Multiracial Identity Program – Panel Discussion

Posted in Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2015-01-05 02:22Z by Steven

Multiracial Identity Program – Panel Discussion

Multiracial Identity Program
Portland State University
2015-01-13 through 2015-01-15

Multicultural Center
1825 SW Broadway
Smith Memorial Student Union, Suite 228
Portland, Oregon 97201
Tuesday, 2015-01-13, 16:00-18:00 PST (Local Time)

Kickstarting the Multiracial Identity Program, this panel will consist of individuals who identity as multiracial and/or multiethnic. Come together for an insightful discussion of the experiences and implications of identifying along a spectrum of racial and ethnic backgrounds. For more information please contact the Cultural Centers at or (503) 725-5342.

For more information, click here.


Revealing Racial Purity Ideology: Fear of Black–White Intimacy as a Framework for Understanding School Discipline in Post-Brown Schools

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2015-01-03 18:41Z by Steven

Revealing Racial Purity Ideology: Fear of Black–White Intimacy as a Framework for Understanding School Discipline in Post-Brown Schools

Educational Administration Quarterly
Volume 50, Number 5 (December 2014)
pages 783-795
DOI: 10.1177/0013161X14549958

Decoteau J. Irby, Assistant Professor
School of Education
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Purpose: In this article, I explore White racial purity desire as an underexamined ideology that might help us understand the compulsion of disciplinary violence against Black boys in U.S. public schools. By pointing to the dearth of research on sexual desire as a site of racial conflict and through revisiting Civil Rights–era fears about interracial intimacy between Black men and White women, I encourage readers to consider if and to what extent fears about sexual desires remain in the fabric of our school and social lives.

Proposed Conceptual Argument: I argue that in schools, White-supremacist patriarchy reproduces normative Whiteness through the continual surveillance, punishment, distancing, and removal of primarily heteronormative Black male bodies, locating its justification in protecting the bodily safety and academic achievement of heteronormative White girls. I suggest that in predominantly White desegregated schools, disciplining heteronormative Black boys represents a new policy-based campaign of institutionalized violence and intimidation that reflects a subtle, but nonetheless pernicious, White male segregationist agenda.

Implications: Considering fear/desire of interracial intimacy as a lens, alongside economic and political explanations of resistance to desegregation, provides a more complete analytical framework to comprehend racial conflict and segregationism in contemporary school settings. Our collective failure to acknowledge and interrogate the ways schools produce Whiteness by seeking to protect White girls from Black boys ensures Black boys’ bodies and minds will continue to be unfairly subjected to the violence of harsh and disproportionate disciplinary measures.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Multiracial College Students and Institutions of Higher Education

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-28 03:13Z by Steven

Multiracial College Students and Institutions of Higher Education

Engaged Learning Collection
Paper 20
18 pages

Jacqueline V. Ross
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

The multiracial student population is one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. The growth in students of two or more racial backgrounds is grounds for recognizing and acceptance of campuses of higher education. The purpose of this study was to look at the experiences of multiracial students and what it means for institutions of higher education through an integrated communication framework (theorists, year; theorist, year; theorist, year). This study employed a phenomenological approach and used a semi-structured interview style with 10 self-identified multiracial students from Southern Methodist University (SMU). SMU is a middle sized, private, conservative, liberal arts, Greek life driven and predominately White institution in the South.

The primary research questions was: what does the increase of the multiracial student population mean for institutions of higher education in regards to student inclusion, exclusion, academic success, social life, retention and future alumni relations. In particular to students at a middle sized, private, conservative, liberal arts, Greek life driven and predominately White institution in the South.

Overall four key findings emerged: (1) Students felt like SMU had not recognized their multiracial backgrounds, (2) students flourished when they had a supportive group or community, (3) there is ignorance on SMU’s campus of racial diversity within single individuals, and (4) the climate of SMU’s campus contributed to being excluded from the general student population or from one of their own racial groups.

This study found that students had positive and negative experiences in relations to being multiracial. These experiences have shaped them an in turn have affected their academic success, social life, retention and future alumni relations. Because of these findings, institutions of higher education must proactively support multiracial students and help to change campus climates for more inclusion and acceptance of multiracial students.

Read the entire article here.

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Anti-intellectualism is taking over the US

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-12-21 21:57Z by Steven

Anti-intellectualism is taking over the US

The Guardian

Patricia Williams, James L. Dohr Professor of Law
Columbia University, New York, New York

The rise in academic book bannings and firings is compounded by the US’s growing disregard for scholarship itself

Recently, I found out that my work is mentioned in a book that has been banned, in effect, from the schools in Tucson, Arizona. The anti-ethnic studies law passed by the state prohibits teachings that “promote the overthrow of the United States government,” “promote resentment toward a race or class of people,” “are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group,” and/or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.” I invite you to read the book in question, titled Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, so that you can decide for yourselves whether it qualifies.

In fact, I invite you to take on as your summer reading the astonishingly lengthy list of books that have been removed from the Tucson public school system as part of this wholesale elimination of the Mexican-American studies curriculum. The authors and editors include Isabel Allende, Junot Díaz, Jonathan Kozol, Rudolfo Anaya, bell hooks, Sandra Cisneros, James Baldwin, Howard Zinn, Rodolfo Acuña, Ronald Takaki, Jerome Skolnick and Gloria Anzaldúa. Even Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience and Shakespeare’s The Tempest received the hatchet.

Trying to explain what was offensive enough to warrant killing the entire curriculum and firing its director, Tucson school board member Michael Hicks stated rather proudly that he was not actually familiar with the curriculum. “I chose not to go to any of their classes,” he told Al Madrigal on The Daily Show. “Why even go?” In the same interview, he referred to Rosa Parks as “Rosa Clark.”

The situation in Arizona is not an isolated phenomenon. There has been an unfortunate uptick in academic book bannings and firings, made worse by a nationwide disparagement of teachers, teachers’ unions and scholarship itself. Brooke Harris, a teacher at Michigan’s Pontiac Academy for Excellence, was summarily fired after asking permission to let her students conduct a fundraiser for Trayvon Martin’s family. Working at a charter school, Harris was an at-will employee, and so the superintendent needed little justification for sacking her. According to Harris, “I was told… that I’m being paid to teach, not to be an activist.” (It is perhaps not accidental that Harris worked in the schools of Pontiac, a city in which nearly every public institution has been taken over by cost-cutting executives working under “emergency manager” contracts. There the value of education is measured in purely econometric terms, reduced to a “product,” calculated in “opportunity costs.”)…

Read the entire article here.

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Conference Recap

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, United States on 2014-12-18 18:18Z by Steven

Conference Recap

DePaul Magazine
December 2014 (2014-12-16)

For the third biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, hosted at DePaul last month, participants could be heard speaking in British, Finnish, Japanese, Australian and Canadian accents, among others. This medley of voices perfectly encapsulated the theme of this year’s conference, Global Mixed Race. Co-organizers Camilla Fojas, Vincent de Paul professor and director of Latin American and Latino Studies, LGBTQ Studies and Critical Ethnic Studies, and Laura Kina, Vincent de Paul professor of art, media and design, chose this theme in recognition of the widening scope of critical mixed race studies in its comparative, transnational and global dimensions.

The emerging field of critical mixed race studies (CMRS) focuses on the institutionalization of social, cultural and political orders based on dominant conceptions of race. CMRS theorists, who come from many different disciplines, engage with issues of systemic injustice, the mutability of race and racial boundaries, and processes of racialization and social stratification. “We are here to create an inclusive community that honors the dignity of all individuals,” said Sara Furr, director of the Center for Intercultural Programs. “This conference truly embodies DePaul’s commitment to social justice.”…

Read the entire article here.

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EMERGE-ing Identities

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-17 21:56Z by Steven

EMERGE-ing Identities

Middle Ground: Exploring the spaces between structures of race, class, gender and nature.

Kaily Heitz

MERGE Mission Statement: “To provide a safe space for people of mixed heritage in which we may discuss issues of multi-ethnic identity and to raise awareness within the Claremont University Consortium community about the multi-ethnic experience.”

In the fall of 2010, I began my first semester of school at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Like my peers, I was shuttled between activity booths, clubs, activist organizations and affinity groups by an administration eager to help their students feel at home on campus. They were particularly keen on easing this transition for the more “diverse” quotient of the student body. As a result, I was sent a letter from the Black Student Affairs office [(OBSA)] that encouraged me to visit their center and indicated that I would be receiving a black student mentor. A mentor? I thought that this seemed unnecessary and a little impertinent, but I wasn’t about to turn down an offer of friendship so early in the game.

I met with my OBSA mentor over dinner later that week along with two other girls from my class. When our mentor saw us, she descended upon us like a mother hen coming to roost, telling us to call her mom and herding us protectively to a table near the windows. The other girls and I, who I noticed almost immediately were also mixed with light skin and curly hair, looked at one another sheepishly, each of us silently thinking, “What did we just sign up for?”

My fellow mentees, Katie Robinson and Sophie Howard, and I, became instant friends through our shared sense of unease with the enthusiastic induction to the black community that our “mother hen” had impressed upon us. The next week, we met up to discuss our initial perceptions about campus life and, more importantly, our struggles to identify as mixed race in a space that did not recognize us. We bemoaned the lack of an organized multi-ethnic presence at the Claremont Colleges and felt equally resentful toward OBSA for assuming that we wanted to be a part of an exclusively black community. “Well hey, what if we started our own club?” As fledglings in an entirely new environment, the idea seemed ambitious, but also amazingly simple. All we needed was a space and enough interest, which, from our interactions with other students, seemed to already be present.

The following semester, after a number of forms had been filled out and ads printed, we had a room booked and a steady following of a grand total of about five students. A few months after our first meeting, we had a name: MERGE, the Multi Ethnic and Racial Group Experience…

Read the entire article here.

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In Memoriam: María Elena Martínez-López, 47

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Mexico, United States on 2014-12-14 22:22Z by Steven

In Memoriam: María Elena Martínez-López, 47

University of Southern California

Susan Bell, Senior Writer
(213) 740-7894

María Elena Martínez-López, associate professor of history and American studies and ethnicity at USC Dornsife and a leading scholar of colonial Latin America has died. She was 47.

Martínez-López died at home in Los Angeles, surrounded by family and close friends on Nov. 16 after being diagnosed with cancer in late May.

“Professor Martínez-López was a brilliant scholar of Spanish American and colonial Mexican history,” said William Deverell, professor and chair of history, and director of the USC-Huntington Institute on California and the West at USC Dornsife. “Her historical insights on race, conquest and religion garnered richly deserved awards and praise, and her dedication to scholarship and her students was exemplary. We will miss her terribly.”

Martínez-López joined USC Dornsife in 2001. Her work focused on colonial Mexico, the cultural connections between Spain and the Americas, and more generally the formation of the Iberian Atlantic world. She taught courses on Latin American history, slavery in the Atlantic world, early modern religion and race, and gender and sexuality in Spanish America…

…While at USC Dornsife, she published a number of articles on space, religion, gender and race in New Spain. Her groundbreaking book Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico (Stanford University Press, 2008) reinterpreted the historical foundations of race. It received the American Historical Association’s 2009 James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History and the American Historical Association’s Conference on Latin American History’s prize for the best book on Mexican history.

Most recently she was working on the relationship of Spanish colonial law and indigenous “genealogical histories” in central Mexico as well as on science and theories of race and sex in the 18th century Spanish Atlantic world.

She had been conducting extensive research in Mexican, Spanish and U.S. archives for her new book titled The Enlightened Creole Science of Race and Sex: Naturalizing the Body in the Eighteenth-Century Spanish Atlantic World.This was intended to be an extension of her first book about ideas of blood purity and race in the early-modern Spanish Atlantic world, examining how religion provided the epistemological foundations for racial discourses in Spain and colonial Mexico…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories ed. by Andrew Garrod, Robert Kilkenny, Christina Gomez (review)

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-01 02:35Z by Steven

Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories ed. by Andrew Garrod, Robert Kilkenny, Christina Gomez (review)

Journal of College Student Development
Volume 55, Number 8, November 2014
pages 856-858
DOI: 10.1353/csd.2014.0077

Jessica C. Harris

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

Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories presents multiracial student essays focusing on growing up and living as a mixed-race individual in a society founded on monoracial understandings of race. The purpose of the book is “to capture the phenomenology of being mixed-race in a compelling way, and in so doing to inspire, engage, and move our readers” (p. xi). The edited book contains 12 narratives written by self-identified multiracial students: six men and six women, either current students or recent graduates of Dartmouth College. For the most part, the multiracial individuals’ narratives included in this book were enrolled in one of several Dartmouth education courses taught by Andrew Garrod, one of the editors of Mixed. Students who were not enrolled in one of Garrod’s courses, but whose narratives are included in the book, were recommended to the editors by other Dartmouth students and faculty. All of the students worked closely with Garrod over a 10-week period, either face to face or via email, to craft the narratives that are presented in this book.

The book begins with a preface that explains the creation of the 12 narratives, and subsequently, the book. The editors explained how the essays were crafted over a great deal of time with Garrod’s help and input. Using a list of thought-provoking questions, which were included in the preface, the 12 student authors were asked to reflect and write on their experiences with race and identity throughout their lifetime. Robert Kilkenny, the second editor, reviewed each essay and offered feedback to Garrod and the multiracial students.

The introduction provides an important context for the 12 narratives. The first half of the introduction turns a critical eye to the social construction of race in America and the implications this has on multiracial individuals. Moreover, the connection between multiraciality and post-racial rhetoric is explored in an attempt to expose the contemporary realities of multiracial Americans. The authors explain that neoconservatives have begun to position multiraciality as an object that symbolizes the end to race and racism. However, the 12 narratives contained in this book suggest that race and racism are indeed present in the lives of multiracial students, refuting the notion that we are living in a post-racial nation.

The second half of the introduction provides an overview of the three different sections into which the book is divided. Additionally, a summary of each of the 12 narratives is offered in this overview. While this roadmap is helpful, individual summaries may have been better placed as an introduction to each respective section. Instead, the reader must continually refer to the introduction to read about the purpose of each of the three sections and the narratives within them.

The first of three sections in Mixed, Who Am I?, contains four first-person narratives from multiracial students. These four narratives focus on the incongruence students encountered between racial self-identification and others’ perceptions of their race. The narratives expose how physical features, such as hair and skin-color, caused non-multiracial individuals to question multiracial students’ racial identities. The four narratives in this section included stories from students who grew up or spent time internationally, relaying the complexities of being both multiracial and multicultural. For instance, one woman grew up in Japan, identified with Japanese heritage and culture, but understood that she did not “look Japanese” in an American context.

In-Betweenness, the second section in Mixed, explores four more multiracial students’ experiences of being mixed-race in a post-racial America. This section exposes the fluidity of race for four multiracial students. For instance, one “Happa”-identified male asserted he could be White, Asian, or somewhere in between. While this liminal space was a positive aspect for this student, other narratives in this section provided an alternate reality, one of being caught between racial identities. Specifically, one Chinese, Indian, and White female student conveyed the complexities of navigating multiple racial heritages and the influence this had on her relationship with her parents. She described privilege that comes with being monoracial and not having to oscillate or navigate between the cultures and races of one’s parents.

The final section…

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Grad student Alex Finley found her roots — and more

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2014-11-26 19:54Z by Steven

Grad student Alex Finley found her roots — and more

William & Mary News and Events
The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

Jim Ducibella, Communications Specialist

This is part one of a two-story series. Check back Nov. 26 for the second part. – Ed.

As a child, Alex Finley remembers going through three phases of intense interest: One was genealogy. Another was the Civil War. The third was American Girls dolls.

“So I guess I was always destined to be a historian,” she said with a chuckle.

Finley, a Ph.D. candidate in history at William & Mary who is studying the domestic slave trade and the finance and business practices of slave traders in the antebellum period, combined two of those three passions to uncover a little known, controversial community in West Virginia.

It’s a discovery that has drawn the attention of television producers from the PBS program Finding Your Roots and ushered in a fascinating chapter in her life.

She began by researching her mother’s family history while she was in high school in southern Ohio, and continued her research as an undergraduate at Ohio State, completing an honors thesis on that particular branch of the family.

The Male family – or Mayle, as it’s also known – came to the United States from Dover, England, and eventually settled in Hampshire County, located in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands regions.

Wilmore Male and his wife, Mary, had several children, including Wilmore, Jr., who fought in the Revolutionary War and came back to West Virginia to start a farm.

While there, he began a relationship with a slave he owned named Nancy.

“The proof we have of this is an extraordinary emancipation document from 1826,” Finley said. “(Male) emancipates Nancy and says that she is forever set free from this point – on the condition that she remain living with him as his wife.

“That’s extraordinary for the time period, for several reasons: One, he’s coming out publicly and saying this. Two, interracial marriage is illegal at this time and here he is in a courthouse saying he intends to live with this woman. They end up living together, with no evidence they were ever harassed or bothered by anyone for their relationship.”

How could that be? Finley’s research showed that the man at the courthouse who recorded the document – John White — was the son of Male’s captain in the Revolutionary War…

Read the entire article here.

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“Global Mixed Race,” the 3rd biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, was held at DePaul University in Chicago Nov 13-15, 2014.

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2014-11-21 03:06Z by Steven

“Global Mixed Race,” the 3rd biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, was held at DePaul University in Chicago Nov 13-15, 2014.

News from the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Camilla Fojas, Vincent de Paul Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies
DePaul University

Photograph by Ken Tanabe

A big thank you to the over 600 people who attended Global Mixed Race. Videos of our keynotes and Live Performance showcase are forthcoming. Please visit us on Facebook to see event snapshots. High-resolution press photographs are available on request. Follow the archive of the event on Twitter #CMRS2014. Read a reflection from our Social Media Caucus organizer Sharon H. Chang. Watch Mixed Roots Stories top 3 highlights from each day.

The 2016 conference will be held Nov 10-12, 2016 at University of Southern California and will be hosted by Associate Professor Duncan Ryuken Williams, founder of the Hapa Japan Project (along with project co-director Velina Hasu Houston) and Director of USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. We will continue to partner with Mixed Roots Stories to offer arts and cultural programming. We are moving forward with founding an association. Join our mailing list to stay informed. We anticipate organizing a symposium in 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and a full CMRS conference on the United States east coast in 2018. We are currently seeking institutional partners in the United Kingdom or Japan to host a CMRS symposium in 2017. Please contact us at if you would like to volunteer…

For more information, click here.

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