Monday, October 28, 2013

Mixed Heritage and Knowing We Still Have Work To Do



"When I think of heritage, I don't think of race"

"I'm just Japanese"

"I'm just mixed"

"I consider myself mixed within the context of Mexico"

"I just feel whole because I'm human"

"I'm confused. What box do YOU want to put me in?"

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 by Sharon H Chang

My head is swimming as I sit here wondering how to begin. On Saturday night I had the distinct honor of sitting as a panelist for Mixed Heritage at Seattle's Union Cultural Center along with youth speaker Saiyana Suzumura and Jabali Stewart, Director of Intercultural Affairs at The Bush School. The event is part of an annual series Dialogues of Resistance & Healing funded by a recently awarded 4 Culture grant. The dialogues are a forum for folks to come together around issues, conversations and art forms that are important to the community but often underrepresented. That formally and technically said, these are no ordinary dialogues. You won't find yourself sitting in a conference room with stock commercial carpeting and fluorescent lights; over-warmed, under-cooled by artificial air and a central system; eating bagels and cream cheese, muffins or veggies off a Costco party platter.