If you’re going to the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in Forth Worth Texas next week, we hope to see you at some of the these amazing sessions focused on various aspects of multiraciality. Below we have highlighted several sessions that feature past and current MRN Leadership Team members and friends.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 31
The Multiracial Caucus at NCORE will provide a gathering place and community for multiracial and multiethnic NCORE members. The Multiracial Caucus provides a collaborative space for multiracial and multiethnic higher education professionals who seek to: co-create a support network, discuss intersectionality while complicating notions of race, celebrate our achievements, and share best practices.
No-Host Lunch: Wednesday, May 31 — 12:30–2:00 pm
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP
Can White Family Members Ever Truly Get It? Biracial Individuals Navigating Racial Justice Conversations within Interracial Families
Room: 203C Time: 10:00am-11:30am
Session Track: Race and Social Justice in Higher Education
Experience Level: All Levels
During what was arguably the most divisive presidential election in recent memory, biracial and multiracial people, particularly those identifying with the collective consciousness of communities of color, likely had to navigate difficult conversations with white family members. From feeling unrecognized to flat out rejecting one’s racial existence, these types of conversations with family members can be painful. But can white family members ever truly understand? This panel session engages this question from a range of scholarly and personal perspectives, including social work and various fields of education. Focal topics include the perspective of parenting biracial children as a white person; navigating relationships with extended family members and in-laws; and understanding the dynamics of racial socialization within cross-racial families. Participants will be able to deeply engage with the complexities of multiracial identity and belonging within interracial families.
Eric Hamako, EdD, Professor, Multicultural Studies, Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, Washington
Marcella Runell Hall, EdD, Vice President for Student Life, Division of Student Life, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Kelly F. Jackson, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Social Work Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona
Dian D. Squire, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Victoria K. Malaney, MEd, Special Assistant to the Deans, Dean of Students Office and Doctoral Student, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts
THURSDAY, JUNE 1
Innovating Research and Practice on Multiracial Experiences in Higher Education
Room: 121A Time: 10:00am-11:30am
Session Type: Special Feature
Session Track: Global, Multicultural, and Transnational Issues
Experience Level: Intermediate
From the politics of labeling and counting mixed race students in various ways, to the interpretation of findings through a multiracial lens, this session explores key issues in research on multiraciality in higher education toward innovating practice. The panel will share their experiences working through some of the complexities of serving this population in higher education through their scholarship and practice, particularly within the current sociopolitical contexts. Through the sharing of panelists’ expertise across multiple areas of higher education research, multicultural affairs practice, and social justice education, participants will have the opportunity to engage in critical conversations on innovating multiracial research and practice within changing contexts.
Charlene Martinez, MEd, Associate Director, Diversity and Cultural Engagement, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
Marc Johnston-Guerrero, PhD, Assistant Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Heather Lou, MEd, Assistant Director, Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota
Sabrina T. Kwist, MEd, Dean of Equity and Inclusion, Los Medranos Community College, Pittsburg, California
Victoria K. Malaney, MEd, Special Assistant to the Deans, Dean of Students Office and Doctoral Student, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts
Who Gets to Speak on Behalf of Communities of Color? Complicating Mixed Race Leadership and Advocacy across Research and Practice
Room: 202A Time: 3:00pm-4:30pm
Session Type: Special Feature
Session Track: Intersectionality, Identities, and Discussions
Experience Level: All Levels
There is a long history of biracial and multiracial individuals taking on leadership and advocacy roles in racial justice movements. However, the extent to which their mixed heritage may be embraced continues to cause controversy. The recent examples of activism surrounding the Movement for Black Lives from celebrities like Colin Kaepernick and Jesse Williams shows some response critiquing them for not being “Black enough” or having a privileged status due to their racial ambiguity. This critique may result in some biracial and multiracial people not speaking up due to feeling a lack of racial authority, or if they do speak, they may feel forced to identify solely monoracially. In this panel, presenters will unpack the question of who should speak on behalf of (monoracialized) communities of color in the fight toward racial justice. From popular culture, to research methods and student activism, the panelists will share both scholarly and personal perspectives. Participants are invited to engage in this complicated discussion on the role of mixed race leadership and advocacy within racial justice movements.
Myra S. Washington, PhD, Assistant Professor, Communication and Journalism, University of New Mexico — Albuquerque, New Mexico
Dian D. Squire, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Iowa State University — Ames, Iowa
Sy Stokes, BA, Graduate Research Assistant, Race and Equity Center, University of Southern California — Pinole, California
Sabrina T. Kwist, MEd, Dean of Equity and Inclusion, Los Medranos Community College — Pittsburg, California
Adrienne Keene, EdD, Assistant Professor, American Studies and Ethnic Studies, Brown University — Providence, Rhode Island
FRIDAY, JUNE 2
Supporting the Intersectional Identities of College Students
Room: 203A Time: 8:30am-9:45am
Session Type: Concurrent Workshop
Session Track: Student Affairs and Affiliated Professionals
Experience Level: Novice
This presentation will discuss theoretical models of multiraciality and intersectionality from the perspective of sociology and then present practical strategies from the Georgia State University Multicultural Center’s 2016-2017 programming to support students in their intersectional identities.
Jacob Alan English, MS, Research Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor, Honors College Georgia State University — Atlanta, GA
Jeffrey Coleman, PhD, Director, Multicultural Center, Georgia State University — Atlanta, Georgia
Christina Wan, MEd, Senior Student Development Specialist, Multicultural Center, Georgia State University — Atlanta, Georgia
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.
A Call for Healing, Solidarity, and Action
We have been silent. But the silence has been intentional. We are in mourning and we are simply trying to heal. From Orlando and Baton Rouge to Dallas and Minnesota, we are in shock at the lengthening chain of violence against people of color. Over the past three years, we have continued to observe increased awareness of police brutality against marginalized populations. Know this, the number of tragedies are the same. The behaviors correlated with the propagation of these issues have not changed. The system has battered, bruised, imprisoned, and murdered folx of color for centuries. What has changed is the increased visibility of these incidents through social media and technology.
Some of us are trying to protect our psyches. Some of us must be strategic in how we protect our bodies. Some of us are trying to reconcile the fact that we may not be able to guarantee the safety of our loved ones. In our silence, we’re making sense and making meaning. We wonder. How many of us are too tired, angry, hurt, and/or overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness? How can we make space for you and others in the middle of this? How can we serve as advocates, allies, and activists within ACPA, our campuses, and our field? Here are some of our thoughts:
We live in a time where dichotomous thinking has pitted us against one another; but we recognize an alternative way to be – to be both/and. We acknowledge for example, that one can be both pro-Black lives and pro-police. As the Coalition of Multicultural Affairs, we wish to emphasize that we are anti-violence in all of its forms, and against police brutality. As we have observed in recent weeks and months, police brutality geared towards people of color is more likely to result in violence – in serious injury or death.
We invite you to be mindful.
Appreciate both intent and impact. If someone is making a conscientious effort to learn and serve, allow grace if mistakes occur. Use these errors as teachable moments for growth, not spaces for shame.
We encourage you to practice self-care.
Utilize your personal and professional support system, including allies and human resources options that may be offered by your employer. Utilize sick leave and child care options to practice wellness and to create a quiet space for yourself.
We urge you to act.
Identify representatives within your district, county, and state. Identify those who have made progressive strides towards civil rights and call out (not in) individuals who have demonstrated complacency. Demand that the lives of people of color matter and that the end of police brutality should be a priority in the coming election.
Finally, we encourage you to engage the literature on best practices for your campus and community. Use the resources our Association affords its members.
• Parallels Between the Cases of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and the Black Male College Experience – http://www.myacpa.org/public…/developments/volume-12-issue-2
• ACPA Videos on Demand – Confronting the Reality of Racism in the Academy Channel: http://videos.myacpa.org/product-cate…/channel/racism-series
• Black & APIDA Coalition Building Resources – https://goo.gl/fJNJNO
While the urgency of action and care is upon us, we wish to move forward with love – for ourselves, for each other in the Association, and for those on our campuses. We cannot achieve a more equitable world alone; we must move forward together.
Shawna M. Patterson
Chair, Coalition of Multicultural Affairs
Pan African Network (PAN)
Latin@/x Network (LN)
Multiracial Network (MRN)
Did you know MRN’s hosting a Twitter Chat for Loving Day this Sunday??
Join us on Sunday, June 12 at 7 pm EST/ 4 pm PST on Twitter to share in the conversation. All you have to do is Tweet and Retweet responses! Tune in on our twitter page at https://twitter.com/ACPA_MRN @ACPA_MRN
Additionally, you can get Loving Day in the White House in 5 seconds!
And when you’re done, please share! We have 30 days to collect 100,000 petition signatures. And if we do, the White House will respond to our request to make Loving Day a federal observance (like a holiday, but the banks stay open).
This is President Obama’s last term. The film “Loving” about Richard and Mildred Loving, is coming out this November. The time is now. Let’s do this!
This is a collaborative effort with our friends in the community, including:
- American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Multiracial Network
- Mixed Marrow
- Mixed Roots Stories
- Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC)
- Swirl, Inc
Share with your friends via social media
Sample posts (Twitter friendly):
- Get #LovingDay in the @WhiteHouse in 5 seconds. Sign the petition https://wh.gov/isdTY #multiracial #mixedrace
- Celebrate millions of #multiracial Americans & families. Sign the #LovingDay petition https://wh.gov/isdTY
- .@BarackObama last term. @LovingTheFilm out this Nov. The time is now #LovingDay petition https://wh.gov/isdTY
- Want the @WhiteHouse to celebrate #multiracial Americans & families? Sign & share https://wh.gov/isdTY
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!
By Laura Carroll, MRN Leadership Team
In higher education, Winter Recess brings time for reflection, relaxation, and reconnection with family, friends, and self. What I love about this time of year is ice skating, catching the latest movie release, family dinners, and trips to the museum. As the nation commemorates the 75th anniversary of World War II, the local museum featured an exhibit that focused on the region’s role during the war. As I walked through the exhibit, I remembered the stories that my late grandfather told me of his experience growing up during the war. The photographs and models sparked a feeling of connection to him, like I finally had a physical representation of the images he so colorfully painted in his stories. According to the exhibit, our region had a tremendous impact during the war, but we endured much pain and struggle.
Midway through, I noticed that my fiance was not experiencing the same feelings of connection to the exhibit. They brought to my attention the minimal recognition given to the African Americans who contributed to the war efforts, and no recognition of African American women. They shared feelings of sadness, anger, isolation, and rejection that their ancestors were not represented. Not long after, I overheard a tour guide answer a visitor’s question with: “…we did have several artifacts, but they were very racist and we weren’t allowed to incorporate them into the exhibit.”
As a multiracial individual who identifies as BOTH Black (African American) and White (Scotch Irish), I had several reactions in that moment. First, I felt concern for my fiance and the continuous impact of visiting museums that fail to acknowledge America’s oppressive past and present. Second, like so many times in my life, I felt caught between the long-standing tension of my ancestors. Consistently, “American” History Museums are very White and we must go to the African American History Museums to see our culture represented and celebrated. Very rarely will multiracial individuals be identified in any history museums, at least none that I have visited throughout the east coast.
Two weeks later, I’ve had some time to process this experience. It saddens me that people of color are rarely included when we commemorate “American” history. The three brief references in the 10,000 square foot exhibition, included one wax figure of a Tuskegee Airman, a diagram of the estimated racial demographics of soldiers (5% African American and 1% other), and one small square case with a pin from the “Double V Campaign”. After further research at home, I learned that the Double V Campaign was a motivational symbol created by African Americans to start a movement for victory abroad at war and equal rights in the United States. At present, the fight for equal rights and respect, remains.
In an effort to find a sense of community in this city, I searched an electronic database of over 700 local affinity groups. I was glad to find a handful of groups and organizations that support and celebrate African Americans. However, not surprisingly, my search for biracial/multiracial resulted in zero results (not even at the universities). Despite the lack of inclusion within society at large, I’m thankful to be a part of MRN. This truly is a community of thoughtful individuals who engage in dialogue, readings, research, and events to raise awareness, educate, and provide support…creating a sense of belonging.
I find that writing this blog was very therapeutic and it became more exciting as I continued to express my/our experience through text. I would love to hear some of your experiences and feedback. Has a visit to a history museum sparked reflections of your heritage? Is there an organization in your local area (or at your institution) that does great work for the multiracial community? Have you and your partner or relative had a conversation about your racial identities and representation (or lack of, or misrepresentation) within society?
About the Author:
Laura is an Academic Advisor in the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been involved with MRN since her first ACPA Convention in 2011. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her fiance, their cat, and fish; hanging out with family and friends, attending cultural events, and dancing.
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.