Navigating Transition as a Mid-Level Multiracial Professional

Identity development is cyclic, contextual, and complex. It is never set or static, and facets of identity can be salient at different times, in a variety of places, and triggered by certain events.

Over the past two months, my family and I have navigated personal, professional, and political transition from California to Minnesota. For those folks who know me, my life is in a constant state of transition, which causes perpetual reflection, interrogation, and processing what it means to navigate daily tasks with the identities I hold. Just when I thought I had a firm grasp on my race, gender, ability, class, sexuality, and the intricate intersections of my narrative, I have found myself humbly re-learning and exploring my politic as a queer, cisgender, mostly-able bodied, Multiracial, Asian, womxn of color.

Transition is nothing to joke about.

As I continue to contemplate my positionality in my new community and workplace, the intersections of my identities, and how to make impact, I am challenged to recognize the ways that the personal continues to be political. As a racially ambiguous mid-level administrator at a predominantly White institution, I’m thinking all the time about how to tactfully address microaggressions in my role. Whether it’s “you’re intense,” being mistaken as a Latina or Chicana, or being positioned as a “model minority,” I’m finding myself having to pick and choose how to address these assertions, while also understanding that racial equity and campus climate are not solely placed on my shoulders. All this, while I’m navigating the cyclic nature of racial identity development, immersion, and finding affinity and community in my new home.

I find myself wondering- how do I pick and choose how to address the many subversive forms of racism. Do I address it head on? Use some good ol’ passive aggressive comments? Do I make a funny comment? Do I wait and talk to people ‘offline?’ Use all these moments as educational with colleagues, supervisees, and/or students? Do I remain silent until I have more capital? The answer really is- I don’t know. I’m not really sure. I’m relying on friends, mentors, accomplices to help me navigate the challenges of being a small, younger, brown, Multiracial, cisgender womxn in my current context. It’s complicated. Transition is complicated. Transition is especially complicated when moving from a feminist, holistically caring, trauma-informed, intersectional work environment, to a much more uncharted context. Even in my experience navigating, I just don’t really know.

So this blog post, albeit short, is a shout out to those new and mid-level professionals navigating new spaces and contexts. Who are navigating transition. Who are struggling, searching, and hoping to find solidarity and support in racialized, gendered, sexualized spaces that are White supremacist. The microaggressions are real. What you are perceiving is real. You are real. And precious, and deserve to take care of yourself and your community. You will find your way to navigate, and master those oppositional tactics, but just know- you are not alone. You matter. You are not alone. And you have the capacity to be transformative.

Heather C. Lou (she/her/hers) is a past chair of the Multiracial Network. She enjoys thinking critically, making art, cuddling her cat, Olive, and love as praxis.

MRN: In Solidarity with ACPA’s Coalition on Multicultural Affairs

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A Call for Healing, Solidarity, and Action

We have been silent. But the silence has been intentional. We are in mourning and we are simply trying to heal. From Orlando and Baton Rouge to Dallas and Minnesota, we are in shock at the lengthening chain of violence against people of color. Over the past three years, we have continued to observe increased awareness of police brutality against marginalized populations. Know this, the number of tragedies are the same. The behaviors correlated with the propagation of these issues have not changed. The system has battered, bruised, imprisoned, and murdered folx of color for centuries. What has changed is the increased visibility of these incidents through social media and technology.

Some of us are trying to protect our psyches. Some of us must be strategic in how we protect our bodies. Some of us are trying to reconcile the fact that we may not be able to guarantee the safety of our loved ones. In our silence, we’re making sense and making meaning. We wonder. How many of us are too tired, angry, hurt, and/or overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness? How can we make space for you and others in the middle of this? How can we serve as advocates, allies, and activists within ACPA, our campuses, and our field? Here are some of our thoughts:

We live in a time where dichotomous thinking has pitted us against one another; but we recognize an alternative way to be – to be both/and. We acknowledge for example, that one can be both pro-Black lives and pro-police. As the Coalition of Multicultural Affairs, we wish to emphasize that we are anti-violence in all of its forms, and against police brutality. As we have observed in recent weeks and months, police brutality geared towards people of color is more likely to result in violence – in serious injury or death.

We invite you to be mindful.

Appreciate both intent and impact. If someone is making a conscientious effort to learn and serve, allow grace if mistakes occur. Use these errors as teachable moments for growth, not spaces for shame.

We encourage you to practice self-care.

Utilize your personal and professional support system, including allies and human resources options that may be offered by your employer. Utilize sick leave and child care options to practice wellness and to create a quiet space for yourself.

We urge you to act.

Identify representatives within your district, county, and state. Identify those who have made progressive strides towards civil rights and call out (not in) individuals who have demonstrated complacency. Demand that the lives of people of color matter and that the end of police brutality should be a priority in the coming election.

Finally, we encourage you to engage the literature on best practices for your campus and community. Use the resources our Association affords its members.

• Parallels Between the Cases of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and the Black Male College Experience – http://www.myacpa.org/public…/developments/volume-12-issue-2

• ACPA Videos on Demand – Confronting the Reality of Racism in the Academy Channel: http://videos.myacpa.org/product-cate…/channel/racism-series

• Black & APIDA Coalition Building Resources –  https://goo.gl/fJNJNO

While the urgency of action and care is upon us, we wish to move forward with love – for ourselves, for each other in the Association, and for those on our campuses. We cannot achieve a more equitable world alone; we must move forward together.

In Service,

Shawna M. Patterson
Chair, Coalition of Multicultural Affairs

Pan African Network (PAN)

Latin@/x Network (LN)

Multiracial Network (MRN)

Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Network (NAIN)

Asian Pacific American Network (APAN)

 

Twitter Chat on Loving Day 6.12.16

Did you know MRN’s hosting a Twitter Chat for Loving Day this Sunday??

Join us on Sunday, June 12 at 7 pm EST/ 4 pm PST on Twitter to share in the conversation. All you have to do is Tweet and Retweet responses! Tune in on our twitter page at https://twitter.com/ACPA_MRN @ACPA_MRN

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Additionally, you can get Loving Day in the White House in 5 seconds!

Sign the White House petition

And when you’re done, please share! We have 30 days to collect 100,000 petition signatures. And if we do, the White House will respond to our request to make Loving Day a federal observance (like a holiday, but the banks stay open).

This is President Obama’s last term. The film 
“Loving” about Richard and Mildred Loving, is coming out this November. The time is now. Let’s do this!

This is a collaborative effort with our friends in the community, including:

Sign the White House petition

Share with your friends via social media

Sample posts (Twitter friendly):

loving_day_petition_white_house_2016_01

Meet MRN @ NCORE 2016! Highlighted Sessions

If you’re going to the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in San Francisco this coming week, we hope to see you at some of the these amazing sessions focused on various aspects of multiraciality. Below we have highlighted several sessions that feature past and current MRN Leadership Team members and friends.

WEDNESDAY

Red and Yellow, Black and Brown: Researching Mixed Race Experiences that Decenter Whiteness

Special Feature, Session #2423
Wednesday, June 1
3:00 ‒ 4:30 p.m.
Union Square 14, Tower 3, Fourth Floor

Abstract:

Although the scholarship on multiraciality has increased steadily over the years, there is still a lack of understanding multiracial identity and experiences for people of multiple minoritized racial backgrounds. This panel presentation features researchers across different disciplines (e.g., history, sociology, communication, ethnic studies) who focus on mixed race populations that decenter whiteness.  From histories of African American/Indian and Mexipino populations to contemporary identities of Blaxicans and portrayals of Black-Asian interracial relationships in popular media, the panelists will share their personal stories that led them to their research areas as well as findings from various projects that add to our understandings of multiplicity and intersectionality in relation to mixed race subjects. This session is part of larger conversation within Critical Mixed Race Studies that will be featured in a forthcoming book on the topic. Participants will be invited to share their own stories and experiences with decentering whiteness within multiracial identity toward better understanding the diversity of multiracial students, staff, faculty, and community members.

Presented by:

Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, PhD, Sr. Adjunct Professor, History Department, University of La Verne, Pt. Mugu Campus – Oxnard, CA

Rudy P. Guevarra, PhD, Associate Professor, Asian Pacific American Studies, Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ

Charlene C. Martinez, MA, Associate Director, Diversity and Cultural Engagement, Oregon State University – Corvallis, OR

Rebecca Romo, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Philosophy and Social Sciences, Santa Monica College – Sylmar, CA

Myra S. Washington, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico – Albuquerque, NM

 

THURSDAY

Supporting Multiracial Students Across Institutional and Regional Contexts: PWIs, MSIs, and the Regional (Multi)racial Landscape in Higher Education

Special Feature, Session #3514
Thursday, June 2
4:45 ‒ 6:00 p.m.
Union Square 15&16, Tower 3, Fourth

Abstract:

Much of the current literature and knowledge base on supporting multiracial college students comes from predominately white institution (PWI) contexts. However, the landscape of higher education institutions continues to diversify, including colleges and university classified as Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). This session examines the importance of considering diverse institutional and regional contexts for supporting multiracial students. Panelists will share their expertise on various institutional types, including Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and how the unique contexts offer both challenges and opportunities for better supporting multiracial students. Additionally, different regions of the United States will be incorporated to add another level of understanding to the multiple layers of contexts influencing multiracial students today. Participants will have opportunities to share their own experiences navigating diverse institutional and regional contexts.

Presented by:

Gina A. Garcia, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, University of Pittsburgh School of Education – Pittsburg, PA

Victoria Malaney, MEd, Special Assistant to the Dean of Students, Student Affairs and Campus Life, University of Massachusetts Amherst – Amherst, MA

Robert T. Palmer, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Howard University – Washington, D.C. (Participating Virtually)

Charles Sasaki, Dean of Academic Affairs, University of Hawaii – Windward Community College – Honolulu, HI

 

FRIDAY

Is Race a Choice? A Conversation on (Multi)Racial Identification Fluidity and Ethnic Fraud in a post-Dolezal Context

Special Feature, Session #4112
Friday, June 3
10:00 ‒ 11:30 a.m.
Union Square 3&4, Tower 3, Fourth Floor

Abstract:

Spotlighted in Maria Root’s (1996) often-cited Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People, the right to self-identify among multiracial people has been underlined by the notion that racial identity is a choice. Many bira­cial and multiracial people have taken this sense of choice to heart, racially identifying themselves differently across time and depending on the situation. In this session, we engage the question: to what extent is race a choice? Scholars from multiple disciplines (e.g., education, ethnic studies, sociology) will explore answers to this question within changing dynamics of racial identification across various contexts (e.g., criminal justice, health care) and implications for higher education. Such dynamics are evidenced by an increase in racial fluidity, or the phenomenon where one’s race is malleable and flexibly claimed across different contexts. Racial fluidity is most often associated with a mixed heritage or multiracial identity, but has also been documented among monoracial people and those who may identify as something other than their heritage, potentially resulting in claims of ethnic fraud. Such was the case highlighted by the media attention to Rachel Dolezal in June 2015. We invite participants to engage in an imperative conversation exploring beliefs about self-identity, social norms guiding racial identification, and the contextual influences highlighting whether one views choosing race to be representative of fluidity or some sort of fraud.

Presented by:

Gina A. Garcia, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, University of Pittsburgh School of Education – Pittsburg, PA

Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero, PhD, Assistant Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, The Ohio State University, Columbus – Columbus, OH

Andrew Jolivette, PhD, Professor and Chair, American Indian Studies Department, San Francisco State University – San Francisco, CA

Aliya Saperstein, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Stanford University – Stanford, CA

Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe, EdD, Consultant and Author, Organizational Development and Social Justice Education – Delmar, NY

 

It’s All in the Mix: New Models for Understanding and Engaging Multiracial Students and Alumni

Special Feature, Session #4422
Friday, June 3
Friday, 3:00 ‒ 4:30 p.m.
Union Square 3&4, Tower 3, Fourth Floor

Abstract:

The 2010 U.S. Census reported nearly 50% more multiracial children than the 2000 census, making the “two or more races” youth demographic one of the fastest growing of all reported racial groups. With such growth, institutions of higher education will continue to see increasing enrollments of multiracial students, many who have only known their ability to “check all that apply.” Yet, the social structures at many institutions have resisted explicit and intentional engagement of mixed students. New models are needed to better understand and engage this often overlooked population before, during, and after college. This session takes a lifespan approach considering how, for instance, various social media representations might influence the identities of multiracial students even before they get to college. While during college, research continues to make clear that mixed student organizations can help engage students, fostering community and identity development. But what happens on campuses without such organizations? The session will also spotlight staff-initiated services and retreats, as well as mixed race studies curriculum development, as models for engaging multiracial students both in and out of the classroom. Finally, the session will feature lessons learned from one of the first affinity associations for mixed alumni. Overall, the panelists will share their experiences with supporting mixed race students and alumni through various models. Participants will be invited to share their own perspectives to create shared learning about ways to apply aspects of the models presented to their own contexts.

Presented by:

Rudy P. Guevarra, PhD, Associate Professor, Asian Pacific American Studies, Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ

Jenifer K. Logia, BA, Outreach Coordinator, County Manager’s Office, San Mateo County – Redwood City, CA

Heather C. Lou, MEd, Assistant Director of Outreach, Women’s Resources and Research Center, University of California, Davis – Oakland, CA

Victoria Malaney, MEd, Special Assistant to the Dean of Students, Student Affairs and Campus Life, University of Massachusetts Amherst – Amherst, MA

Charlene C. Martinez, MA, Associate Director, Diversity and Cultural Engagement, Oregon State University – Corvallis, OR

 

[And join us after the session for the Multiracial Network (MRN) and UCLA’s Mixed Alumni Association joint Mixed/Multiracial Social at the restaurant Mortimer @ 5:00pm]

 

SATURDAY

Exploring Multiple Layers of Privilege and Oppression within the Multiracial Experience: Microaggressions and Beyond

Special Feature, Session #5112
Saturday, June 4
10:00 ‒ 11:30 a.m.
Union Square 3&4, Tower 3, Fourth Floor

Abstract:

As efforts to better understand the social forces affecting multiracial peoples continue, more attention is needed to complicating the multiple ways privilege and oppression manifest for mixed race students. This session will highlight advancements in theorizing monoracism, a system of oppression targeting those who do not adhere to society’s promotion of discrete monoracial categories, and understanding multiracial microaggressions, those subtle, everyday and often unintended experiences with discrimination that multiracial people face. Moreover, multiple and intersecting identities will be contemplated, including intersections of sexuality and gender with multiraciality. Panelists will share personal and scholarly insights on moving research and practice on the multiracial experience forward to better capture complexities associated with privilege and oppression. Participants will learn about the importance of understanding multiple and intersecting layers of privilege and oppressions when developing programs and services for multiracial students.

Presented by:

Eric Hamako, EdD, Multicultural Instructor, Equity & Social Justice, Shoreline Community College – Shoreline, WA

Jessica C. Harris, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, The University of Kansas – Lawrence, KS

Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero, PhD, Assistant Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Ohio State University, Columbus – Columbus, OH

Heather C. Lou, MEd, Assistant Director of Outreach, Women’s Resources and Research Center, University of California, Davis – Oakland, CA

 

NCORE 2016 Social on 6.3.16 in San Francisco, CA

Join ACPA’s The Multiracial Network (MRN) and UCLA’s Mixed Alumni Association at the restaurant Mortimer for our Mixed/Multiracial Social while at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in San Francisco! Meet and mingle with UCLA alumni, MRN members, and Higher Education Professionals who share our passion for supporting mixed heritage, and multiracial students, staff, and faculty in higher education!

If you have any questions about this event feel free to email Victoria, MRN Chair at acpa.mrn@gmail.com

MRN & UCLA’s Mixed Alumni Association looks forward to seeing you there!

Here is the link to the menu at the Mortimer
http://www.hoteladagiosf.com/files/THE-MORTIMER-BAR-MENU.pdf

RSVP to the Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/538738953000154/

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Join our 2016-2017 Leadership Team!

Are you interested in multiracial issues?  Are you looking for ways to take action?  Are you excited to connect with folks like you?  If so, come on board and join the Multiracial Network team!

You can present programs, plan socials, write blogs, and so much more as a Leadership Team Member.  Please fill out the form below and email us your resume to acpa.mrn@gmail.com  to apply!

Join our team by filling out the brief application below.  We’ll be in contact soon after that date to get you connected with MRN involvement opportunities.

We can’t wait to meet you!

The Multiracial Network

Victoria, James, Rachel, Laura, Michael, Marc, Adam, Beth, Prema, & Heather

 

Five Ways to Increase Multiracial Discourse on Your Campus

By Adam Ortiz  
Since joining the field of Student Affairs in 2008, I have found one common trait among all of the institutions for which I have worked: at each, there are multiracial-identified students (and, generally, staff and faculty as well) who desire to connect with others who share similar experiences. Here are five simple ways to increase multiracial discourse on your campus:
1. Put yourself out there. If you identify as multiracial, talk about your experiences when appropriate. If you are involved with groups like the Multiracial Network or if you are interested in scholarly research on multiracial identity, be open about it when the opportunity presents itself. You never know who else in the room has a shared experience or knows a student who is looking for support.
2. Connect with colleagues. If you do not work closely with your Cultural / Diversity Student Center (or campus equivalent), get to know the staff and students who work there. Oftentimes, these staff will be in the know about particular students who are interested in multiracial identity or even in starting a multiracial student group. Attend events and offer your support where needed and if wanted.
3. If one doesn’t exist, start a multiracial student group on your campus. And don’t feel like you need to be complex about it! Sometimes just creating an informal space for students to come together will provide much-needed and much-appreciated solidarity. You can start by making posters, asking your colleagues to spread the word, and providing snacks. See an article co-written by MRN Chair, Victoria Malaney & Kendra Danowski for tips!
4. Host a dialogue on related multiracial topics. If you don’t have the time to commit to starting a full student group, consider facilitating a dialogue or dialogue series addressing topics pertinent to multiracial students. This is even more effective if you can find a small group of students to help develop the dialogue and advertise. Topics that I have seen work include family, friendships, romantic relationships, privilege, and Whiteness.
5. Create room for multiracial discourse in social justice trainings. Whether the conversation is focused on microaggressions, affinity spaces, or intersections, find ways to ensure that multiracial identity is visible. There are numerous social justice-related topics that pertain to multiracial students (monoracism, passing and privilege, and racial fluidity, for example). Creating opportunities to process them will help students to think critically about their identities and likely feel more connected with their peers.
If you have other ideas, please share them with us!
acpa.mrn@gmail.com

We can’t believe it was just last week that we were in Montreal, Canada at the Palais des Congres de Montreal taking part in ACPA, learning, and viewing our colleagues present!

 

MRN is reaching out to our followers to re-connect after ACPA to invite you to learn more about the MRN Leadership team!

 

As we mentioned at convention last week we are actively recruiting for members for our 2016-2017 leadership team.

 

Please take a moment to fill out our Google Form to let us know the ways you’d like to be involved with MRN!

 

Next week, we’ll follow up with those who expressed interest in joining our leadership with more information on how to apply. If you have any questions about MRN or the Interest form, please let us know!

 

Connect with us at acpa.mrn@gmail.com, Facebook, or on Twitter @ACPA_MRN! We look forward to getting to know you!

 

~The MRN Leadership Team

 

 

 

 

MRN @Convention 2016

It’s that time of year again. ACPA Convention 2016

If you’re like me, it sneaks up way to soon, and you spend the weeks leading up to Convention going “There’s just not enough time!”

baby meme

And then when you get there, you’re so glad you came and you don’t want it to end.

rabbit meme

Let us at MRN help you get to that point, where you are so excited to get there and you won’t want it end.

This Convention we focus on the family. Let’s take a look:

In chronological order:

CelebrACPA

Sunday March 6, 8-9pm  Palais des Congres-710A

Come check us out at our table at CelebrACPA. Besides our 10 Tips for Working with Multiracial Individuals and our very popular buttons, this year we have a photo campaign too. Snap your best selfie with a quote about what MRN means to you or share a shoutout to your multiracial family. #MRNPride

buttons

Culturefest

Sunday March 6, 9-10pm Palais des Congres-710B

Immediately following CelebrACPA, we have the wonderful CultureFest. Check out Canadian slam poet, Patrick de Belen and Inuit throat singer and hand drumming singer, Nina Segalowitz. For a sneak peak, here’s Patrick de Belen’s “Stairway to Heaven” and Nina Segalowitz performing in Vancouver. Culturefest is a celebration of the talent, perseverance and resilience all peoples can display. Presented by the Coalition for Multicultural Affairs, you don’t want to miss these unique performances that we hope are not once-in-a-lifetime but up and coming frequent artistic displays.

Block Social

Monday March 7, 9:30-11pm Westin-Beaver Hall

Continuing the tradition of celebration and socializing, join all the CMA Networks at our block social, where MRN has some exciting new activities. In addition to our photo campaign, we have ordered the multiracial board game Mixed Race in a Box! Come meet the MRN family, play some games, relax, and, if you want to have more fun, sign up for our listservs and position openings. Also, check out a special slideshow of what it means to be part of the MRN family with photos of members family. #MRNPride will be strong this night!

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Open Business Meeting

Tuesday March 8 12:30-1:30pm Palais de Congres-520B

Like what you see, come get more involved. MRN is a small but crucial group of passionate individuals who are looking to support multiracial professionals and their constituents. We need more help and hope you come to our Open Business Meeting to see how you can get involved. We give you updates on some of our initiatives this year, the major presences we’ll have at NCORE, upcoming scholarship ,and our advocacy goals. Come with your own ideas and help us grow our network!

PS It’s OK to bring your lunch to this meeting, we know what time it is!

MRN Sponsorship

We are also supporting some of our peer groups initiatives.
The Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness has an awesome T-Shirt campaign around gender pronouns. Help out a great cause here: http://shop.spreadshirt.com/CLGBTA/

 

So excited to see many of you this coming week. If you can’t be there, follow us on our social media, including our Facebook page and Twitter handle, @ACPA_MRN

Happy Convention! See you in Montréal! And don’t forget your passport!

Bringing in 2016 with Reflections on “American” History

By Laura Carroll, MRN Leadership Team

In higher education, Winter Recess brings time for reflection, relaxation, and reconnection with family, friends, and self.  What I love about this time of year is ice skating, catching the latest movie release, family dinners, and trips to the museum.  As the nation commemorates the 75th anniversary of World War II, the local museum featured an exhibit that focused on the region’s role during the war.  As I walked through the exhibit, I remembered the stories that my late grandfather told me of his experience growing up during the war.  The photographs and models sparked a feeling of connection to him, like I finally had a physical representation of the images he so colorfully painted in his stories.  According to the exhibit, our region had a tremendous impact during the war, but we endured much pain and struggle.

Midway through, I noticed that my fiance was not experiencing the same feelings of connection to the exhibit.  They brought to my attention the minimal recognition given to the African Americans who contributed to the war efforts, and no recognition of African American women.  They shared feelings of sadness, anger, isolation, and rejection that their ancestors were not represented.  Not long after, I overheard a tour guide answer a visitor’s question with: “…we did have several artifacts, but they were very racist and we weren’t allowed to incorporate them into the exhibit.”

As a multiracial individual who identifies as BOTH Black (African American) and White (Scotch Irish), I had several reactions in that moment.  First, I felt concern for my fiance and the continuous impact of visiting museums that fail to acknowledge America’s oppressive past and present.  Second, like so many times in my life, I felt caught between the long-standing tension of my ancestors.  Consistently, “American” History Museums are very White and we must go to the African American History Museums to see our culture represented and celebrated.  Very rarely will multiracial individuals be identified in any history museums, at least none that I have visited throughout the east coast.

Two weeks later, I’ve had some time to process this experience.  It saddens me that people of color are rarely included when we commemorate “American” history.  The three brief references in the 10,000 square foot exhibition, included one wax figure of a Tuskegee Airman, a diagram of the estimated racial demographics of soldiers (5% African American and 1% other), and one small square case with a pin from the “Double V Campaign”. After further research at home, I learned that the Double V Campaign was a motivational symbol created by African Americans to start a movement for victory abroad at war and equal rights in the United States.  At present, the fight for equal rights and respect, remains.

In an effort to find a sense of community in this city, I searched an electronic database of over 700 local affinity groups. I was glad to find a handful of groups and organizations that support and celebrate African Americans. However, not surprisingly, my search for biracial/multiracial resulted in zero results (not even at the universities).  Despite the lack of inclusion within society at large, I’m thankful to be a part of MRN.  This truly is a community of thoughtful individuals who engage in dialogue, readings, research, and events to raise awareness, educate, and provide support…creating a sense of belonging.

I find that writing this blog was very therapeutic and it became more exciting as I continued to express my/our experience through text.  I would love to hear some of your experiences and feedback. Has a visit to a history museum sparked reflections of your heritage? Is there an organization in your local area (or at your institution) that does great work for the multiracial community? Have you and your partner or relative had a conversation about your racial identities and representation (or lack of, or misrepresentation) within society?

About the Author:
Laura is an Academic Advisor in the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh.  She has been involved with MRN since her first ACPA Convention in 2011.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her fiance, their cat, and fish; hanging out with family and friends, attending cultural events, and dancing.

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