An Open Letter to the ACPA Community

Dear ACPA Community:

The Multiracial Network (MRN), one of five networks in the Standing Committee for Multicultural Affairs, strives to help create and foster inclusive spaces within ACPA and postsecondary education with and for students, staff, and professionals who identify as multiracial, multiethnic, transracial adoptees, and having fluid racial identities. This past convention in Las Vegas was paramount for our network, as we celebrated 10 years since our founding and developed the pathway for our next 10 years of building our membership and advocating with and for ACPA members and the students we serve who identify as multiracial.

It recently came to our attention that the 2013 Post-Convention Survey included a question that we, the MRN Leadership, feel the need to address as it directly applies to the history of marginality and mattering of ACPA members who identify as multiracial. While we see the importance of collecting demographic information of our members, we want to recognize and acknowledge the impact of survey question wording on participants. Question 74 was posed to collect “race/ethnicity” demographic information from convention participants, which forced participants to select one racial/ethnic category, “other,” or “prefer not to answer.”

Screen shot of Race/Ethnicity question
“Race/Ethnicity” question from ACPA 2013 Post-Convention Survey

A participant who identifies as two or more races must choose one racial identity, or choose to be “othered” in this data collection process. Not only does this question reinforce monoracialized attitudes toward race, but also serves to “other” and “alienate” a burgeoning population of our professional organization.

We also wish to acknowledge that since the original version of the survey, Question 74 has been altered to be more inclusive of multiracial-identifying people. While we as a network appreciate the swift action from ACPA, we feel this response is necessary both as a means of highlighting the importance of this question’s format and to hopefully take advantage of an educational moment for ACPA members who may encounter demographic questions like this one on their campuses. Continue reading “An Open Letter to the ACPA Community”