Welcome to Seattle Public Schools. What race are you?

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2015-05-06 16:12Z by Steven

Welcome to Seattle Public Schools. What race are you?

The Seattle Globalist
Seattle, Washington
2015-05-05

Sharon H. Chang

“Welcome to Seattle Public Schools!” it reads happily. I’m cheerfully advised to use a checklist following to help me enroll my child in kindergarten.

Okay, I think. No problem. My eyes scroll down the checklist: Admission Form, Certificate of Immunization Status, Special Education Form, and School Choice Form. Got it.

I start filling in the Admission Form. It doesn’t take long to get to page 3, “Student Ethnicity and Race”:

“INSTRUCTIONS: This form is to be filled out by the student’s parents or guardians, and both questions must be answered. Part A asks about the student’s ethnicity and Part B asks about the student’s race.”

I heave a huge inward sigh and put the paper aside for the day. Maybe I’ll come back to that one tomorrow, I reflect. But I don’t. I don’t come back to it for at least a week. Actually probably more like two weeks.

This is part of the process of enrolling your child in Seattle Public Schools (SPS). You have to state your child’s race and ethnicity. It’s not optional. And there is an entire one-page form dedicated to that declaration, which in my mind shows the clear significance of labeling a child’s so-called race and ethnicity to the district.

Given that my partner and I are both mixed-race identifying and have endured a lifetime of checking boxes that (hold your breath) might or might not fit, I find these types of forms exhausting. One, they never fit anyone and everyone just right. Two, they are generally and perpetually confusing. Three, they are almost always deeply racializing — they make us feel our bodies are “raced” whether we want to or not. And four, they are pretty suspect in their intentions.

Read the entire article here.

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Negotiating Mixed Ethnicity/Heritage Relationships Seminar

Posted in Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2015-05-05 19:10Z by Steven

Negotiating Mixed Ethnicity/Heritage Relationships Seminar

Coventry University
Centre for Communities & Social Justice
Room 152, Jaguar Building
Coventry, United Kingdom
Wednesday, 2015-06-24, 09:45-15:15 BST (Local Time)

Historically, debates about ‘mixed race’ families have centred on Black/White relations concerning issues of identity, belonging and racism affecting the partner and their children. Though these issues have not gone away, we are also seeing an emergence of new configurations and challenges of family diversity involving inter-faith, inter-caste and inter-ethnic relationships.

This workshop seeks to provide a forum to debate and share experiences. Anyone interested from an academic, personal or professional perspective in these emerging forms of family and social diversity are welcome to participate.

Keynote Speakers

  • Dr Omar Khan – Director Runnymede; Member of the Department for Work and Pensions’ Ethnic Minority Advisory Group, UK representative on the European Commission’s Socio-economic network of experts.
  • Audrey Allas – PhD Student, University of Durham; research interests are in interfaith relations, particularly between Abrahamic traditions, intermarriages involving British Pakistani Muslim communities.

For more information, click here.

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Three Unmissable Books That Can Help Us Honor Our Past

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-05-05 14:58Z by Steven

Three Unmissable Books That Can Help Us Honor Our Past

Pacific Citizen: The National Newspaper of the JACL
2015-04-30

Ryan Kenji Kuramitsu, JACL MDC Youth Representative

‘It was books,” wrote social critic James Baldwin, “that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”

As Japanese Americans, our history and experiences offer far greater lessons than simple condemnations of the racism, war hysteria and failure of political leadership that led to our mass incarceration. Rather than trapping us in ancient history, our community’s unique moral perspective can advantage us to speak into a number of modern social struggles, connecting us with all people who are alive.

In this vein, here are three unmissable books that can help us honor our past as we continue to draw fresh connections to present challenges…

…3.  “Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World” — In her debut work, sociologist and critical mixed-race theorist Sharon H. Chang brings years of research and writing experience to the project of aiding multiracial Asian American families navigate critical conversations on multiracial identity. Chang’s holistic and intersectional work delves into intensive interviews with 68 parents of mixed-race children, providing readers with invaluable insight and practical observations on the labor of raising multiracial Asian children in a “post-racial” society forever fixated on a black-white racial binary…

Read the entire retive here.

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Having Mixed-Race Kids Doesn’t Make You Non-White

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2015-04-22 19:40Z by Steven

Having Mixed-Race Kids Doesn’t Make You Non-White

Mom.Me
2015-04-20

Grace Hwang Lynch, Blogger
Hapa Mama


Adel Vardell photography

Do white parents become “less white” when they have non-white kids? That question is burning up my Facebook feed right now, thanks to an essay in the New York Times last week.

In the piece published in Motherlode, Jack Cheng (a Chinese American man married to a white woman) writes of his wife:

“She became less white when our son, and then our daughter, were born. I think the first bit of doubt surfaced the day we were on the subway with our newborn and a woman came up to my wife and said: ‘Oh, he’s so cute! When did you adopt him?’ I was livid: Did it not occur to this woman that the father was sitting right next to his wife and child?”

But that is not becoming less white…

…While I might be able to code switch and move in different circles and enjoy a variety of cultures, that doesn’t change the fact that my skin is golden, my nose is wide and sometimes people assume I’m a Tiger Mother. Or the manicurist. Or that I should be taking their General’s Chicken order…

Read the entire article here.

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White Parents, Becoming a Little Less White

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2015-04-16 19:07Z by Steven

White Parents, Becoming a Little Less White

Motherlode: Living the Family Dynamic
The New York Times
2015-04-15

Jack Cheng


Amy Crosson

Former Gov. Jeb Bush made news recently because he checked “Hispanic” on a voter registration form. This is obviously ridiculous from a scion of the Bush family (and Mr. Bush has said he made a mistake). Yet, I understand, because the family he raised is not unlike mine.

A few years ago, in fact, my wife casually mentioned that she doesn’t consider herself 100 percent white any more. She has blond hair, blue eyes and fair skin, and as far back as anyone can remember, all of her ancestors have been Irish.

She was white when we were married. I know that because I’m Chinese and that made us an interracial couple. My wife jokes (I think she’s joking) that she married me in part because my increased melanin would protect her children from skin cancer.

She became less white when our son, and then our daughter, were born. I think the first bit of doubt surfaced the day we were on the subway with our newborn and a woman came up to my wife and said: “Oh, he’s so cute! When did you adopt him?” I was livid: Did it not occur to this woman that the father was sitting right next to his wife and child? It turned out that the woman really just wanted to talk about her own adopted granddaughter but somewhere in that moment my wife was identified as the mother of a nonwhite child…

…While it will take 18 years for that mixed race baby to vote, there is a parent in that family who suddenly has an altered perspective on the culture and policies of the United States. White mothers who realize that their sons will be victims of racial profiling, white fathers who suddenly feel a little squeamish about the fact that “Asian” is a category of pornography. There are white parents whose children look vaguely Middle Eastern and will face harder times getting onto airplanes…

Read the entire article here.

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Does the “White Privilege” Umbrella cover Black and Biracial Children? (Survey included)

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-04-07 01:11Z by Steven

Does the “White Privilege” Umbrella cover Black and Biracial Children? (Survey included)

Lisa W. Rosenberg: Writings on Body Image and Identity
2015-04-03

Lisa W. Rosenberg

This is the first post I have written soliciting responses to a survey—so I’m stating it up front: At the end of this post is an actual, honest-to-goodness survey for those who are interested and who fit the demographics* I’m looking for.

So, what is this about “White Privilege?” Sounds kind of political, kind of threatening, no?

The first time I heard the term “White Privilege,” I was in my late twenties and teaching at a very exclusive, private girls’ school on the Upper East Side of New York. Peggy McIntosh, PhD., the feminist, antiracism activist and associate director of the Wellesley College Women’s Project, had been brought in by the Parents’ Diversity Awareness Committee of said school. McIntosh, who is white, was there to discuss her famous paper, White Privilege, Unpacking the Invisible Backpack, as part of a workshop for staff, parents and students about the ways in which whites unwittingly benefit from racism on a daily basis…

Read the entire article here.

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Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2015-03-29 20:26Z by Steven

Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World

Paradigm Publishers
October 2015
192 pages
Trim size: 6″ x 9″
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-61205-848-1

Sharon H. Chang

Research continues to uncover early childhood as a crucial time when we set the stage for who we will become. In the last decade, we have also seen a sudden massive shift in America’s racial makeup with the majority of the current under-5 age population being children of color. Asian and multiracial are the fastest growing self-identified groups in the United States. More than 2 million people indicated being mixed race Asian on the 2010 Census. Yet, young multiracial Asian children are vastly underrepresented in the literature on racial identity. Why? And what are these children learning about themselves in an era that tries to be ahistorical, believes the race problem has been “solved,” and that mixed race people are proof of it? This book is drawn from extensive research and interviews with sixty-eight parents of multiracial children. It is the first to examine the complex task of supporting our youngest around being “two or more races” and Asian while living amongst “post-racial” ideologies.

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I’m a White Mom With Biracial Children, and What I Do With Their Hair Is No One’s Business

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-25 20:58Z by Steven

I’m a White Mom With Biracial Children, and What I Do With Their Hair Is No One’s Business

The Root
2015-03-24

Maria Guido, Associate Editor
Mommyish

Being the mother of two biracial children, I’m noticing that both races feel a sense of community when offering boundary-invading, unsolicited hair-care advice.

Maybe I’m just not the type of parent who likes unsolicited advice or people getting in my personal space, but one of the things that I’ve noticed about parenting a mixed-race child is that the general public seems to have no boundaries.

When you become a mother, you notice that the boundaries people usually have when dealing with others start to chip away. It begins in pregnancy when you may start to hear an onslaught of unsolicited advice from strangers, about everything from your diet to the probable sex of the child you’re carrying. Not to mention the complete strangers who come up and put their hands on, around and under your pregnant belly.

Then you have the child, and you become used to the “how cute” comments. Not a big deal. It’s not uncommon for people to comment when they see what looks to be a “brand-new” baby in front of them.

I understand that all parents experience this kind of attention, and it’s not necessarily negative. But after your child begins to grow, that attention usually wanes. As a mother of mixed-race children, I have yet to experience this “waning.” Maybe people have no boundaries when it comes to kids in general, but in my experience, having mixed-race children turns it up a notch…

Read the entire article here.

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“What Are You?” That’s None of Your Business

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-20 19:25Z by Steven

“What Are You?” That’s None of Your Business

Multiracial Asian Families
2015-03-20

Sharon H. Chang

A couple months ago I got cornered big time by a stranger and their “What are you?” mind-meld. The unsolicited probing went on for a while. Honestly something I’m used to. But this time was crazy multidimensional and unique in a way I don’t know I’ve ever experienced. It involved not only me, but my child, and then HER mixed children by comparison. This stranger just couldn’t resist wanting to know my and my son’s specific mixes, explained her husband was “American,” then wondered out loud if her son would one day look like my son and if her daughter would one day look like me. I was declared white-looking while my son was judged Asian-looking. A picture of her own children was then shown proudly with seeming expectation for praise (which I uncomfortably indulged). There was also some lecturing/instruction on how I should feel about my particular Asian heritage (which she shares) and why I should be able to afford visiting my paternal homeland (which I actually can’t). Finally, because she felt this exchange had laid the groundwork for connectivity, she asked to exchange info and wanted to set up a play date.

First let’s be clear. I don’t doubt the well-meaning and friendly intention of this stranger. I understand that my son and I were visually assessed as having something in common with her which could potentially be the beginning of shared interest. I understand this stranger probably felt her comments were sincere, genuine, even complimentary, and that we would receive them as kind, welcoming and affirming. But here is an important racial truth — there’s a big difference between intention versus impact in inter-race relations. Much of what was said in this exchange was actually incredibly egocentric, driven centrally by one person’s self-interested compulsion (I-need-to-know-I-have-to-know) and seemingly little to no consideration for how my son and I might feel like zoo animals…

Read the entire artricle here.

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This Passover Choose Judaism

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2015-03-16 01:53Z by Steven

This Passover Choose Judaism

My Jewish Learning
Be’chol Lashon
2015-03-10

Alex Barnett

My wife and I are an interracial couple. I am a White, Ashkenazi Jewish man from New York. She is a Black woman from Detroit, raised in the Lutheran faith, who converted (to Jewish, not to White. She’s still Black). Our 3 year old Biracial son is Jewish.

When I talk about my wife’s conversion, rather than saying she converted I like to say that she’s Jewish by choice. I do this because conversion sounds like the process by which a sofa becomes an uncomfortable bed. Or it sounds like something that happens by magic. I wave my magic wand and “poof” you’re Jewish. Whereas being a Jewish person by choice requires a conscious affirmative decision.

And make no mistake, being Jewish is a choice, whether you were born into our Tribe or whether you joined us midway through the show…

Read the entire article here.

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