FAMOUS FRIDAY: Chrissy Teigen

download (1) (1)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!

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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.

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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!

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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. 

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-Lexi Brock, Project RACE Teens, President

photo credit: people.com*

Census Bureau Changes Multiracial Tabulation

updateI 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!
Susan Graham
Project RACE, Inc.

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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

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




life expectancy

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

Soumya Karlamangla

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.”

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Another Win for PR Teen Prez

mm by mattProject 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

VIDEO: Biracial Wisdom

We Just Love This Video!




Amanda Rosenberg has some good advice about what to do when it comes to checking the race box when you’re multiracial.

Watch her #InAMinute video, Biracial Wisdom: Enough in My Own Skin, here:






© 2016, Al Jazeera Media Networks


photo: twitter.com

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jc pic (1)Who knew that a multiracial man invented the potato chip? The potato chip was invented in 1853 by George Crum. Crum was the son of an African American father and Native American mother who was a member of the Huron tribe.

As a young man, Crum worked as a guide in the Adirondack Mountains and as an Indian trader. He later realized he had exceptional talent in the culinary arts. In the summer of 1853, he was working as a chef for Moon Lake Lodge resort, in Saratoga Springs where French fried potatoes were a favorite. Crum was agitated when a customer sent some French fried potatoes back to the kitchen complaining that they were cut too thickly. Crum, responded by being sarcastic and slicing the potatoes as thin as he possibly could, frying them in grease, and sending the crunchy brown chips back out on the guest’s plate. The guest loved them and in fact, other guests began asking for them.  Soon “Saratoga Chips” became the lodge’s most popular treat.

In 1860 Crum opened his own restaurant and placed a basket of potato chips on each table. He never attempted to patent his invention. The snack was eventually mass produced and sold in bags, providing thousands of jobs nationwide.  Thank you for your contribution Mr. Crum, of one of the world’s most famous snacks. I will be reminded of you each time I crunch into a potato chip.


Makensie Shay McDaniel

Project Race Teens President

Psychological Advantages of Strongly Identifying As Biracial

By Lisa Miller via NYMag.com

block historic logo 3As I reported in the most recent issue of New York, a new program at an elite private school in New York aims to combat racism by dividing young children, some as young as 8 years old, into “affinity groups” according to their race. The program has been controversial among parents, many of whom believe it is their job, and not the school’s, to impart racial identity to their kids. This feeling is particularly strong among parents who have multi-racial kids. Their identities, many of them say, don’t fit into any established racial category but instead live on the frontier of race.

These sorts of questions about racial identity are only going to become more prominent given ongoing demographic changes in the United States. Multi-racial births are soaring — to 7 percent of all births in the U.S., according to the last Census — a result of more inter-racial coupling and also a broader cultural acceptance of the tag “multi-racial.” (Only as recently as 2000 did the Census even offer a “multi-racial” category — for hundreds of years, stigma has compelled multi-racial people to choose one or the other of their parents’ racial identities, both on government forms and in society.)

But even as multi-racial people take prominent and visible places in all the nation’s hierarchies — golf, pop music, cinema, finance, and, of course, in the executive branch of the United States government — very little psychological research has been done on what it means to have a multi-racial identity, and how that identity is different from having a “mono-racial” one. Now a new literature review, published in Current Directions in Psychological Science by Sarah Gaither, a post-doc at the University of Chicago (who is herself biracial), assesses the psychological landscape of multi-racial identity and points to new directions for research.

Here are some of the key findings:

More than “mono-racials,” multi-racial people have to answer the question, “Who are you?” This can lead to feelings of identity crisis and social isolation, especially if in answering the question people feel they have to choose between their parents. “By the age of four they understand skin color, and they tend to worry about rejecting one of their parents,” Gaither told me in a phone call.

But if they are raised to identify with both parents and to understand their complex racial heritage, multi-racial people can have higher self-esteem than mono-racial people. They are adaptable, able to function well in both majority and minority environments. “They are more likely to reject the conception that race biologically predicts one’s abilities,” which may, in turn, insulate them from the negative impact of racism or bias.

In studies, for example, “priming” a black person to remember he or she is black, or priming a girl to remember that she’s a girl, results in lower performance on tests, an internalization of negative stereotypes known as “stereotype threat.” But multi-racial people “may not believe believe the stereotypes applied to monoracials apply to them,” Gaither explained. The key point here is that multi-racial children should be raised with a full understanding of both their parents’ stories and be allowed, over time, to identify with both. “As long as the choice is left up to the individual, that’s where you see the more positive outcomes,” Gaither said.

Multi-racial people have flexible identities. As adults, they say they change their racial identity or affiliation more than they stay constant. As infants, they spend less time than mono-racial babies scanning familiar faces, a signal that they are confident as members of a number of different groups. Priming biracial children to affiliate with one of their racial identities makes them more responsive to teachers of that race, prompting questions — as yet unanswered — about whether multi-racial kids learn more easily from teachers and authority figures at different points along a racial spectrum.

Multi-racial people are proud to be multi-racial. This is especially true if they’re affluent. “Multi-racials who identify as multi-racial experience decreased self-esteem when asked to choose only one racial identity,” says the paper.

Multi-racial people tend to identify more with the minority part of their identity. “In general, the more minority you look, the more minority you self-identify,” Gaither told me.

As is clear from the review, researchers have begun to unpack the psychological complexities of having mixed racial heritage. But there are so many remaining questions. Most of the studies conducted so far have been done on mixed-race people of Asian and white or black and white descent — and the world of this research is exceedingly small. Gaither told me how happy parents of multi-racial children were to let her ask their kids questions, because there are so few resources out there for them, so little guidance for how to teach healthy identity. And almost no research has been done on people with two or more minority identities (black-Latino or Latino-Asian, say). How does a person navigate between two minority cultures?

There’s also a dearth of research on how gender cuts across questions of racial identity. Is a black-white person more inclined to identify as black if he’s male? And is an Asian-white person more inclined to identify as Asian if she’s female? These are questions at the frontiers of racial-identity research, and as the population of mixed-race kids explodes they’ll demand answers.

Photo: Dana Hursey/© Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

FAMOUS FRIDAY: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

FullSizeRenderRecently I was watching one of my favorite movies: “The Game Plan.” As I was watching for probably the hundredth time, a lightbulb went off in my head. I began to wonder if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was multiracial. After doing a little bit of research, I found that the answer to my question was yes. Dwayne Johnson is of Samoan and African-Canadian ancestry. Mr. Johnson has a long list of accomplishments, and I believe that he is a perfect fit for this week’s Famous Friday.

Dwayne Johnson is not only well known for his acting, but also for his wrestling. Ironically his career in professional wrestling began with a college football career ending injury. He joined the World Wrestling Federation. Throughout his elite wrestling career, he won 6 WWF heavyweight titles.

Today you’re most likely to see Dwayne Johnson on the big screen. He’s recently starred in major films including Hercules, Furious Seven, and San Andreas. Mr. Johnson’s list of accomplishments goes on and on. It’s easy to see how the big guy with a rather soft side has captured the heart of so many individuals.

Lexi Brock, Project RACE Teens President















Have you seen this kid? Well, if you have, you’re not alone! Over 60 million viewers have watched in amazement as 6 year old Jaliyah Manuel shows off her incredible basketball skills! Jaliyah, who’s mother is white and father is black, says that Lebron is her favorite player, and earlier this week she actually got to meet him – and HE recognized HER! Not only that, but lots of people are calling her the next Steph Curry! Whether it be Lebron or Steph, it seems she works as hard as any NBA player, even going to the gym seven days a week. When she’s not playing ball or doing school work, Jaliyah, who lives with her family in Louisiana, loves being a big sister to her baby brother. As young as she is, she also spends time inspiring others. Jaliyah is already giving motivational speeches to students to encourage them to work hard and dream big!

If you have never seen this girl at work, check out this video! And if you have… I bet you want to see it again!
Meet Jaliyah

– Karson Baldwin, President, Project RACE Kids
Video via NBCNews.com