Famous Friday!

Today’s Famous Friday will feature the beautiful and talented Halle Berry. Halle Berry, who is now 49 years old, was born on August 14th to a Caucasian mother and an African American father. Halle Berry has worked tremendously hard throughout her career, all of her efforts have definitely paid off. Halle’s success started at a young age, by the time she graduated high school she had served as school newspaper editor, been a member of the honor society, was voted prom queen, and elected class president. Wow! At 18 years old she already had a very impressive resume.

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2nd Annual unite4:humanity Presented By ALCATEL ONETOUCH Featuring: Halle Berry Where: Beverly Hills, California, United States When: 20 Feb 2015 Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

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However, things were not always easy for Halle. For a period of time she attended a predominately white school and also an inner city school and was often bullied. This resulted in Halle having identity issues. She even once said, “Blackness is a state of mind and I identify with the black community. Mainly, because I realized, early on, when I walk into a room, people see a black woman, they don’t see a white woman. So out of that reason alone, I identify more with the black community.” For many multiracial human beings (myself included) it is sometimes difficult for us to identify ourselves. The great thing about Project RACE is that the organization encourages us to identify as multiracial, not one race or the other. We are multiracial, we are awesome, and we don’t ever have to limit ourselves.

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Realizing how great and talented she was, Halle Berry easily became one of the most well- known actresses of her generation. She is also one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood and has a net worth of over 80 million dollars. Halle Berry continues to win major awards, like the Academy Award, for all of her phenomenal work. However, Halle Berry is a lot more than a phenomenal actress, she is also a phenomenal person.

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Non-Profit for Rent

Dear Presidential Hopefuls:

We, the American Public, know by now that you all have stands on various issues: Muslims, immigration, guns, education, and the list goes on. You have all also weighed in on your favorite “diversity and inclusion” beliefs. Donald Trump likes you just fine, as long as you’re not really that different from his folks. Ted Cruz already invited his chums at organizations like the Congressional Black Caucus to a nice get-together. I just can’t say anything about Ben Carson. I think Bernie Sanders would like us, because Bernie Sanders likes just about everybody. Hilary Clinton is, well, she is a Clinton and although I have a letter in my office signed by her husband when he was President, all he really wrote was “good luck with that.”

That is a national non-profit organization that advocates for multiracial children. Huh? You think. What is there to advocate about? After all, our President, Barack Obama, is multiracial and look at how well he’s doing. But, and this is a big but, he does not self-identify as multiracial. He usually calls himself black, although African American would not be inaccurate, since his father was actually from Kenya. I completely respect and understand his choice. When he was a young boy, living in Hawaii with his white mother and white grandparents, people did not have a choice. The “one-drop rule” prevailed and that meant if you have one drop of black blood, you would be considered black. There was no way to designate a person as multiracial.

Then in 1990, many of us began to wonder about having no choices when it came to your own identity and thought we would take that on. My multiracial son and I started an organization and called it Project RACE (Reclassify All Children Equally) and took on race in America. We are now in our 25th year and we were informed by Pew Research that we have about 17 million Americans in the United States who self-identify as “multiracial.” We know that 17 million is a drop in the bucket when it comes to winning the national vote, but I think we could help deliver some of those votes.

Here is what I have in mind. Rent our non-profit, 501 (C) (3) corporation and make us one of your pet causes. You’ve got the recognition we need to continue to make progress for the multiracial community, and we have a pretty good rating in social media. Maybe some of our members never thought of voting for you. We have support from Democratic and Republican Governors in states who have signed our legislation and give us resolutions every year for National Multiracial Heritage Week, which is June 7th to 14, this year your advance planning purposes.

We have had great successes over the years, and we have weathered losses. But this is a new day! You can rent our support and really have solid “inclusion” in your “diversity” plans as President. You can help put our poor, struggling little organization get on the map nationally. It’s such a win/win. So, have your people call our people.

Very sincerely,

Susan Graham


Saving Lives!

College students + Donuts + an opportunity to save someone’s life = A big success!

Friday January 29th, Project RACE and Be the Match teamed up to have a bone marrow donor drive at Governors State University. It was so much fun putting together the event and I’m glad we were able to have one in Chicago!

Hosting a donor drive on a Friday didn’t seem like such a good idea because most colleges don’t have many classes going on that day, but we were able to get 21 people to sign up for the registry! We also had a bunch of other people, and almost the entire women’s volleyball team and a few basketball players signed up to be donors. It was really cool to be able to spread the word to all different types of people about the multiracial community and the need for bone marrow donors.

By the end of the event ⅓ of the people who signed up for the registry were multiracial! Many African Americans, which are also hard to find matches for, signed up for the registry as well. The woman who helped run the donor drive from Be The Match was awesome and i learned so much from her. We even talked about doing more donor drives together in the future.

During the donor drive, I had the opportunity to meet civil rights activist Jesse Jackson while he was speaking at the college about budgets for schools in Chicago. My mom asked him if he would like a donut and of course he couldn’t resist! I was even able to get my picture taken with him and talk about the bone marrow drive!

All and all the whole day was a blast and I can’t wait to have another drive soon! I would like to give a big thank you to all who made the event a success.

Dionna Roberson


Project RACE Teens

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Gender Matters

Study: When It Comes To Identifying As Multiracial, Gender Matters

In families where biological parents are of different races and ethnicities, daughters are more likely to self-identify as “multiracial” than sons, according to a new study in the February issue of the American Sociological Review. This is especially true in families with one black parent and one white parent.

“It would seem that, for biracial women, looking racially ambiguous is tied to racial stereotypes surrounding femininity and beauty,” said Lauren Davenport, assistant professor at Stanford University and author of the study. She suggests it may be easier for women to identify with multiple racial groups because they are “cast as a mysterious, intriguing ‘racial other'” as opposed to men, who are more likely to be seen as a “person of color.”

Davenport’s study was based on a sample of more than 37,000 incoming college freshmen across the county who fit into one of three mixed backgrounds — Asian-white, black-white, and Latino-white. Using data from 2001 to 2003, Davenport looked at how these individuals chose to identify themselves.

She found that a higher percentage of women than men self-labeled as multiracial across all three groups. Among black-whites, 76 percent of women identified as multiracial, compared to 64 percent of men in that group. Fifty-six percent of Asian-white women classified as multiracial, as opposed to 50 percent of Asian-white men. And 40 percent of Latino-white women self-labeled as multiracial in comparison to 32 percent of those men.
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In addition to gender, Davenport looked at how religion and class affect the way people identify. Multiracial people who don’t have strong religious ties were more likely to identify as multiracial, as well as those from highly affluent neighborhoods.

Overall, those with black and white parents were the most likely to identify as multiracial, and the least likely to describe themselves as white only. Seventy-one percent of black-white study participants identified as multiracial, while only 54 percent of Asian-white and 37 percent of Latino-white participants opted for the same label.

In the paper, Davenport attributed this tendency among people with black and white parents to the “one-drop rule,” more formally known as hypodescent, which structured how part-black individuals were once legally and socially identified in the United States:

Because people in this group have so strongly been expected to identify as black, they are choosing to assert a new identity, one that incorporates both their black and white heritages. It is also likely that, for some, a multiracial label reflects a desire to socially distance and distinguish oneself from blacks.

Davenport says understanding the way people identity themselves racially is crucial for its political consequences. Not only does self-identification shape the American racial landscape, but it also impacts the enforcement of laws, implementation of affirmative action, and allocation of political resources.

But studying multiracial identity can be tricky. The Pew Research Center spent a lot of time last year researching the mixed population of America. Not only did they find that many mixed-race Americans changed how they viewed their racial identity over the course of their lifetimes, but also that self-identification was highly dependent on situational circumstances, others’ perceptions, and personal upbringing.

So does this mean we’ll all start to subconsciously assume that all wealthy biracial women with zero religious affiliations are mixed? Probably not. But if the projection that one in five Americans will be of mixed race by 2050 bears out, we’re going to need to keep understanding how people relate to being multiracial.

Source: NPR

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Famous Friday!

Ben Simmons: The Prince

Ben Simmons

LSU Freshman Forward, Benjamin Simmons, was born on July 20, 1996 in Melbourne, Australia. He was born to a white-Australian mother and an African American father, Julie and Dave Simmons. Despite being only 19, we have already seen comparisons between Ben and to two time NBA champion, two time finals MVP, and four time regular season MVP, LeBron James, commonly known as King James.  Standing at 6’10” and weighing 225 lbs, Simmons is currently averaging 20 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists per game.

With a dad who played professionally in Australia, Ben grew up on basketball and at 7 years old was playing on a competitive 12 and under team. He only got better from there. Basketball was so important to Simmons, that he left his family in Australia to go to high school at the hoops powerhouse, Montverde Academy in Florida. Simmons led Montverde to a No. 2 ranking nationally in his senior season.

A lot of people were surprised when Ben committed to play college ball at LSU rather than one of the more dominant schools. But NBA superstar and LSU alumni Shaquille O’Neal was so excited after Simmons decided to play for the Tigers that Shaq posted a photo of Simmons on his Instagram account with the comment: “LSU just signed the best player in the world. Check him out.”

The King himself doesn’t mind the comparisons. “Someone’s going to be compared to someone all the time”, James said. “I don’t mind him being compared to me. People not only recognizing what he does on the floor, but he’s a great kid, too. He has a great family, great support system, and that’s why he’s able to do what he [does] on the floor.”

Could Ben be The Prince, the heir apparent? I think so.

Karson Baldwin


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Become a Donor and Help Save a Life

Date: Friday, January 29, 2016

Location: Governor’s State University, Chicago

The Main Lobby across from the Cafeteria

 Time: 2 pm to 4 pm






For More Information:

Email: projectrace@projectrace.com


Medical Matters

How Much Does African-American Race Play a Role in Stroke Risk?

MINNEAPOLIS – Even though young African-Americans are at three times greater risk of a first stroke than their white counterparts, they may not be at a higher risk for a second stroke, according to a study published in the January 20, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of theAmerican Academy of Neurology. The study is one of the first of its kind to look at race and second stroke risk. “The interaction between black race and age appears to be remarkably different for the risk of first versus second stroke,” said study author George Howard, DrPH, with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “There was very little difference in race for the risk of a second stroke.” The study involved 29,682 people from the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. Of those, 2,993 people had a history of stroke at the start of the study. Over the seven years of the study, 301 of them had a second stroke. Of the 26,689 people who had never had a stroke when the study began, 818 people experienced a first stroke during the study. The researchers found that among those without a stroke at the start of the study, African-Americans were 2.7 times more likely to have a stroke than the white participants at age 45, however, there was no difference at age 85. Race did not appear to increase second stroke risk for African-American participants at any age. “Almost all of the ‘traditional’ risk factors for a first stroke proved to also be a risk factor for a second stroke, suggesting that controlling these risk factors may help avoid both conditions,” said Howard. “These risk factors include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, irregular heartbeat and others.” The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. To learn more about stroke, visit http://www.aan.com/patients.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of 30,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visithttp://www.aan.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ andYouTube.

The “Census Bureau”


The 2020 Census Race and Hispanic Origin Research Working Group has issued its FINAL REPORT. They still refuse to consistently use the terminology requested by the multiracial community. In the early 1990s, the Census Bureau told us that we had to decide on ONE TERM AND ONE TERM ONLY for our population. We did. They did not. Now they have added the term “mixed,” yes, in quotation marks for some reason. Multiracial people are not air quotes. Perhaps Nicholas Jones or John H. Thompson can explain. Yeah, right. Below is the statement in the report. “WG” stands for “working group.” Multiracial Populations The WG recommends that the Census Bureau experiment with instruction changes in order to determine whether there can be an increase in the rates of multiracial reporting. The WG further notes that a combined race-ethnicity question has the advantage of making it possible for people to express a “mixed” identity (e.g., part-Latino, part-non-Latino background, by checking off both a Hispanic category and another category to identify as a “mixed” person). Additionally, the WG recommends that additional outreach and education be conducted with this population to educate them about the type of testing and terminology used with multiracial population.

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Famous Friday!

Jasmine Guy


Jasmine Guy- Was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 10, 1962. She is an actress, singer, dancer, and television director. She is famously known for her character, Whitley Marion Gilbert-Wayne on the television show A Different World. She won four consecutive image awards for her lead actress role in the comedy series.

Guy’s father is African American and her mother is white. She was raised in Georgia in an affluent neighborhood in Atlanta. She attended North Atlanta High School which used to be Northside Performing Arts High School. At the age of seventeen she moved to New York City to study dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center.

She was asked in Essence magazine if she grew up with any identity issues. Guy’s response, “Not as much because we were raised as Black kids and it was explained to us early as to why. I grew up in Atlanta where there was so much of a positive Black influence on us. We grew up being proud. Now it’s different. People embrace both sides of their heritage. I didn’t grow up that way. There wasn’t a biracial-box especially in the south. You were either black or white. “

There is a thirty eight year age difference between Jasmine Guy and me and there has been change that I am thankful for. I am glad that I don’t have to choose and that I can embrace my entire heritage being extremely proud of both of my races.

Makensie Shay McDaniel

Project RACE Teens President

Meet Karson Baldwin!

Karson did a great interview with SwirlNation! Click on the link to read it.