ACPA12: Multiracial Programs – Previews and Inside Scoops

Here at the Multiracial Network, we are excited to “create possibilities” in Louisville for the 2012 ACPA Annual Convention. We want you to be excited, too! Join MRN on our blog every week from now until convention to read about awesome events, meet amazing people, and get tips for having the best convention experience you can have!

As the second blog post in our ACPA12 convention series, we wanted to highlight some of the sessions that focus on multiracial issues.  By searching through the online schedule, we found two sessions that speak directly to multiracial issues in higher education (and just happen to be presented by current and former MRN leadership team members!) as well as several other sessions that will incorporate multiraciality into their broader topics.  Here’s a preview for what’s in store for you at ACPA12 convention in Louisville!

Sessions focused specifically on multiracial issues:

Postracial Possibilities? Deconstructing Contemporary Discourse on Multiraciality
Monday, March 26, 2012
4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
Kentucky International Convention Center, 107
Presenters: Marc Johnston and Prema Chaudhari
Abstract: Although multiracial individuals have been positioned as harbingers of a postracial era (especially after President Obama’s election) others critique the multiracial movement, with its large college student base, for reinforcing racial hierarchies (Spencer, 2011). This contradictory discourse, coupled with increasing suspicion of mixed heritage students doing “the race hustle” when seeking college admission/scholarships, presents challenges for addressing the needs of an increasingly diverse multiracial student population. By deconstructing this discourse we offer clarity and recommendations for future practice.
Our insider scoop: This session seems to build off of Marc and Prema’s ACPA 2010 presentation titled “Beyond Multiracial 101: Innovating Multiracial Theory, Research, and Professional Practice” but with a focus on the often competing and controversial discourse on multiracial college students.  What seems interesting and timely about this session is their integration of empirical and scholarly work (like Rainier Spencer’s 2011 book “Reproducing Race”) with news stories (like the recent New York Times “Race Remixed” series) and personal blogs (like this one about the supposed “race hustle”).  The presenters have both scholarly and practical experiences in this area and attendees will likely benefit from engaging in such critical examinations of contemporary multiracial discourse!

Mixing It Up: Supporting Multiracial Students in Racial Affinity Groups
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Kentucky International Convention Center, 212 & 213
Presenters: Heather C. Lou, Adam J. Ortiz, and Rachel Luna
Abstract: Racial affinity groups in higher education have significant potential to advance positive identity development for people of all races. The dynamic between dominant and non-dominant social identities calls for individuals to be divided into binary racial affinity groups of White and People of Color (POC). Frustration, anxiety, and feelings of marginality can arise when multiracial people are asked to choose between groups. In this presentation, we will discuss tactics to best support multiracial students through affinity group facilitation.
Our insider scoop: This session, presented by some of the all-starts of MRN’s current leadership team, is poised to provide some important practical tips for integrating and supporting multiracially-identifying students in the often used pedagogical practice of racial affinity (also sometimes referred to “caucus”) groups.  Even as institutions become more mindful of collecting racial and ethnic demographic data that allows students to “check all that apply,” these racial affinity groups often force students to choose one group with which to belong or declare affinity.  Through the integration of theories on power, privilege, and oppression, these racial affinity groups can be important learning experiences.  However, they can also prove to negatively impact students who don’t feel like they fit neatly into the discrete groups.  We’re sure this session will offer you much insight from the presenters’ personal experiences participating in these racial affinity groups as well as facilitating them.

There were also a few sessions we found that will touch upon multiracial issues within their broader topic, so please look out for these as well!

Convention Institute – Creating Possibilities for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Multicultural Student Services 1 of 3: History and Functions
Monday, March 26, 2012
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Kentucky International Convention Center, 101
Coordinating Presenter: Dafina Lazarus Stewart
Abstract: Informed by the tenets of multicultural competence and critical race theory and building on Stewart’s edited book, this convention institute focuses on the functional area of multicultural student services and its role in higher education. This is the first of three sessions. The panelists in this first session particularly explore the history and functions of multicultural student services and the ways in which its historical evolution has shaped how it presently engages issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Our insider scoop: This session is part one of a series of panels featuring authors from the new book on Multicultural Student Services on Campus.  One particular chapter, written by Lori D. Patton, Jessica Ranero, and  Kimberly Everett, focuses on “Engaging Race in Multicultural Student Services.”  We’ve received word that Lori Patton will be speaking on this first panel within the 3-series institute and will include multiracial students in her discussion of multicultural student services (although multiracial students won’t be her primary or a major focus).

Multiculturalism on Campus: 21st Century Topics, Trends, and Transitions
Monday, March 26, 2012
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Kentucky International Convention Center, L1
Presenters: Mary F. Howard-Hamilton, Diane Cooper, and Michael Cuyjet
Abstract: “Multiculturalism on Campus: Theory, Models, and Practices for Understanding Diversity and Creating Inclusion” is a new book that has been edited by the presenters of this session. An overview of the book which includes topics relative to a new century, trends on campus,theory to practice concepts, and transitions that student affairs is experiencing as a profession because of the diverse voices emerging will be presented.
Our insider scoop: In this session, three leading scholars on multicultural issues in higher education will be sharing information about their new edited volume on “Multicultualism on Campus” as well highlighting the unique chapters in it, such as populations that are rarely represented in the traditional student affairs literature or diversity literature.  One of these chapters is written on biracial and multiracial college students by Kristen Renn!

Representations of Social Identity and Their Impact on Student Affairs
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Kentucky International Convention Center, 101
Presenters: Susan R. Jones and Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe
Abstract: Foundational models of identity development are familiar resources in student affairs. Incorporating tenets of Intersectionality, newer models offer a more holistic approach to identity. This session evaluates the assumptions, content, and graphic representation of historical and emerging models of identity development, and the impact of these on student affairs practice. Discussion highlights the promises and challenges of taking a more intersectional approach to identity, as well as ideas for the content and structure of the next generation of identity models.
Our insider scoop: This session seems to build off of a similar session on intersectionality that these esteemed scholars presented at last year’s convention… the same session where Charmaine blew us all away with her “Galaxy Model” update of her previous work on multiracial identity.  Last year we only got a brief taste of this new model (which is set to be published in the 2nd edition of New Perspectives on Racial Identity Development this summer!), but we know Charmaine will be bringing it into this year’s session as well.  With two heavy-hitters in the scholarly world of social identity, you won’t want to miss this session!

Promoting Meaningful Assessment and Research on Asian American Students
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Kentucky International Convention Center, L3
Presenters: Corinne M. Kodama, Dina C. Maramba, and Oiyan Poon
Abstract: Today’s climate around accountability makes meaningful assessment and research crucial issues in higher education, particularly as our student bodies diversify. The growing and diverse Asian American population poses unique challenges due to complex ethnic and racial identification, unique influences on involvement and student development, and even differential responses to surveys. Join us for an engaging discussion about strategies for more inclusive assessment and research of this often overlooked student population.
Our insider scoop: Although this session won’t focus on multiracial issues specifically, the scholars in this session recognize that the ever-increasing diversity of Asian American college students includes those who are multiracially-identifying.  Given the push for disaggregation of data for specific ethnic communities within the larger Asian American umbrella, this session will surely have insight for some of the complexities associated with trying to do meaningful assessment and research on multiracial Asian American students.

We’re getting exciting for an amazing ACPA12 Convention!  Keep visiting the MRN blog for more exciting info and tidbits for convention!  See you in Louisville soon!

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2 thoughts on “ACPA12: Multiracial Programs – Previews and Inside Scoops

  1. Hello, thank you for linking Reproducing Race to the MixedRaceStudies.com website. Might I suggest linking to the publisher’s page instead, as your readers might benefit from seeing more about the book? . Also, feel free to hyperlink my name to my website, so that your readers can perhaps gain a better sense of the empirical and scholarly work being done in this area, including a sample chapter from Reproducing Race that I provide on the website . Either way, many thanks for the gracious mention!

    Rainier Spencer, Ph.D.
    Afro-American Studies, UNLV (702) 895-0943
    http://faculty.unlv.edu/spencer

  2. Pingback: ACPA12: More Possibilities with Culture Fest Performer Adriel Luis | Multiracial Network Blog

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