A Plea for Greater Multiracial Discourse

By Adam Ortiz, MRN Publications Coordinator

Last night I typed the word “multiracial” into my Google search bar. I have been looking for more multiracial resources recently and thought this broad search might yield useful results. I was surprised to see on the first page of links my latest post on this blog – written in September 2011. This may not seem alarming at first, but is noteworthy considering I share the internet with the ENTIRE PLANET. I’m also neither prolific nor an expert. It made me feel as though, in ratio to the innumerable who identify, not too many people in cyberspace are writing about multiracial issues.

I continued searching and was surprised to find that many of the sites I clicked into contained sparse information and were riddled with broken links. Also, many of them were very old. By the time I decided to call it a night and stop searching, I had found only a handful of tangible, active sites devoted to multiracial issues. I was excited on the one hand because I felt empowered and visible. On the other hand, I was disheartened that there is not more current information or dialogue about multiracial issues in the immediate reaches of cyberspace.

I have learned that there has been more of a focus on multiracial issues in higher education than ever before. A lot of student affairs professionals are doing great work in both the realms of theory and practice. While this is good news for our students, I realized in my search last night that we need people on all fronts to work hard in making meaning of the multiracial experience.

So this is my plea to you:
No matter who you are – no matter what you do – if the multiracial experience is relevant to your life, seek to incorporate it into your work. Write blog posts, submit articles, do research, publish poetry, and talk about what the identity means to you. Ask questions, muse on the answers, and tell the world what you are thinking.

I sometimes feel as though many multiracial people experience a unique sense of loneliness. After all, few of us identify racially with our parents and many of us identify differently than our siblings. If we as a racial collective are able to consistently think and write about our innumerable experiences, we will be paving the way for future generations of people searching to find continued discourse. I look forward to a time when searching for information on multiracial issues yields more results than we could possibly know what to do with.

About the Author
Adam Ortiz is a House Director at Hampshire College.  He graduated from Wheaton College with a major in Creative Writing before earning his M.Ed. at the University of Vermont in Higher Education and Student Affairs.  Adam’s focus areas of study are multiracial issues, men and masculinity, and socioeconomic class in the context of higher education.

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