Seattle’s multiracial identity evolves along with census

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-19 00:44Z by Steven

Seattle’s multiracial identity evolves along with census

The Seattle Times
2016-08-18

Gene Balk

Now that Americans can select more than one racial category, we rank high nationally in terms of multiracial population and percentage.

TODAY — WHEN NEARLY 10 million Americans identify as multiracial — it’s strange to think that just a few decades ago, this community was practically invisible.

That’s because it wasn’t until 2000 that the Census Bureau allowed Americans to choose more than one racial category to describe themselves. Before that, you could pick only one, and people with mixed backgrounds often struggled over the decision about which box to check.

When the Census Bureau made that change, it had an especially profound impact in Seattle. That’s because even though Seattle ranks only 15th in size among U.S. metropolitan areas, our population of multiracial people — about 233,000 — is the fourth-largest. New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are the top three, in order…

Read the entire article here.

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Helping mixed-race Asian kids navigate a world that isn’t post-racial

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-03-18 02:12Z by Steven

Helping mixed-race Asian kids navigate a world that isn’t post-racial

The Seattle Times
2016-03-16

Jerry Large, Columnist


Sharon H. Chang is author of “Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Children in a Post-Racial World.”
(Courtesy of Sheila Addleman)

Seattle author writes about the challenges of raising multiracial Asian children in America and helping then overcome racial biases.

If you have mixed-race kids, teach mixed-race kids or know any mixed-race kids, you should read Sharon Chang’s book. Chang is a local writer and mom who saw a vacuum and tried to fill it with information she wishes her own parents had.

The book is “Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World,” and yes, that last phrase is meant tongue in cheek. This definitely is not a post-racial world, and one of the strengths of Chang’s book is that it helps people see how race continues to shape our lives.

Chang grew up in Southern California, the daughter of a Taiwanese father and white American mother. She’s lived in Seattle for 16 years and is married to a man who grew up on Vashon Island. His father is white and his mother is from Japan, so they’ve had lots of conversations about growing up mixed and not having anyone explain how people might react to them, or why.

How does a kid feel when relatives, or strangers, openly comment on their features — “That’s a good nose” or “Too bad about the eyes”? What does a parent say when a child says, “Mommy, I want blond hair”?…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed but not matched: Being mixed-race in America

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-26 02:39Z by Steven

Mixed but not matched: Being mixed-race in America

The Daily Evergreen
Washington State University
Pullman, Washington
2016-01-21

Sophia Stephens, Evergreen columnist

The experience of being a mixed-race person in America can be described in one word – mixed.

Depending on how a mixed-race person looks and is perceived, the experience of being an ethnic or racially mixed person can vary the scope of a sociopolitical spectrum as broadly as one who identifies and is perceived as being mono-racial.

Race is a biological fantasy, but a social reality that affects the life experiences of millions of people every day in varying ways. There are some voices that dominate the conversation, some others that are beginning to gain traction, and others that are barely being heard at all or are being denied the opportunity to speak on their experiences…

…”For a long time I struggled with the fact that I wasn’t just one race,” said WSU junior Victoria-Pearl Young. “(I am) Native American (Choctaw and Comanche Nations), Chinese, French and black. This is incredibly difficult because my cultural experience as an Afro-Latina, specifically Afro-Boricua, living in America gets discredited simply because I don’t look like what people expect. I constantly have to prove myself racially and culturally. Here at WSU, most of my peers just assumed I was completely Black simply because of my appearance, and that really used to bother me until I learned more about my history as a black individual.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Native lawyer takes on tribes that kick members out

Posted in Articles, Economics, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2015-12-26 20:05Z by Steven

Native lawyer takes on tribes that kick members out

The Seattle Times
2015-12-19

Nina Shapiro, Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle lawyer Gabriel Galanda, a longtime defender of Native American rights, is fighting what he calls an ‘epidemic’ of tribal disenrollment.


Native American lawyer Gabriel Galanda, center, listens to Nooksack members talk about disenrollment. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

DEMING, Whatcom County — In his big gray truck, Gabriel Galanda makes a notable entrance into a Nooksack tribal-housing development of a couple dozen modest homes, set on a winding road about a half-hour east of Bellingham. Many of the residents, members of a sprawling clan who move easily in and out of each other’s homes, appear with platters of fry bread, chicken adobo, baked halibut, salads, cupcakes and pies.

It’s a feast befitting their biggest defender, one who has made their small tribe of a couple thousand members well-known throughout Indian country, and not in a good way. The Nooksack tribal government for the past three years has been trying to disenroll the clan in this housing development and its extended family — which would strip all 306 of tribal membership.

And for the past three years, Galanda, a Seattle-based Native American lawyer, has been fighting it. The cause has taken the 39-year-old Galanda on a journey, personal and professional, that taps into the heart of what it means to be Native American…

…Galanda’s own ancestors were Native American, Scandinavian, Portuguese and Austrian — a mixed heritage that caused him to question his identity during his formative years.

But he says he kept remembering his grandma, born on California’s Round Valley Indian Tribes reservation, putting him on her knee and saying, in her smoky, gravelly voice, “You’re Nomlaki and Concow. Don’t ever forget it.”

“Before I undertook this work,” Galanda says, “I was really caught up in blood quantum.” Now, he says, “I don’t really care.” He has settled instead on an expansive, evolving notion of “belonging” that takes into account lineage without precise blood calculations or federal documents…

Read the entire article here.

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Raising Mixed Race: Seattle author shows realities facing multiracial children

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-12-10 03:35Z by Steven

Raising Mixed Race: Seattle author shows realities facing multiracial children

The Seattle Globalist
2015-12-09

Sharon H. Chang

The day my mixed race son was born in 2009 was a turning point for the way I thought about race.

Despite living for decades as a multiracial person myself, suddenly I started asking deeper questions about race, racism, and mixedness. I realized I needed to move beyond reflecting just on self-identity, and start placing our family in critical conversation with a national global politic. What was our relationship as mixed race Asian peoples to a planet devastated by European colonialism and to our home, a colonized nation, devastated by four centuries of violent white racism?

How would my son experience this world? What would he learn about himself? And how would he grow to contribute to its transformation, or perpetuate its ongoing devastation?…

Read the entire article here.

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New UW center to encourage race, diversity dialogue

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-26 04:00Z by Steven

New UW center to encourage race, diversity dialogue

The Seattle Times
2015-07-12

Katherine Long, Seattle Times higher education reporter


Ralina Joseph is the new director of the University of Washington’s Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)

A new center at the University of Washington aims to help people figure out how to better communicate about race, equity and diversity.

University of Washington professor Ralina Joseph thinks what we’re seeing in the nation today could be the start of a new civil-rights movement. And at times, college students are leading the charge.

“It feels like a moment at the UW — a potential moment of change,” Joseph said. “Students are more radicalized now, talking to faculty, than people have seen since the ’60s and early ’70s.”

Into this moment steps the university’s new Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity, which opened its doors on the Seattle campus at the end of May and is headed by Joseph. Housed in the Department of Communication, it knits together 40 faculty members from a variety of departments, from American ethnic studies to history and sociology…

…She knows some critics may see the mission as another example of political correctness, and that naysayers may argue the country has moved beyond these issues — given that the nation elected a black president, Seattle elected a gay mayor, the Supreme Court affirmed same-sex marriages.

Yet Joseph says the data show a person’s race, class, gender and sexual orientation “dictate how your life is going to be lived.” Those factors still influence whether you’ll be able to get a mortgage, or be approved for an apartment rental, to name just a few of the implications, she said…

Read the entire article here.

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Meet this year’s outstanding contributors at The Globies!

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-07-20 01:51Z by Steven

Meet this year’s outstanding contributors at The Globies!

The Seattle Globalist
2015-07-17

Christina Twu, Editor/Contributor

The Seattle Globalist is proud to recognize three brilliant Globalist writers that have made outstanding contributions to our publication this year, helping to grow our coverage and make 2015 a phenomenal year for us.

Please join us in recognizing these dynamos at our Third Annual Globie Awards on Saturday, Sept. 26, along with Globalist of the Year Rita Meher:…

Sharon H. Chang

Social Justice Commentator of the Year

Sharon H. Chang, a mom, mixed-race parenting expert and activist, was the writer who really launched the Globalist into intentionally covering racial justice issues.

Sharon’s stories reflect deep reporting enriched by her personal experiences and analysis, further pushing our publication and city to engage in important dialogue.

She has sparked critical conversation on race, education, housing access and gentrification. In fact, her first published story with us went viral and started conversations on race across Seattle for months after it was published.

“Looking back over the past year I realized Sharon’s piece on Seattle’s ‘Progressive Mystique’ symbolized a turning point for The Seattle Globalist,” says Stuteville, “one where we completely embraced our role as a publication poised to explore some of the most critical social justice issues in our region.”

Read Sharon’s stories and more about her here. Read the entire Globalist profile here.

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N.A.A.C.P. Leader Rachel Dolezal Posed as Black, Parents Say

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-06-12 22:29Z by Steven

N.A.A.C.P. Leader Rachel Dolezal Posed as Black, Parents Say

The New York Times
2015-06-12

Daniel Victor

The parents of a civil rights activist in Spokane, Wash., say their daughter has misrepresented herself as black for years, spurring a growing discussion on social media about race and identity.

Rachel Dolezal, 37, the president of the N.A.A.C.P. chapter in Spokane and a part-time professor in the Africana Studies program at Eastern Washington University, has said on at least one application that she is black, as well as white and Native American.

Members of civil rights organizations in the Spokane area say Ms. Dolezal has claimed that she is part African-American. Claims that she received hate mail in late February and March generated much local media coverage and more than a little skepticism.

Read the entire article here.

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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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Multiracial youths show similar vulnerability to peer pressure as whites

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, Social Work, United States on 2012-10-26 00:26Z by Steven

Multiracial youths show similar vulnerability to peer pressure as whites

University of Washington News
2012-07-10

Molly McElroy

Researchers who studied a large sample of middle- and high-school students in Washington state found that mixed-race adolescents are more similar to their white counterparts than previously believed.
 
Experts have thought that multiracial adolescents, the fastest growing youth group in the United States, use drugs and engage in violence more than their single-race peers. Racial discrimination and greater vulnerability to peer pressure have been blamed for these problems, due to the belief that as mixed-race youngsters struggle to fit in they become more likely to fall in with bad crowds.
 
Multiracial youth in the new study, by researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Chicago, reported fewer behavioral problems than seen in previous studies. The findings are published in the July issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
 
Youth who reported greater use of alcohol and instances of violent fights also reported having friends with similar problem behaviors. But when asked how likely they would be to cave to peer pressure, multi- and single-race participants did not differ.
 
Family background, including income level and parental marital status, also had a role. Multiracial youths who reported higher rates of problem behaviors were more likely to come from poor families.
 
“People usually portray multiracial children as facing greater challenges growing up than single-race children,” said Yoonsun Choi, lead author and associate professor at the UChicago’s School of Social Service Administration…

Read the entire article here.

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