Barack Obama’s Warning to People of Mixed Heritage

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2014-04-15 21:42Z by Steven

Barack Obama’s Warning to People of Mixed Heritage

Eighth Generation

Louie Gong

Back in April 2005, a group of mixed people sponsored by the nonprofit MAVIN had the golden opportunity to sit down with the then-Senator Obama. The conversation, filmed as part of the feature length documentary “Chasing Daybreak,” may be the only interview in which he has addressed the mixed race experience directly. I pulled the dusty DVD off my shelf last week and uploaded this clip with permission from MAVIN. (I’m a past President of MAVIN, and I currently sit on the Advisory Board for both MAVIN and Mixed in Canada)

In my travels, I still hear people citing the increasing presence of America’s mixed race population (up 32% since Census 2000)—and high-profile individuals—as supposed movement towards a “post-racial” or colorblind society. In a cultural climate like this, I think hearing President Obama—the mixed race person most often touted as evidence of this post-race state—strongly caution mixed folks to stay connected to community and participate in larger movements by people of color is a priceless tool for sparking discussion…

Read the entire article here.

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A Mixed Bag: Examining the College Experience of Multi-Racial Students

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2013-04-02 02:51Z by Steven

A Mixed Bag: Examining the College Experience of Multi-Racial Students

INSIGHT Into Diversity
April/May 2012 (2012-03-29)

Andrea Williams, Contributing Writer

To most American youth, college is the requisite rite of passage into adulthood, an experience marked as much by self-exploration and discovery as biology lectures and late night cram sessions.
From managing the excitement of living away from home for the first time, to coping with the stresses of time management, college can be simultaneously exhilarating and intimidating. And for biracial students who don’t fit neatly into the predetermined ethnic categories of many colleges and universities, the journey can be especially challenging.

For Theresa Lopez, the daughter of a white mother and a Latino father, the issues started with her application to the University of Illinois. “I was not given the option to be both white and Hispanic because the boxes were marked ‘White (Non-Hispanic)’ and ‘Hispanic (Non-White),’ making me feel as though whoever created the application was under the impression that white people and Hispanics could not have babies together,” says Lopez. “I would prefer, however, to call myself both white and Hispanic without denying either ancestry.”

The problems didn’t stop there for the college senior. In a society where people are confident in their own assumptions, even going to dinner becomes a lesson in cultural sensitivity. “When we go to eat at the local Mexican restaurant here in town, my friend, who is Columbian but does not speak Spanish, is always waited on in Spanish while I am always greeted in English because of the way I look,” says Lopez, whose blonde hair and blue eyes belie her Hispanic roots. “It makes me upset sometimes because even though I continue to speak Spanish to them, they seem to think I’m just some white girl who is trying to speak their language and be a part of their people. But I’m their people, too.”…

…Luckily for Matt Kelley, he discovered during the fall semester of his freshman year at Connecticut’s Wesleyan University that the school sponsored a mixed heritage student organization. “It was the first time I was made aware of ‘people like me’ who shared the experience of not fitting neatly into generally accepted racial boxes and boundaries,” he says. Kelley subsequently learned about similar clubs at other schools and in 1998 decided to launch a national magazine that would create a community among those organizations.

The publication – given the Yiddish name MAVIN, which means “one who understands” – was immediately well received, leading Kelley to form the nonprofit MAVIN Foundation in 2000 to further the work and reach of the magazine…

Read the entire article here.

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Non-profit Tuesday: Why Give? What you might not expect in return

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2012-11-28 17:00Z by Steven

Non-profit Tuesday: Why Give? What you might not expect in return

Laura Kina

Laura Kina, Associate Professor Art, Media and Design and Director Asian American Studies
DePaul University

Giving is hard. I’m not talking about birthday or Christmas gifts here. There is a social contract that you must give back to those who you love and who have loved and cared for you. That type of giving is easy. I’m talking about giving your time and money to non-profits. This is optional giving. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, November 27, 2012 has been designated “Non-Profit Tuesday.” What do you believe in today? What do you want to take the time to stand behind and support?

I’ve spent most of my life being selfish, trying to build a career and family and take care of my own, but after the U.S. economy tanked in 2008 and my thin economic security was knocked out from under my feet, it coincided with a time when I have increasingly been asked to step up and give back. While this hasn’t always been easy, I want to share just a few things I got back in return that I really wasn’t expecting.

Make a list and check it (send $) twice today. Consider giving over the long haul. The best investments take time to mature.

Here are my top three non-religious non-profit suggestions for today:…

  • MAVIN is based in Seattle and provides local programs/national and international research resources.
    • Mission: MAVIN builds healthier communities by providing educational resources about Mixed Heritage experiences.
    • What I gave: Time, expertise, and board dues – former working board member (2010-12) and current advisory board member.
    • What I was given in return that I didn’t expect: What started from a little magazine feature back in 2004 in MAVIN magazine on my art and sharing suggestions for the and then meeting and working with folks like Eric Hamako and Louie Gong (see picture above) that has since led to a network of over 500+ activists, academics, artists, and friends interested in mixed-race issues. Today, I teach a class on “Mixed Race Art and Identity” at DePaul University in our Honors program and have been working with other colleagues, scholars and creatives on the Critical Mixed Race Studies conference, the Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies and Wei Ming Dariotis and I have a forthcoming book and exhibition WarBaby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art….

Read the entire article here.

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