MULTIRACIAL HERITAGE WEEK (#MHW2016) IS ONLY TWO WEEKS AWAY!
Have you remembered to write to your governor for a proclamation?
Have you gone to www.projectrace.com, clicked on the MHW tab, and followed the directions?
Have you followed up with the governor’s office?
Did you enter your video in our contest?
Have you emailed us at email@example.com with any questions or to let us know your state is set to issue a proclamation?
What are you waiting for? It’s almost time to celebrate!
Jennifer was born in Chicago in 1963. Her mother is white and her father is black. Jennifer Beals is best known for her role in the movie “Flashdance.” She is a private person who says she knew she was “different” growing up.
Jennifer was Alex Owens in the 1983 film Flashdance, and starred with Bette Porter on the Showtime drama series the L Word. She has spent two decades performing in both independent and major motion pictures with such actors as Nicolas Cage and Denzel Washington. She continues to act in films and on TV.
Beals grew up in a predominately African American neighborhood, and has reported that she was teased about her biracial heritage. She has stated that it was experiences like that, which turned her into a loner. Beals said “Because I am biracial, I’ve always lived sort of on the outside. The idea of being “the other” in society is not foreign to me.”
Beals racially ambiguous beauty has awarded her a diverse range of film roles over the years. She played a Latina in The Soup, and a White Brit in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. She was often passed over for “black roles.” She told Vibe magazine “People say that I don’t look black enough.” Beals ended her interview stating “The whole country is changing and the whole idea of race has got to change.”
— Makensie Shay McDaniel, Project RACE Teen President
You had a tough weekend. Like many of us tend to be victim to at times, you posted a photo via social media that you’d hope to receive a good response to. Perhaps even ring up the price of clothing on the sale you advertised. I understand, we all have expectations and hopes when we post a picture that potentially could work out in our favor, and I’m sorry in your case it was the latter.
I’m sorry that for the next week you will be a trending topic on blogs, social media, and even the news, but won’t create the conversation the picture so deserves.
I’m sorry that the representation of family your ad projected beautifully was met with discrimination, bigotry and racism that many are unaccustomed to, but I am.
I’m sorry that because ads like yours are so underrepresented on a commercial and global scale in the media, arts, entertainment, and public platforms that people are so disturbed by an image that distorts their views of culture and race. That the imagined bi-product of this man and woman’s love is such an eye-sore to some of your consumers they would be willing to “protest,” and “boycott,” your company. Most of all though Old Navy, the people I’m sorriest for are the internet trolls who are so ignorant to the beauty of diversity that they cannot stand the image of it in all its radiance and glory when we come together and blend to become multiracial.
Being a product of an interracial family it warms my heart to see a portrait of a household I could relate to growing up. For many of us who are “mixed,” or “biracial,” this ad reflects our complicated history with race and culture. Those of us who are accustomed to the “What are you?” “Which parent is what race?” and “What side do you identify more with?” questions understand and sympathize with potential life this fictional child could have growing up. People who have been in an interracial relationship or marriage can understand the head turns when you walk down the street hand in hand, the discomfort from family members and friends unaccustomed to stepping outside cultural boundaries, and the infinite amount of defenses made in regards to your potential choice in a partner.
We get it. We understand what this picture means for us, and though it may be complicated and ugly to some, it makes us proud. Proud of the representation of love that knows no boundaries and a small step forward in the giant machine that is working against the whitewashed norms of advertising to showcase all love, beauty in different sizes, and gender friendly campaigns for its consumers. We thank you for reflecting our reality even if it makes people uncomfortable. Mixed love is beautiful love whether it’s black, white, brown, red, or yellow, it is extraordinary and powerful. The only suggestion I could make if any, is to go past the standard “Mulatto,” black/white dynamic that most people attribute with being bi-racial and push further, harder, and more diverse in the future for your campaigns.
A Multiracial Consumer
In case you didn’t see the hate on social media, here is a sample:
Last year we had a quarter of state’s issue proclamations and this year we are hoping for at least half of all states. Please join this important initiative and advocate for your state with us. Follow the instructions below.
THINGS TO KNOW:
- You must be a resident of the state.
- Please contact people in your state and other states to obtain proclamations.
- Multiracial Heritage Week (MHW) is June 7 to June 14, 2016.
- Proclamations must be received by Project RACE by JUNE 1.
- Most states require a one month lead time to issue a proclamation.
- Download the MHW Proclamation 2016 wording by clicking here.
- Go to this link at the Project RACE site and determine if your state was one of our states in 2014 or 2015.
- Go to this sample letter if your state has issued a proclamation in past years.
- Go to this sample letter if your state has not issued a proclamation in past years.
- If you prefer, you can draft your own letter to the Governor.
- Go to the National Governor Association’s site by clicking here and get the phone number for the Governor’s office and a link to the Governor’s website, where you may find an email address. You will want to contact the person who handles proclamations for the Governor’s office.
- Don’t forget to attach the MHW Proclamation 2016 wording in your email! You may also want to include a link to our flyer (click here) with your letter.
- Send your letter!
If you have been contacted about the proclamation, please let us know at this link. If you have received a proclamation, send the original or a good color copy to:
P.O. Box 2366
Los Banos, CA 93635
You can contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and/or comments.
Thank you for taking the time to follow-up and be a part of Multiracial Heritage Week from June 7th to 14th. Let’s make MHW16 our best year yet!
This week’s Famous Friday will be featuring the ever so fabulous Chrissy Teigen. Chrissy was born on November 30, 1985 in Delta, Utah. She is of Thai and German ancestry. Her family moved around quite a bit in her childhood before finally settling down in Huntington Beach, California. It was there that she was discovered by a photographer, and soon after that her modeling career took flight. One of her first ever modeling jobs was being cast as an alternate for the popular game show Deal or No Deal. Since then she has modeled for brands spanning from Nike to Nine West. She has also appeared in several magazines, including Italian Vogue!
Chrissy is married to the super talented singer songwriter John Legend. They first met at one of his video shoots while he was ironing his clothes. They became friends after the shoot, and eventually John popped the question! Chrissy and John both have a very large social media following, and have captured the hearts of people everywhere. They also just welcomed their first child into the world.
Chrissy also loves to cook. She has her very own food blog, and she uses it as an outlet to express herself. She was actually featured in her own special on the cooking channel. How cool! She is also co-host of the very popular and very hilarious show: Lip Sync Battle!
Anyone who follows Chrissy on social media knows that she has a heart of gold, and is totally hilarious and charming. It is her great personality that helps her with the negativity of haters. She says that they used to get to her at first, but now she simply ignores them. I really think that she is someone that is so cool, carefree and that lots of people would love to be real life best friends with.
-Lexi Brock, Project RACE Teens, President
photo credit: people.com*
I am very pleased to let you know that multiracial people who check “SOME OTHER RACE”
on the 2020 Census and write in multiracial, biracial, mixed, etc. will be counted in with the
multiracial group. Prior to this change, those numbers went into the “Some Other Race” total
tabulation. This means that the multiracial group will get more legitimate numbers than ever
I learned about this recently during a conference call with Census Bureau Directors of Race,
Ethnicity, and Outreach. It’s a busy time at the Census Bureau as they are testing the design and
content for the 2020 census. I also currently participate in meetings about the National Content
Test (NCT), which includes testing for the race and ethnicity questions on census forms. I will
share that information with you as I receive it.
Thank you for your continued support!
Project RACE, Inc.
Klay’s parents and brothers, both of whom are also pro athletes.
Klay Thompson is an NBA All-Star. He’s explosive! He does not get anywhere near the amount of attention that his teammate, and fellow Splash Brother, Stephen Curry receives. But then again, who does? Still, Klay Thompson is a huge contributor to the Golden State Warriors success throughout the past two seasons. Last year he scored an NBA reord 37 points – in a SINGLE QUARTER – going 13 of 13 from the field. GHEEEESH!
Basketball is clearly in his blood. Born on February 8 1990 to a Bahamian father, who played good ball for the championship Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s and 90s, and a white mother, Klay attended Washington State University. After winning the NBA championship in 2015, Thompson and his father became the fourth father-son duo to each win a title as players, joining Matt Guokas, Sr. and Jr.; Rick andBrent Barry; and Bill and Luke Walton.
The 6’7″ 26 year old shooting guard, has been playing great basketball, on what is arguably the greatest team in NBA history and definitely the winningest team in NBA history, finishing the regular season with a all time best 73-9 record.
“Make your supporters proud and your haters jealous!” – Klay Thompson
Dec 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) takes a shot against Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Golden State defeats Indiana 131-123. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
— Karson Baldwin, Project RACE Kids, President
We, at Project RACE, like to help our members and followers keep up with significant medical findings and issues that are related to race. Some of the articles we share account specifically for multiracial people, others do not. Many of the race-based findings leave the multiracial community asking, “and what does this mean to me?” Two such studies appear below. Please join Project RACE and help us advocate for the inclusion of multiracial individuals in medical data. #refusetobeinvisible
Life expectancy for white females in U.S. suffers rare decline
By Joel Achenbach, Washington Post
Life expectancy at birth for white, non-Hispanic females in the United States declined slightly from 2013 to 2014, a change that could be a statistical blip but still represents a rare drop for a major demographic group, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This unusual down-tick in life expectancy — from 81.2 to 81.1 years — is consistent with other research showing that drug overdoses, suicides and diseases related to smoking and heavy drinking are killing unprecedented numbers of white Americans, particularly women in mid-life.
“Taken by itself, it could just be a random fluctuation from one year to the next,” said Elizabeth Arias, a demographer with the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. But the data, which was released Wednesday, also showed that Americans collectively have lost momentum when it comes to greater longevity. Life expectancy at birth has remained virtually stagnant for the nation since 2010.
Arias said another study by her agency, to be published soon, will document the sharp increase in suicides, alcoholism-related diseases and overdoses.
“Despite the positive influences of declines in heart disease and cancer and stroke, increases in other causes like suicide, chronic liver disease and unintentional poisonings were so large that they had a negative effect on life expectancy,” she said.
[A new divide in American death]
Amid the bleak news for whites have been the improving numbers for African Americans and Hispanics, the new study indicates. Hispanic life expectancy rose from 81.6 to 81.8 years between 2013 and 2014; gains were seen for both males and females. Life expectancy for blacks rose from 75.1 to 75.2 years, driven by a particularly large jump among black males, from 71.8 to 72.2 years.
“The gap between the white and black populations is quickly closing, and it’s mainly because the black population is experiencing a great drop in mortality,” said Arias, who authored the accompanying brief.
A report last November by Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton pointed out that death rates for white men and women in the 45-54 age bracket had risen strikingly between 1999 and 2013. The Post’s subsequent analysis of death records, published earlier this month, found the most pronounced increase in mortality has been among white women ages 25 to 54 in small cities, small towns and the most rural parts of the country.
[Sick and dying in small-town America: one family’s story]
Urban Institute researcher Laudy Aron, who has written extensively on the “health disadvantage” of Americans compared to citizens of other affluent countries, said the new CDC data is “more confirming evidence of this larger phenomenon.”
“We continue to deviate from what these other high-income countries are doing, especially among women,” Aron said. “Equally important will be what happens next year and the year after, and seeing if we are on some kind of new trend line.”
Life expectancy is not a prediction for any given person; it’s a statistical construct. As the new report puts it, “Life expectancy represents the average number of years that a hypothetical group of infants would live at each attained age if the group was subject, throughout its lifetime, to the age-specific death rates prevailing for the actual population in a given year.”
Doctors’ message to Asian Americans: Watch out for diabetes even if you’re young and thin
By Soumya Karlamangla, Contact Reporter, Los Angeles Times
The patients filing into Dr. Ronesh Sinha’s clinic in Redwood City, Calif., were like nothing he had ever seen.
As a doctor in training, Sinha studied which patients were usually diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes: they were at least middle-aged, ate too much fast food, drank soda and didn’t exercise.
The Silicon Valley techies visiting his office were typically slender Asian Americans in their 30s who worked out regularly and ate healthy meals. But, as Sinha repeatedly found, they either already had or were about to get diabetes.
“It was such a discordance from what I’d learned about in medical school,” Sinha said. “Maybe, I thought, this is just an anomaly.”
It wasn’t. What Sinha noticed a decade ago is now supported by a growing body of scientific research: Asians, in part for genetic reasons, are disproportionately likely to develop diabetes. They get the disease at younger ages and lower weights than others, experts say.
Diabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, often remains undiagnosed until it’s too late, especially in Asians who haven’t historically been considered high-risk. It’s the seventh most common cause of death nationwide and can lead to blindness, amputations and strokes.
To prevent the insidious disease from gaining ground among the country’s fastest-growing minority group, doctors and health advocates are trying to increase diabetes testing and treatment for Asian Americans, including Chinese, Indians and Filipinos. Diabetes is largely preventable, experts say — but only if people know they are at risk.
“We began with diabetes is not a big problem in the Asian community” to now thinking “simply being Asian is a risk factor,” said Dr. Edward Chow, an internist who has worked in San Francisco’s Chinatown since the 1970s.
As Americans put on weight over the last two decades, diabetes rates more than doubled. Scientists have long known that obesity is closely linked to diabetes, but newer research shows the picture is more complicated.
In Los Angeles County, Asian American adults have the lowest obesity rate of any ethnic group, at 9%, compared with 18% of whites and 29% of Latinos and blacks.
“You would think … Asians would have the lowest diabetes rate,” said Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer with the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
But 10% of Asian Americans in L.A. County are diabetic, compared with 7% of whites, despite Asian Americans’ drastically lower obesity levels.
Scientists think the mismatch is because obesity is a measure of weight, not necessarily fat — the real culprit in diabetes.
Asians tend to have less muscle and more fat than Europeans of the same weight and height, studies show. So an Asian who isn’t obese or even overweight could have enough fat to be in danger of getting diabetes, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “skinny-fat.”
“We’ve got to be suspicious even if somebody looks normal,” Chow said.
Asians also tend to accumulate more fat around their waists than people of other ethnicities, and abdominal fat is a bigger risk factor for diabetes than fat stored in other places, such as hips or arms.
Alan Owyang, 58, found out he was diabetic 15 years ago, when he was barely overweight.
“I had a little, a very slight gut, but I just thought it was OK,” said Owyang, an actor in San Francisco. He’s shed some pounds and changed his diet, but still has to take medications to keep the disease under control.
In October, San Francisco, which is 35% Asian, passed a resolution expanding diabetes testing to Asian Americans who aren’t considered overweight.
It was a victory for “Screen at 23,” a national campaign that aims to lower the diabetes screening guidelines from the current standard of a body-mass index of 25 — the traditional cutoff for being overweight — to 23 for Asian Americans. The effort was launched last year by the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians and a coalition of diabetes advocates.
Simon in L.A. County — which, like California, is approximately 15% Asian — said he was looking into a similar change, and the American Diabetes Assn. and the World Health Organization have also endorsed lower screening thresholds.
But identifying those at risk is just the beginning of the battle against diabetes, said Scott Chan, program director of the L.A.-based Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance. He said that many Asian Americans are reluctant to believe that they could get diabetes, in part because of what he called a long-standing “model minority” myth when it comes to health.
“You’re skinny, you’re healthy, there’s nothing wrong,” he said.
When physicians tell patients to eat less rice to prevent developing diabetes, many of them say “they would rather die,” Chan said.
Wendy Kim, 45, had to give up bagels and sushi with white rice after being diagnosed with diabetes more than 10 years ago. Even if she skips the rice that comes with Korean barbecue, the meat marinades contain sugar that she can’t gorge on.
“There are people who eat to live and there are people who live to eat. I live to eat,” says Kim, who lives in L.A.’s Koreatown. “I’m a foodie, and I can’t have noodles.”
Studies have shown that more than medication, dieting and exercising greatly reduce people’s chances of getting diabetes. But making those lifestyle changes can be especially difficult for Asian Americans, because healthy eating guidelines have typically been based on traditional American diets.
The dietitian to whom Pratap Merchant of Artesia was referred after he was diagnosed with diabetes couldn’t help him much. “She had very little knowledge of vegetarian foods,” said Merchant, 82, who was raised in India as a vegetarian.
Sinha, the Bay Area doctor, has spent the last several years trying to solve this problem. After diagnosing dozens of Asian Americans with diabetes, he realized he didn’t have appropriate dietary suggestions to help them manage the disease. Telling vegetarians to eat less red meat, for example, wasn’t going to work, he said.
Through Sutter Health’s Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Sinha launched a consult servicein 2011 specifically for South Asians, who have some of the highest diabetes rates among Asians.
Its doctors recommend food modifications such as doubling the amount of vegetables in a curry dish, or switching from white rice to a dish made of cauliflower florets.
Manjusha Kulkarni, head of the nonprofit South Asian Network in Artesia’s Little India, also runs food workshops for diabetics and started a walking group to help Asian American seniors improve their health. But, she said, the first line of defense against diabetes is raising awareness.
She and her colleagues travel from Irvine to Westwood, visiting temples and cultural festivals, warning Asian Americans that when it comes to diabetes, “we need to be more vigilant than other communities.”
Project RACE has an incredible team of talented and dedicated youth leaders. Makensie McDaniel, of Belmont, NC, is one of our Project RACE Teens Co-Presidents. On January 2, 2016 she participated in a local preliminary and won the title of Miss Queen City’s Outstanding Teen. Makensie will now be competing at Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in June. She will compete in personal interview, fitness, talent, and evening gown/onstage question. Competitors must be between the ages of 13-17 and show personal commitment, perseverance, talent, and ambition. They must also have a personal platform, and we are delighted that Makensie’s personal platform is the multiracial advocacy of Project RACE.
“As a child, I struggled a bit with racial identity,” Makensie said. “I am multiracial, as my mother is white and my father is black. I was raised primarily by the white side of my family, have attended majority white schools, and my community has been mainly white. Therefore, I self identified as white in middle school, but was constantly told by society that I was black. This struggle inspired my passion for multiracial advocacy, and my platform Project RACE.”
About competing in pageants, Makensie said, “The Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen program has pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me become the leader that I am today. I would encourage any young lady between the ages of 13-17 to become a part of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Program through your state.”
One way Makensie has promoted her platform on the state level is with our annual Multiracial Heritage Week. She worked with Governor Pat McCrory to proclaim June 7th-14th Multiracial Heritage week in North Carolina. She hopes to make the celebration across her state even bigger this year. This is the third annual Multiracial Heritage Week initiated by Project RACE. Nationally, Project RACE has had twelve states issue proclamations and is working hard contacting the governors of each state so that more proclamations can be issued and more multiracial people celebrated.
If you would like to help get Multiracial Heritage Week in YOUR state, we would love to have you on our team. Stay tuned to find out how you can help!
photo credit: Matt Boyd