Thursday, October 29, 2015

Professor Minelle Mahtani on 'Raising Mixed Race' in Canada

Following are closing remarks given by Minelle Mahtani after the premiere of my new book Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children In a Post-Racial World at Hapa-Palooza Festival 2015, Vancouver B.C. Minelle Mahtani is Associate Professor of Human Geography and Journalism at University of Toronto-Scarborough. Currently she is on sabbatical to host new show 'Sense of Place' on Roundhouse Radio. She is also author of the recent book 'Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality.'  

My book 'Raising Mixed Race' will be released December 11, 2015

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Minelle Mahtani [image from Twitter @mminelle]

"Hi everybody. I’m going to keep this really short and sweet because I just think that we’ve heard so many really important things. But I just want to say thank you, Jeff, for that really warm introduction. And I just want to thank Sharon and Professor Wei Ming Dariotis for the extraordinary contribution they made here tonight.

For me being in this room really means a lot. I think it’s really rare that so many mixed people come together to have these conversations...I think it’s really valuable to remember that you’re not alone in this and that there’s other people around who want to share in these conversations. I grew up as a person of mixed race identity. I’m [of] Indian, Iranian, Muslim, Hindu background. And that was a really complicated identity to have in the suburbs of Toronto, mostly white area, that I grew up in.

I remember being called the N-word in grade three, coming home and telling my mother...and my mother bursting into tears.

I’ve been called every single racial slur you can imagine. I remember being called the N-word in grade three, coming home and telling my mother (I didn’t even know what it meant), and my mother bursting into tears. So what does that story tell us right? In terms of the kind of information that we receive and the kinds of information we get from our parents in terms of how they can cope with these stories. Instead of my mother explaining to me the tortured history behind that word - she immediately felt guilty. I think that’s really important. I think that’s what we need to think about.

But...I want to talk about Sharon for a minute.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Talking Race, ID & Racism with Families of Color Seattle

with FOCS Board and Staff [Photo Credit: Amy Pak]

by Sharon H Chang

On Saturday October 10 I had the very distinct honor of being part of Families of Color Seattle (FOCS)'s first of five Community Dialogues on Race and Family: "Talking Race, Identity and Racism." FOCS is an emerging, young local nonprofit whose mission is to build strong communities of color by supporting families via parenting programs, resource sharing, and fostering meaningful connections. Their vision is children of color will be born into loving world that is racially and economically just. This is the first time the org has undertaken a community dialogue series. The other dialogues will include: "Multiracial Families," "Anti-Bias Education and Schools," "Anti-Racist Birthing," and "Transracial Adoption Experiences."

Technically I was the kickoff keynote at this first launch event but it didn't feel like that - which was actually kind of awesome.