Join the 2017-2019 MRN 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 cma_mrn@acpa.nche.edu 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, Annette, Kelli, & Rob

 

 

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Join Us In Solidarity at Culture Fest 2017

 -Laura Carroll, MRN Social Chair and Culture Fest Liaison

 

As we gear up for Convention, there is excitement in the air.  Whether we are finalizing lodging and travel logistics, preparing our packing list, wrapping up tasks at work, organizing our meeting and social calendar, wondering what new and innovative discussions we’ll engage in, updating our resumes, coordinating plans to reunite with good friends or joyful at the thought of making new friends…Convention season is upon us!

I’m excited to share one event that you won’t want to miss!

On Sunday, March 26th from 8:00-10:00pm the Coalition for Multicultural Affairs will, once again, host Culture Fest.  Culture Fest is a collaborative effort of the five singular Networks within CMA: (1) Asian Pacific American, (2) Latin@/x, (3) Multiracial, (4) Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous, and (5) Pan African.  This year we’re recognizing and celebrating the 30th anniversary years for APAN, LN, NAIN and PAN!! Culture Fest has a resilient history throughout ACPA Conventions and has grown and shifted over the years to better represent intercultural advancements, celebrations, knowledge, and advocacy through creative expression.

This year the Culture Fest Planning Committee is working diligently to create a space that is more socially and politically conscious. With the historical divisiveness in our country and ongoing threat to our human rights, now more than ever we need safe spaces to come together as a community In Solidarity.  The theme In Solidarity describes the collaborative atmosphere and collective depth that will be evident at Culture Fest 2017. We will join together in Columbus, OH for an evening of fellowship, reunion, affirmation, remembrance, and strength.

Our featured artist, Illogic, will express his thoughts surrounding our unifying theme.  Illogic is an American hip-hop artist, poet, producer, writer, and speaker.  A native of Columbus, OH, he began his career at the age of 16 when he claimed the 1996 Columbus Hip Hop Expo MC Battle.  Since, he has released multiple full length albums and EPs and is with Weightless Recordings.  You can check him out on:

As MRN, we will highlight the 50th Anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia with a video montage and moments of reflection.  In 1967, this landmark decision was made by the Supreme Court and courageous Richard and Mildred Loving led with their case vs. the state of Virginia.  It is our hope to raise awareness, spark discussion, and celebrate the countless interracial partnerships who have the freedom, rights, and respect to love one another.  We welcome you to visit our table and share your thoughts.  We’ll have plenty of resources to support multiracial students, deepen awareness of multiracial and transracial adoptee concerns, create a more inclusive campus climate, plus giveaways!

During Culture Fest, CMA and all of the Networks will be represented and we invite you to connect with us at our individual tables. There will be plenty of opportunities to learn more about each Network’s mission, goals, meetings, and socials.  Light refreshments will be provided and there will be plenty of seating.  Connect with us at CelebrACPA prior to the opening speakers.  Then, join us for Culture Fest directly after the Opening Speakers!  Find MRN events, presentations, and meetings during Convention on Twitter @ACPA_MRN and Facebook.

Check out our CMA family for more convention events in the links below:

ACPA Standing Committee for Multicultural Affairs (CMA)ACPA Latino Network Pan African Network (ACPA)  Asian Pacific American Network (APAN) ACPA Native Indigenous Aboriginal Network (NAIN)

Patients are most likely to match someone who shares their ancestry

Sign up for the Bone Marrow Donor Registry with MRN at #ACPA15

By Rachel Luna & Victoria Malaney

At the ACPA15 convention in Tampa, the Multiracial Network (MRN) is engaging in advocacy by inviting people to register with Be the Match for the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry, as this is a major health issue for people afflicted with certain life-threatening diseases and who come from diverse backgrounds.  At the same time, we recognize that this organization is required to adhere to current FDA regulations that are discriminatory toward “men who have had sex with another man” and those who identify as trans*.

Patients are most likely to match someone who shares their ancestry
Donors who are mixed race and from diverse backgrounds are in demand for the National Bone Marrow Donor registry

Why this important for mixed folks and folks of diverse backgrounds?

Every year, over 30,000 people are diagnosed in the US with life threatening blood diseases like leukemia. For many patients, a bone marrow transplant is their only chance at survival. Only 30% of patients find matching donors within their families. The remaining 70% must search for an unrelated donor. On US’s national Be The Match Registry, a total of 30% of donors are minorities and 3% of potential donors self-identify as mixed race. Though this approximately matches U.S. Census data, more mixed-race donors are needed given the sheer genetic diversity of the group (Statistics from MixedMarrow.org).

What is particularly challenging for mixed-race individuals is that theNational Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is unable to provide a patient and their family the likelihood of finding a match for patients of mixed heritage. However, the greatest challenge for finding a match is that the growing community of racially and ethnically diverse people have tissue types that are very complex making it harder to match. The chance that two people from two different groups will create a new tissue type in children is very high. This is why there is such a great need for donors from all backgrounds to join the Be The Match Registry – to increase the likelihood that all patients will find a match  (Statistics from MixedMarrow.org).

Acknowledging discriminatory policies

We are working to hold the dissonance between advocating for a need in our populations and working within a discriminatory institutional system and medical complex.  We plan to confront the incongruence of social justice values in these ways:

  • Be transparent about the FDA regulations, the organization’s response, and MRN’s opposition to the discriminatory policies;
  • Write an open letter from MRN to the FDA advocating for policy change; and,
  • Share sample letters and resources with other professionals wishing to contact the FDA.

Additionally, we seek to find ways to partner to create space for dialogue on this issue with our larger ACPA community. We are open to continuing the conversation during and after convention to address the complexity of intersections of race, sexuality, and gender, and challenging systems that are inherently oppressive.

Take action and more info

Mixed Marrow Logo
Find more information about bone marrow donation and the needs within multiracial populations with Mixed Marrow and Be The Match

MRN at #ACPA15

We are very excited to Consider. Collaborate. Create. Commit. with everyone who is joining us at the ACPA15 Convention in Tampa, FL.  For those who are able, please join MRN at our events:

Wednesday, March 4

MRN Pre-Convention Social 3/5 at 9:30
Join MRN at our ACPA15 Pre-Convention Social, Wed. March 4 at 9:30pm at Jackson’s Bistro Bar and Sushi.

Standing Committee for Multicultural Affairs (CMA) Pre-Convention Social

Marriott Tampa Waterside – Florida Salon IV @ 8:30-9:30pm

MRN Pre-Convention Social

Jackson Bistro & Sushi, Island Bar Area @ 9:30pm

Thursday, March 5

CelebrACPA Opening Event

Tampa Convention Center – Central and West Hall @ 6-7pm

CultureFest: A Demand for Justice

Tampa Convention Center – Ballroom A @ 7-8:15pm

Standing Committee for Multicultural Affairs (CMA) Social

Tampa Convention Center – Ballroom A @ 8:15-10pm

Friday, March 6

Standing Committee for Multicultural Affairs (CMA) Open Business Meeting

Tampa Convention Center – Room 30B @ 9:30-10:30am

Multiracial Network (MRN) Block Social

Marriott Tampa Waterside – Florida Salon II @ 9:30-11pm

Saturday, March 7

Multiracial Network (MRN) Open Business Meeting

Tampa Convention Center – Room 32 @ 12:30-1:30pm


We also love folks who are joining us in spirit, so please join us virtually by following @ACPA_MRN on Twitter, liking our Facebook page, and following hashtags like #ACPA15 and #MRNatACPA on your social media.

ACPA’s Response to MRN’s Open Letter

In response to MRN’s Open Letter to the ACPA Community, members of ACPA leadership invited the letter’s authors to have a phone conversation on April 30 to discuss the impacts and concerns described in the letter, examine recommendations, and explore future actions in regards to demographic survey questions in ACPA.  We appreciate the following ACPA leaders who were able to participate in the conversation:

  • Kathleen Kerr, President
  • Kathy Obear, Director of Equity and Inclusion
  • Eleanor Mower, Associate Executive Director
  • Chris Moody, Director of Membership Development
  • Lance Kennedy-Phillips, 2014 Convention Evaluation and Assessment Chair

In addition, below is a letter from ACPA President Kathleen Kerr that was sent to MRN Chair Adam Ortiz after the conference call.

May 3, 2013

Hi Adam – I want to thank you and the other leaders from MRN and CMA who took time to talk with me earlier this week about their concerns. ACPA is an organization that truly values social justice and strives to be inclusive in all ways, and it is incredibly helpful to have members and leaders willing to share with us and problem solve with us when we can do better. How we ask our members about themselves via surveys and assessment instruments is one area where we can do better.  I appreciate that the leadership of MRN and CMA are catalysts for change.  This change will result in our Association being stronger, and our policies and practices being more aligned with our espoused values.

As you are aware from our phone call, the activity of revising how we ask member demographic questions has been underway since June of 2011, but is still not complete. Identifying a standard set of questions is incredibly challenging as we do not believe one “best” practice exists.  We have and continue to review standards from other Associations, campuses, and even federal and state guidelines.  That being said, the ACPA Governing Board is committed to completing this work in the coming months, so that going forward we are in agreement about how to best ask these questions of our diverse membership.

Specifically, here are the “next steps” we discussed on the call:

  • The subcommittee working on the standard questions document will continue to collect input from Association leaders and entity groups (May-June)
  • A final document will be brought before the Governing Board for review and approval
  • Once approved:
    • A senior staff member in the ACPA International Office will be identified to review all centrally distributed surveys and assessment instruments to make sure that they consistently adhere to the approved standards.
    • Other Association leaders, International Office staff members, and Convention Planning Team members will be made aware of the adopted standards and expectations for their use.
    • ACPA membership will be informed of the adopted standard questions, including the importance, value, and context of this work via an article in Developments.
    • Entity groups that distribute surveys independent of the International Office will be provided with the standard questions, applicable contexts, and their rationale.

I am happy to continue the conversation or begin another on a different topic.  Please be in touch and feel free to share both my appreciation and a summary of our discussion with the MRN, if it would be valuable.

-Kathleen
kkerr@udel.edu

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”

Thank you, MRN @ ACPA

Hello MRN!

MRN Thank you note
A thank you note from the MRN Leadership Team to all friends, supporters, and allies

Thank you for another wonderful convention. Our Leadership Team is thrilled to have been able to connect with some members in Las Vegas and hope to continue connecting with other folks throughout the year, whether that is via social media, being on a committee, or creating a program for our next convention year!

Continue reading “Thank you, MRN @ ACPA”