v. Virginia, in 1967, sparking what many call the “multiracial baby boom.”

However, the U.S. census currently restricts individuals by allowing them to define themselves as being in only one of five racial categories; multiracial individuals often do not identify with these classifications because they adhere to multiple racial and cultural identities.

The rise in the number of young people who identify as multiracial presents higher education institutions with an opportunity to expand their racial categories to better serve this growing population and become more inclusive in the process…

Read the entire article here.

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Q&A: Sophomore creates group to discuss mixed-race issues

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-25 13:08Z by Steven

Q&A: Sophomore creates group to discuss mixed-race issues

The Ithican
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.

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