New group looks to bring together mixed-race students

New group looks to bring together mixed-race students

Columbia Daily Spectator
New York, New York

Marium Dar, Spectator Staff Writer

A new student group is hoping to create a safe space for mixed-race students to discuss the challenges and struggles they face when discussing self-identity and racialization.

The Mixed-Race Students Society of Columbia University, which was founded last month, holds biweekly discussions where members take on topics including the difference between identification and racialization.

“As an organization, we have shared form and not content. The form of our experiences is the same,” board member Eliana Pipes, CC ’18, said. “Even though we all have completely different backgrounds, completely different mixes, we can identify on that common ground.”.

“The mixed-race [experience] is its own unique racial experience. If you are mixed with black, then you can never have the black experience on its own,” Pipes said. “If you are mixed with white, then you can never have the white experience on its own.”

Group founder Keenan Smith, CC ’18, who identifies as half black and half white, said he feels a tension between the two parts of his racial background…

…While a group called Hapa [Club] aimed to carry out a similar mission for students of partial Asian descent, it has been inactive since 2013. Smith said he wanted to create a community for students who felt marginalized based on their multiracial background…

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