It’s Famous Friday!

Famous Friday: Phillip Lindsay

Phillip Lindsay is the first undrafted offensive player ever to make it to the NFL’s Pro Bowl! Not only did the 24 year old running back for the Denver Broncos take an unlikely path to the Pro Bowl, but he is living an unlikely NFL life!

Phillip is the middle child of Troy and Diane Lindsay’s five children, each of whom went to college on a full ride athletic scholarship. The Lindsay family is incredibly close and Phillip is taking full advantage of playing for his hometown team by maximizing that closeness as he lives in his parents’ basement! Very few young men making the kind of money this football phenom is making would chose to live with mom and dad, but Phillip is enjoying every minute.  The family loves to play dominos and cards and tell jokes and the time together is keeping Phillip grounded during his quick rise to national athletic fame.

“My family is my rock, they’re my backbone and they keep me going when I’m down,” Lindsay said. “There’s nothing that you can’t do when you have a strong family with you. That’s like having one stick and being able to break it or having 10 or 15 sticks together that you can’t break. When I’m with them, I feel like I can’t be broke.”

Phillip’s father, Troy was also a high school football star and held the rushing record for all Denver Public Schools from 1979 until Phillip broke it in his senior year in 2013. But that incredibly special moment was quickly followed by a huge disappointment, when he suffered a severe ACL tear. Thankfully the coach at the University of Colorado Boulder did not withdraw Phillip’s scholarship offer, but gave him a redshirt year to rehabilitate. He earned the nickname “Tasmanian Devil” due to his quickness and determination on the field, but his parents had called him the same name from the time he was a baby with a unique but speedy crawling style.

Lindsay set all kinds of records for the Colorado Buffalos and was selected as a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award for the nation’s top running back. The NFL was supposed to be the next step, but he failed to get an invite to the NFL Combine. He was shocked and very upset to be overlooked. And the Combine snub would not be the last time. Draft Day was agonizing as he watched player after player, round after round, without a call from a team. Despite all his success he was snubbed again and wondered if the dream he had held since he was 8 years old was slipping away. But many scouts had attended his CU Pro Day and he had not been completely forgotten. Almost immediately after the draft the teams started calling. With a little prompting from his mom, Phillip signed with the Broncos.

After a very strong preseason, where he showed a ton of grit, Phillip made the final cut and was placed in the lineup as third string running back. But in the very first week of the regular season, he rushed for 71 yards, had two receptions and scored a touchdown. He did not stay in that third string position for long! He ended his rookie season with 1,278 yards, 10 touchdowns and an AFC Player of the Week honor. But the greatest accolade was being named to the Pro Bowl.

Karson Baldwin – Project RACE Teens Co-President

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Born Biracial is out!

FOR RELEASE ON April 24, 2019


Susan Graham


Born Biracial is about the birth of a national civil rights movement


The White mother of two biracial children, Susan Graham realized her census form required her to pick only one race for her children. Wanting further explanation, she called the Census Bureau. She was put on hold for a very long time while they tried to figure out the answer. They got a supervisor involved. Finally, the United States Census Bureau employee said, “You should put down the race of the mother for your children.”

“But that can’t be right,” Graham answered. “They are not just my race. They are biracial.”

“Well, they can’t be.”

“I beg your pardon, but they are,” Graham replied.

“Not to us,” the man answered.

“Excuse me, but why should they arbitrarily be classified as the mother’s race and not the father’s?”

“Because in cases like this,” he answered in a very hushed voice, “you always know for sure who the mother is, but not the father.” That was in 1990, and it caused Graham to start a national movement to rectify the situation.

Now, with the 2020 Census looming, Susan Graham went after and got the changes her children and children like them need. The emotional memoir of her marriage to a CNN anchor, being a mother to biracial children, divorce, and remarriage are woven into the story. In Born Biracial: How One Mother Took on Race in America, Graham’s sometimes turbulent personal story will make you cheer for the underdog in battles against the government and other minority organizations.

You’ll be touched by the cover comments from baseball Hall of Fame legend Rod Carew, whose daughter died for the lack of a biracial bone marrow donor. The praises by Dr. C .Vasquez and others will make you want to turn the pages and you’ll be hooked from the words of people who stood with Graham over the years and fought the good fight. Interracial families, educational institutions, libraries, and multicultural organizations should all own a copy.

This memoir is the perfect addition to any personal library for Mother’s Day. It is a mother’s story of how she fought for recognition for her children and those like them. A primer for advocates, this book is an important how-to for people who want to bring about change.

Susan Graham is the founder, president, and executive director of Project RACE (Reclassify All Children Equally). Specializing in race/ethnicity and public policy and an advocate for civil rights, Graham has testified before congressional committees in Washington. She has also been published in The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Orlando Sentinel, and in other major newspapers and magazines. Graham is married to Portuguese-American poet Sam Pereira.

Born Biracial (Memories Press, 2019, 240 pages, $14.95 ISBN:978-1-7339088) can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers.



A C.E.O.’s Plea: Don’t Mess With the Census

American businesses rely on data from the census. Please don’t ruin it by adding a citizenship question.

By David Kenny



A coalition of more than 30 states, cities and counties, led by New York State, recently won a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York challenging a decision by the Commerce Department to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Department of Commerce appealed, and the case is scheduled to be argued at the Supreme Court on April 23.

The plaintiffs argued that participation in the census will be depressed by the addition of the new question, causing a significant undercount. If the government is successful in adding the citizenship question, the census will yield flawed data. This has significant consequences for American businesses, which rely heavily on census data and on the accurate reporting of consumer behavior to make their most critical business decisions.

A citizenship question will pollute a data set that is foundational for businesses all over the country. The Supreme Court has previously recognized that the census serves as a “linchpin of the federal statistical system by collecting data on the characteristics of individuals, households, and housing units throughout the country.” Presidents from both political parties have recognized that the private sector, like the government, uses the wealth of information generated by the census to make critical business decisions.

My company, Nielsen, believes that American businesses’ reliance on this data cannot be overstated. As soon as the decennial census data is available, for example, we revise our ranking of the top media markets in the United States, by population. This “designated market area” list is always eagerly anticipated by our clients, and it has a direct impact on how advertisers spend their money.

Among others who agree with us are the Association of National Advertisers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Advertising Research Foundation and Interactive Advertising Bureau.

The advertising industry and many other businesses depend on census data to make strategic and operations decisions, as they plan what to make, who to make it for, where to market it, where to sell it and how to adapt to the nation’s changing demographics. Banks and financial institutions, for example, use census information to create financial products for certain segments of the population. Utility companies use it to decide on the location of cell towers and new power lines. Health care companies also need an intimate understanding of the demographic makeup of different markets when they consider whether to open or close a hospital or an urgent care facility. Retailers, manufacturers and businesses of all types need accurate population data to decide where to locate manufacturing plants, distribution centers, or brick-and-mortar stores.

The economic impact of these decisions is enormous. Millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars — not to mention thousands of jobs — are at stake, so it is crucial that they be based on the highest quality data.

In the era of big data, an accurate census is more critical than ever. We know that big data sets have inherent structural biases, and those biases require calibration to a “truth set,” which in almost all cases is benchmarked to the census. Even a small error in the census can be amplified over and over again as the data is used in new and ever evolving ways. The last thing that business needs is for the next 10 years of data to be built on a faulty foundation.

This truth set is more critical now than it has ever been before, as business reflects a changing America. In 2044, white Americans will be a minority. We know that because prior decennial census data has told us so. At that time, Hispanics will constitute 25 percent of the population; African-Americans, 12.7 percent; Asians, 7.9 percent; and multiracial people, 3.7 percent. American businesses are already adapting to this evolving customer base, but they require the best possible data to do so.

My company and our peers in the advertising industry have, collectively, more than 100 years of experience with data, and we believe that including this question will result in an inaccurate census that will lead to flawed business decisions. You can count on it.

David Kenny is the chief executive of Nielsen.

Photo CreditBrian Snyder/Reuters Apologizes apologizes, pulls slavery-era ad after backlash

The ad drew widespread criticism on social media for whitewashing slavery, prompting the DNA testing company to remove it from TV and its YouTube channel. Ancestry started running the ad on TV on April 15, according to research firm iSpot.TV.

The ad is part of a campaign by Ancestry showing stories from the past to pique viewers’ curiosity about their ancestors. It depicts a white man holding up a ring and telling a black woman wearing Civil War-era clothing that they can be together if they escape to the North. The woman says nothing as the scene fades to black, with the line: “Without you, the story stops here.”

Critics pointed out that the ad ignores the fact that mixed race couplings during the slavery era were usually not romantic love stories but instead due to rape and violence against slaves.

Many took to Twitter to express complaints about the ad.

“I used this service a few years ago. And when I realized I was more than 10% European, I wept,” tweeted Brittany Packnett. “Not from shame for who I am, but from anger from the trauma of how it may have come to be. This commercial spits on the trauma in our veins and the fight of our ancestors.”

In an emailed statement, Ancestry said the ad was intended to be part of its effort to tell “important stories from history.”

“We very much appreciate the feedback we have received and apologize for any offense that the ad may have caused,” the company said in the statement.

M.J. McCallum, creative director of Muse Communications, called the ad “thoughtless,” but said it could happen to any company that doesn’t prioritize having diverse representation in its ranks.

“I believe it’s the responsibility of brands and their agencies to foster inclusive environments,” he said. “They must encourage their team members to be open, honest and vulnerable to topics like race and culture.”

The Ancestry ad joins a long list of missteps by marketers that are at best tone-deaf and at worst racist.

In 2017, Dove stopped using a Facebook GIF that showed a black woman removing a brown shirt and transforming into a white woman. The ad was meant to show different types of people can use Dove but many saw it as saying the black woman was “dirty” and the white woman was “clean.” Dove apologized .

In 2018, a Heineken ad with the tagline “Sometimes, Lighter Is Better,” showed a bartender sliding a bottle of Heineken down a bar where several people of color were sitting before it stops in front of a light-skinned woman. Heineken apologized and pulled the ad after an online outcry in which many people, including Chance the Rapper, called the ad racist.

And in February , Gucci pulled a sweater off the market after complaints that the oversized collar designed to cover the face resembled blackface makeup. Italian designer Prada, Katy Perry’s fashion line and H&M have also pulled similar racially insensitivity items.

“The idea that an ad won’t be offensive simply because no one who approved it was offended is just not acceptable anymore,” McCallum said. “Yes, there is always a chance that even the best of intentions will be misinterpreted, but there are reliable resources and skilled professionals available for brands to tap into.”

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Ruth Williams Khama and Sir Seretse Khama


Ruth met Sir Seretse Khama, Prince Seretse Khama during her studies in London. Her sister brought her to a dance, which she was reluctant to attend.  The two lovebirds were introduced to each other, both sharing an interest in jazz, they fell in love.  Ruth, an Englishwomen, and Seretse, a prince from Botswana, got married September of 1948.  Many people opposed their marriage, including Seretse’s father.  Ruth found herself thrown out of the family home.  Seretse’s uncle even threatened to fight Seretse to the death if he brought Ruth home as his wife.  The couple also had trouble finding a landlord that would allow interracial couples on their property.  In 1950, Sir Seretse was brought under false pretenses to London, here the Khama’s were exiled for five years. Although exiled, Seretse was able to serve on the African Advisory Council, Ngwato Tribal council, and Joint Advisory Council, in Botswana.  Seretse’s potion allowed him to speak out against racism.

The exile ended in 1956, with the condition that Seretse would not become king.  Once the Khama’s retuned to Botswana, Seretse and his uncle put aside their differences and decided to work together for the good of Botswana people. In 1966, Prince Seretse Khama became Botswana’s first President, making Ruth First Lady.  The couple didn’t stop facing problems because interracial marriages were banned in South Africa.  During his presidency, Seretse Khama campaigned his ideal of multiracial democracy. Ruth invested her time with volunteer work, helping women and children.

In 1966, Botswana was the third-poorest country in the world.  Through the hard work of this interracial couple, Botswana became the fastest-growing economy in the world from the 1960’s to the 1980s. This power couple transformed a nation!

In 2016, the movie United Kingdom was released in theaters.  It tells the miraculous story of the Khama’s and their perseverance through times of discrimination.  I personally think it is amazing to have this passionate interracial couple’s story on the big screen.  There is so much is to be told and I’m glad the movie can spread the word.

The Khama’s perseverance has done much for the multiracial community.  Having their incredible commitment to the Botswana government even furthered their impact worldwide. Despite the Khama’s adversity, their love trumped all the racism they endured and together they changed the world.

Madelyn Rempel

Project RACE Kids President


Picture Source:

Interesting new FACT

Kids in Seattle are a significantly more diverse group than the rest of us. A slight majority (54 percent) of the under-18 population is white, compared with two-thirds of adult Seattleites.

Kids are also more likely than adults to identify as multiracial. In fact, multiracial kids are the second-largest racial/ethnic group among the under-18 population, at 13 percent of the total.

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Important Data


The 2018 Kids Count Data Book by the Annie E. Casey Foundation has been made public and gives key indicators for America’s children. Important data can be found by race and Hispanic Origin. The results for multiracial children has both good news and bad news, as do most races and ethnicities. In the charts and graphics, Casey referred to us as “Two or More Races,” (the Census Bureau wording), but in the narrative that accompanied them, reference was to “multiracial” children. Below are several key data findings.


Children in poverty: 20%. The national average is 19%.Those groups higher than the multiracial category were African American, American Indian, and Latino.


Fourth graders not proficient in reading: 60%. The national average is 65%.


Low birth-weight babies: 8.7%. The national average is 8.2%. The group with a higher rate of low birth-weight babies was African American at 13.2%.


Children living in high-poverty areas: 11%. The national average is 13% with African American and American Indian both at 30%.


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It’s Famous Friday!

Cassie Ventura

Casandra Ventura, known as Cassie, was born August 26, 1986. She was born in New London, Connecticut to a Filipino father and an African American mother. She began modeling at 14, and by the time she was 16, was modeling for local department stores, fashion catalogs, and Seventeen. While she was still in high school, her producer encouraged her to take vocal lessons, learn modern ballet, and use her school’s performing arts program. Upon graduation, she decided to move to New York to take dance classes at Broadway Dance Center while she continued to model.

After continually keeping Cassie on his radar, famed recording artist and producer Ryan Leslie signed her to his label.  Their partnership resulted in Cassie becoming one of the fastest rising R&B acts of 2004. In 2006, she released her hit single ‘Me & U’ and then her first album labeled Cassie. In 2013, she released the RockaByeBaby mix tape which was named best mixtape of the year by Dazed & Confused. She has collaborated with artists such as Diddy, G-Eazy and Wiz Khalifa.

In addition to singing, Cassie has had acting roles in movies like Honey 3: Dare to Dance, Step Up 2: The Streets, The Perfect Match, and television show appearances.  She continues to model for companies like Victoria’s Secret, Target, Walmart, Abercrombie.  In 2013, she was the face of both Forever 21 and ASOS collections.

Nadia Wooten

Project RACE teen Vice- President

Source: Getty Images


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Who’s doing some apologizing…


Belgium. In the late 1950s and early ’60s, the country forcibly took away thousands of mixed-race children from their parents in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Burundi and Rwanda. Belgians saw mixed-race people as a threat to their segregation policies – and their authority as colonial rulers. Up to 20,000 children were shipped away and placed in Belgian orphanages and schools, mostly run by the Catholic Church. The church has already apologized for its role in the kidnappings. Last year, Belgian lawmakers passed a measure asking the government to apologize and help the now-adults track down their families or get birth certificates. Yesterday, Belgium’s prime minister said ‘sorry’ – saying he recognized “the targeted segregation” and the policy of forced kidnapping. This marks the first time that the Belgian government is taking any responsibility for its policies as a colonial ruler in Central Africa.

Source: The Skimm

It’s Famous Friday!

J. Cole


J. Cole is a famous rapper, singer, song writer, and producer. He originally gained recognition from his first mixtape called The Come Up and continued on the fast track to fame with two albums, The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights. He then released his first studio album which was recognized as #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200. In 2014, J. Cole received his first Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album.

Rapper J. Cole was born to a white mother and black father and raised in the military town of Fayetteville, N.C. The hip-hop artist says his biracial identity offers him a unique perspective because he’s “seen both sides.” He told XXL magazine, “I can identify with white people, because I know my mother, her side of the family, who I love. I’ve had white friends … But at the end of the day, I never felt white. I don’t know what that feels like. I can identify. But never have I felt like I’m one of them.” J. Cole has used his music as a way of expressing all the emotions he’s felt about his past and releasing how he feels about his present/future.

Although J. Cole has noticed color in his life, he was never ruled by it. Through his music, J. Cole has explained his experiences and his outlook on life because of them. When talking about his skin color Cole said, “I identify more with what I look like, because that’s how I got treated. Not necessarily in a negative way. But when you get pulled over by the police, I can’t pull out my half-White card. Or if I just meet you on the street, you’re not gonna be like, this guy seems half-white.”

Cole continues to produce music that connects with young people all over the United States sharing his message and life lessons.


Alexis Cook – Project RACE Teens Co-President

Photo by Scott Dudelson/Wireima