Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) is an annual conference, journal (JCMRS), field of study, and scholarly and activist community. Their fourth conference is in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, hosted by the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. With Keynote RUDY P. GUEVARRA JR.; over 50 panels, roundtables, and caucus sessions organized by the CMRS Association; two feature film screenings as well as a LIVE performance show and Performance Sampler produced by Mixed Roots Stories. Don’t miss it! Register today!
MRN will also be at CMRS facilitating a Student Affairs Caucus from 1:00-2:30pm on Saturday, February 25th. Room location will be determined.
We hope to see you there!
-MRN Leadership Team
By: Annette Girion -MRN Scholarship & Resources Coordinator
Many of our schedules cram up around this time of year. In my own experience, since the beginning of the academic year, I have progressively grown busier, spoken less to my family, had fewer gatherings with my friends, and have completely stopped doing any of my hobbies such as reading for pleasure. But with the holidays comes a break from all of those factors contributing to my ever full schedule: school, work, and everyday responsibilities. I have never had to hustle so much as I have within this last semester, so I am going to take advantage of my small break like I never have before, and reconnect with everything I have been neglecting including my hobbies, my friends and family, and myself.
A great tool for these kinds of reconnections is a book that I discovered during my search for multiracial student resources. It is called Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories, edited by Andrew Garrod, Robert Kilkenny, and Christina Gómez and it was published in 2013. The compositions in this book are by multiracial college students and take us through their identity development processes, recounting specific people and moments in their lives that their identities had an impact on. The personal stories cover their journeys as multiracial students who have struggled with their identity, felt in between two races like they don’t belong, and who find appreciation for the multiple perspectives built into their lives. As I read through the stories of multiracial students coming to terms with their racial and ethnic identity, I was surprised to discover how shockingly similar some of these students’ experiences were to my own. Each essay served as a reminder of my own experiences growing up in a multiracial household, and reading the book with the holidays approaching, put a focus on traditions. I cannot help but reflect on the differences and similarities of my two cultures.
A few years ago on Thanksgiving, I had a unique experience of my Japanese family and my American family coming together for the first time. My cousin from Japan was visiting and we brought her to our Thanksgiving potluck. I remember feeling a mix of excitement and nervousness because I was unsure how to split my attention and worried about my cousin having a good experience as her English was not fluent. It ended up being as relaxing and enjoyable as any other Thanksgiving, except I got the added pleasure of having both sides of my family who live continents apart in one room, getting along and learning from each other. A few years later, just days from now, I get to have both sides of my families together again, with my aunt and grandmother from Japan visiting. I am grateful to be able to spend time with both sides of my family and if I could change one thing, it would be to have more time with them; time that is demanded from me by my many commitments. I realize that I am lucky to not only have two such differing cultural experiences because of my mixed race, but that both sides of my family accept each other and can enjoy each other’s company.
The holiday season is a time we get the opportunity to spend more time with our families and reconnect with ourselves. Just like Mixed was able to provide me with a look back at one of my identity realizations during the holidays, consider it as companion stories to help you with your reconnection to your own identity and appreciation for your cultural celebrations and traditions, whether it is one or many.
You can get a preview of the book here: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00H2G2KBW&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_4A3mybPQZRYZM
Consider the book, Mixed for reconnecting with yourself, with your friends and families.
As a reminder of our ACPA President Donna A. Lee stated in her email on November 14th “In this time where the issues and challenges of our world may feel overwhelming, and disempowering, I encourage you to focus your attention on the light. Take time to breathe and take of each other. Take care of yourself. And know that we will persevere through these challenges when we truly work together.”
MRN would like to share resources collected after this month’s election results. The resources were collated by the Higher Education Case Managers Association.
MRN wants to emphasize the need for us as professionals and for the students we work with to take a moment for self-care at this time. A lot of anticipation and anxiety has been building up for many of us over the past few months and many may be experiencing a range of emotions, both positive and negative, leaving our students and selves feeling drained.
Now that the election season has come to a close it is important to take time to acknowledge our emotions and do what is best to find our own sense of balance. For each person balance looks different–some need to unplug from media, engage in physical activity, eat a balanced meal, or surround themselves with a community of support. However that looks for you, we hope that you do what you need in order to achieve wellness at this time.
As we continue to work with students who may be feeling excitement, exhaustion, confusion, or even trauma following this election season, it is important that we provide the best resources that we can. Below HECMA has linked a few examples that have been posted for coping with election stress, as well as a few tools that may be helpful for some of the students you may see over the next few weeks.
Furthermore, in the statement we’ve referenced by our ACPA President Donna A. Lee you’ll see additional resources.
- CAPS at the University of Michigan: https://caps.umich.edu/content/manage-election-related-stress-information
- University of Northern Colorado Counseling Center: http://www.unco.edu/counseling-center/pdf/Election-Stress.pdf
- The College Fix: http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/29824/
- Ways to Manage Election Stress:
- Anxiety Levels at UVA: http://www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2016/11/nearly-87-percent-uva-students-election-anxiety
- 7 Cups of Tea: A free online and anonymous chat tool to speak with a trained listener.
- Pacifica: A free app for Android, iOS, and the web that helps teach mindfulness and encourages individuals to use CBT and medidation to cope with stress and anxiety.
- Headspace: A free app to teach mindfulness and meditation.
MRN would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions on ways we can come together as a community to advocate for our needs before, during, and after convention. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the Multiracial Network in a hour long webinar discussion on Friday, October 28th with Dr. Kathleen Odell Korgen (Editor) and Dr. Marc Johnston-Guerrero (Chapter author) as they discuss in the first book to offer a closer look at the effects of multiracial citizens on race-related policies.
Registration link: gotowebinar.com/register/9102985786355176193
Webinar is open for all and is free!
Downloadable mrn-webinar flyer.
“As the number of people who identify as multiracial is growing rapidly, policies that relate to race continue to lag behind, failing to properly account for the ways that a multiracial citizenry complicates programs aimed at mitigating the effects of racism, ameliorating past discrimination, and more. The book takes up key questions relating to the intersection of race-based policies, social welfare, education, and multiracial citizens, while drawing on tools and techniques from a range of fields to present a picture of where we’re at today and what possible steps are needed to create more effective and more inclusive policies in the future.”
Purchase the book and get 20% off of the price by using code PR20RACE
Current Chair: Victoria Malaney (she/her/hers)
Victoria K. Malaney is Ph.D. student in the department of Educational Policy, Research and Administration focusing on Higher Education in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Victoria’s research interests focus on multiracial college students, intergroup dialogue, race, and student activism. Prior to graduate school, Victoria was an AmeriCorps VISTA and VISTA Leader for two years. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College and her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from UMass Amherst. Victoria is the Current Chair of the American College Personnel Association’s Multiracial Network (MRN). She was formerly the Scholarship and Resources Coordinator and has been in involved with MRN since July 2012.
Past Chair: James Engler (he/him/his)
I serve as the past chair of the Multiracial Network and am very excited as the 2016-17 year is underway. When I was in graduate school, I attended my first ACPA conference in Louisville 2012. I remember wandering around and being overwhelmed by so many presentations and socials and groups. A friend of mine had told me to come to the MRN social and as soon as I walked in there I was greeted like a family member by people I’d never even met. Before I even realized it, I felt safe and happy and home.
Since then, I’ve been involved in the MRN leadership team as Historian, Blog Coordinator, and now in the past chair position. Joining the MRN family was just the beginning for me. MRN connected me to the larger ACPA network and introduced me to the broader higher education world. MRN has shown me what advocacy looks like, whether it’s educating privileged groups with our “10 Tips for Working with Multiracial Students” or being part of a bone marrow donor campaign since multiracial folks have more trouble finding a match. MRN has even led to my first public spoken word performance at Culturefest last year. As much as I challenge my students to grow and develop, MRN has give me that chance to grow too. Currently, I am the Program Coordinator for UC San Diego Parent and Family Programs.
Past Chair: Rachel Luna (she/her/hers)
Hi there, I’m Rachel Luna. I’ve been connected to MRN since 2010 and am currently Past Chair. I joined MRN as a graduate student and immediately found a professional and personal home. I’ve stayed involved with this community of scholars because I continue to learn with and from our members. Through my involvement with MRN, I’ve presented at conferences, hosted webinars, enjoyed socials, read articles, and chatted on social media with some really great folks. I spend my days as Student Services Coordinator at Samuel Merritt University in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most nights and weekends, I’m wearing my other hat as a first year doctoral student in Higher Ed Leadership at Colorado State University.
Awards Coordinator: Rob Kunicki (he/him/his)
Rob Kunicki was born and raised in New York City to a native New Yorker and an Ecuadorian immigrant. A first-generation college student, Rob holds a BSEd in Adolescence Education with a concentration in Mathematics and a MSEd in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from St. John’s University as well as a MA in Higher Education Administration from Stony Brook University. He has experience working in New Student Orientation, First Year Seminar Peer Mentoring, and Fraternity and Sorority Life. Currently, Rob serves as the Assistant Director for Student Success, Assessment, & Enrollment Initiatives at Baruch College of the City University of New York where he has been able to translate his experience in student life to his work with retention and graduation initiatives in Enrollment Management. Rob is driven by his passions for education, exploring cultural identities, leadership development, and equal opportunity and access. He is a self-proclaimed data nerd who works diligently to support his Division to improve the student experience and meet strategic priorities. Rob also serves as Chapter Advisor for Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at St. John’s. His interests include traveling, exercising, and binge-watching Netflix.
Social Chair: Laura Carroll (she/her/hers)
Hello! My name is Laura Carroll and I’m an Academic Advisor for the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh. I received my Master of Education in College Student Personnel Administration from James Madison University and my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Slippery Rock University. I’ve been an active member of ACPA for the past 5 years, and am excited to return to the MRN Leadership Team. Initially, my interest in MRN derived from my experiences as a multiracial individual. After learning several theories in graduate school, I became fascinated with multiracial identity development. I began intentionally reflecting on and exchanging stories with fellow multiracial students, staff, and faculty. I quickly noticed the varied struggles and successes that we had in common and those that differed. Through my involvement with MRN, I have enhanced my knowledge of multiracial research and issues within higher education. I’ve had opportunities to coordinate and execute social and cultural events with some amazing individuals and thoughtful artists. MRN provides a safe space for multiracial educators and allies to engage in critical dialogue, which I truly value.
It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. -Audre Lorde-
MRN Liaison: Michael Dixon (he/him/his)
My name is Michael Dixon and I serve as the Director of Intercultural Services at Manchester University in the midst of my 6th year. I’ve worked in higher education since 2004 in a variety of departments (intramurals, residential life, multicultural affairs, student activities, admissions, career development & international student support services) at 10 different institutions. I’m currently working on a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Administration at Indiana State University via distance education.
Scholarship & Resources Coordinator: Annette Girion (she/her/hers)
I am a student affairs professional with a passion for serving higher education students. I graduated from UCSD with majors in Communication and Psychology. I am now in my last year of graduate school at Claremont Graduate University, studying Higher Education/Student Affairs. I spent the summer as an Orientation and Student Life Intern at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where I got the opportunity to work in both the student center and residential life. I am also beginning an internship in the Employer Relations at the Career Center at Cal Poly Pomona this year.
Social Media Coordinator: Kelli Campa (she/her/hers)
Hello MRN folks! My name is Kelli Campa and I am excited to be apart of MRN again this year! I work at SUNY Binghamton as a Resident Director. Originally a California native, I received my Bachelors in Communications from California Lutheran University and my Masters in Higher Education from Iowa State University. In my free time I love to travel (both domestically and internationally), am an avid Netflixer, and hang out with friends.
MRN Advisory Board: Beth John (she/her/hers)
Beth John has been working in higher education for 15 years. She is currently the Director of First Year Experience and adjunct faculty member in the Higher Education Leadership Graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Beth also serves as a Dissertation Advisor for the Edgewood College Doctoral program in Educational Leadership and a Research Assistant for Roar Enterprises, Inc. Beth received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education from Edgewood College and her M.S. in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University. Beth’s primary areas of interest and research include multiracial identity development, diversity and inclusion, first year students, and students in transition. Beth has been actively involved with ACPA for many years and has held several leadership positions within the Commission for Student Involvement, Standing Committee for Multicultural Affairs: MultiRacial Network (MRN), and the Mid-Level Community of Practice. She has been invovled with MRN since 2009 and is a past chair. Beth serves a co-advisor to the first Mixed Race Student Union (mXd) at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, which was established in 2015.
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.
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 email@example.com
MRN & UCLA’s Mixed Alumni Association looks forward to seeing you there!
Here is the link to the menu at the Mortimer
RSVP to the Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/538738953000154/
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!
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 either a Leadership Team Member or Active Affiliate. Let us know what you’re interested in doing and how much time you’d like to commit, and we will work with you to find a role in MRN that best fits you.
Join our team by filling out the brief application below by July 24. We’ll be in contact soon after that date to get you connected with your MRN involvement opportunities.
You can also access this application in a new window if you prefer.
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*.
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.