FAMOUS FRIDAY: HRH Prince Alfons Constantin Maria

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Prince Alfons photo: Ann Dandridge PR

Here at Project RACE, our youth leadership takes turns writing about famous multiracial people. A few weeks ago, when it was last my turn, I wrote about college basketball sensation Ben Simmons and referred to him as “The Prince”. But this week, I am here to tell you about a real-legit-modern day-noble born-aristocratic-heir to the throne of a country, kind of prince!

Meet 14 year old Prince Alfons Constantin Maria of Liechtenstein!

Alfons is the only child of His Serene Highness Prince Maximillian Nikolaus Maria of Liechtenstein, son of Sovereign Prince Hans Adam, and Her Serene Highness Princess Angela (born Angela Gisela Brown). He is fifth in the line of succession to the throne of the Principality of Liechtenstein, which is currently ruled by Alfons’ grandfather, Prince Hans-Adam II. Princess Angela and Prince Alfons are said to be the highest ranked members of color in a reigning European dynasty.

credit: poetsandprinces.com

All I can say is WOW

The family is very private and I guess that’s why was unable to find a picture of Alfons that looks recent. I can certainly imagine what his life must be like, and I can show you this picture of the lucky kid’s house… or should I say CASTLE! But since there is not a lot of info available on him, I will tell you a bit more about his mom and dad.

Alfons’ father, who is called Max because Maximillian Nikolaus Maria of Liechtenstein is a lot, was born in Switzerland. He is the second son of Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie. He studied Economics at the European Business School in Frankfurt, Germany and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Alfons’ mother, Princess Angela, was born in Panama and traveled to New York with her parents when she was a young child. She studied at Parsons School of Design and was awarded the “Oscar de La Renta Golden Thimble Award” for graduating with honors. Angela worked as a fashion designer in NYC, where she met Prince Maximilian at a reception in 1997. They became good friends, and two years later got engaged. In 2000, they were married at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in New York.

Max is 11 years younger than Angela. I guess being a prince is not really a full time job, even as an adult, because Max has served as CEO of the LGT Group, the largest family-owned private wealth management firm in Europe, since 2006.

If you are not familiar with Liechtenstein (I know I wasn’t), it is a really small but VERY rich principality! It has the highest gross domestic product per person in the entire world! Besides being ridiculously beautiful, Liechtenstein may be best known for its tax-haven status. The country is located in the Alps of Central Europe between Austria and Switzerland.

Maybe one day I can go check it out! And with only 33,000 citizens, who knows… I might run in to my man Prince Alfons!

 

  • Karson, President, Project RACE Kids

Project RACE Helps Welcome New U.S. Surgeon General

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PR Kids President, Karson Baldwin (that’s me!) with my new hero, the new U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy!

Fort Myer, VA –

Yesterday was a day I will never forget. It was an awesome honor to be invited to the Swearing-In and Change of Command Ceremony for the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA.

The Surgeon General is considered “America’s Doctor” and his job is improving personal and public health for the USA. Dr. Murthy gave a really inspiring speech about his childhood and what made him decide to become a doctor. In his speech he also talked a lot about health care being a basic civil right for all and not a privilege for some and he talked about racial and economic health disparities.  At Project RACE, one of the main things we care about is equal rights in health care for multiracial people.  I think Dr. Murthy is now one of the most important people in our country, because he has the power to help with that.

But he was not the only big time government person there. Health and Human Service Secretary Burwell introduced Vice President Biden who was there to read the commission and lead Dr. Murthy in the Oath of Office. There were lots of other officials in the ceremony and in the crowd and I got to talk to three pharmacists at the FDA about including multiracial people in medical research!

The ceremony was at Fort Myer in Virginia and included all kinds of military activities because the Surgeon General leads the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps of 6,700 uniformed health officers “who serve around the world to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of our nation and our world.” There were bells, medals, frocking, marching and more. One of the coolest moments was when the Deputy Surgeon General announced to Dr. Murthy that they were “awaiting his command” and the new Surgeon General declared, “POST MY COLORS!” (like a BOSS!)

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Dr. Murthy went to Harvard for undergrad and Yale for Med School so we had to talk a little Harvard-Yale sports rivalry.

The highlight, of course, was when my mom and I got to talk with Dr. Murthy and his fiance, Dr. Alice Chen, after the ceremony.  All that Dr. Murthy has accomplished is crazy impressive. Being the youngest Surgeon General ever is crazy impressive. Being the first Indian Surgeon General ever is crazy impressive. But welcoming a 13 year old advocate to share in such a special day and taking the time to be so warm and humble is most impressive of all!

 

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Mom, Dr. Murthy, Me and Dr. Chen

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Dr. Murthy started his first non profit when he was 17 years old!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAMOUS FRIDAY: Marcus Mariota is the (heis)MAN!

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The Mariota Family

Marcus Mariota is the man!! The HeisMAN, that is!!! This week the University of Oregon quarterback was awarded the Heisman Trophy, given to the very best college football player of the year. I watched him accept the award and it was pretty awesome. The award meant so much to him that he sometimes had a hard time speaking without crying. He also thanked his white mom, Alana Deppe-Mariota, and Samoan dad, Toa Mariota, who were sitting in the audience. In fact, he thanked them SEVERAL times. Marcus is multiracial, of Samoan and German descent. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and has a little brother, Matt, who is a great high school football player.

One cool thing I learned is that Mariota was offered a full scholarship to Oregon before his senior year of high school even though he had not yet started a single varsity football game. He did start his senior year and led his team to the state title! He was also a star track athlete in high school. But it is not just his athletic skill that people admire. Marcus is a great example of humility and how to treat other people.

An article in the Daily Emerald during his freshman year at Oregon said, “And in his trademark fashion, Mariota found a way to connect to teammates without necessarily being the loudest guy in the room. Each morning, he shook hands with every player he came across, made sure to say hello. In post-practice media sessions — which became much more common for him during spring practices — his easygoing friendliness also extended to reporters, whom he’d smile at and clap on the shoulder as a form of greeting.”

Mariota became the first Oregon Duck and the first Hawaii-born athlete to ever win the Heisman Trophy. He had 788 out of 891 of the first place votes, and 90.9% of the total points. It wasn’t even close! The list of awards and records he holds is really long, but from now on the one that matters most is the Heisman Trophy. He will always be known as Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota!

As good as he is at sports, he may be just as good at being a great multiracial role model for kids like me!

 

Karson Baldwin, Project RACE Kids, President

 

Famous Friday: Tristian the Multiracial Turkey

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Hi! My name is Tristian Turkey and I am honored to be invited to share my story with all of you at Project RACE for this week’s Famous Friday. I live on a beautiful farm in Plymouth, Massachusetts where my ancestors have lived since the 1600s. My great great great great grandmother came from England with the Plymouth colonists and my great great great great grandfather was raised by a Wampanoag Indian chief.  They met in 1621 when the colonists invited the Wampanoag to share an autumn harvest feast. My great great great great grandparents went to the celebration, which is known as the first Thanksgiving. It was there, under the table, eating the crumbs of lobster, seal, swans, venison and berries that they met. It was love at first sight.  She thought that he was strong, honest and funny. He thought she was beautiful, kind and smart. No one cared that she was an English Turkey and he was a Wampanoag Turkey, because everyone understood the obvious, turkeys are turkeys no matter what their heritage.  My grandparents married and had 14 children.  Every year, all my ancestors went along to enjoy the big Thanksgiving feast. It became the Turkey Family Reunion for over 200 years. But then everything changed!

An American writer named Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb, started a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She also published recipes for pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and … TURKEY!! TURKEY! Can you believe it? Yes, we always came to the Thanksgiving feast, but we came to celebrate our family history. We came to celebrate how our ancestors from two different backgrounds came together and became one awesome turkey family.  We did NOT come to be cooked and eaten!!

So now, as the final Thursday in November nears, you will not find my family and me celebrating. No, we hide in November, but we thankfully celebrate our rich and wonderful heritage the other 11 months of the year!

 

-Karson Baldwin, President, Project RACE Kids

 

Project RACE Kids Prez Named Everyday Young Hero by Youth Service America

ysa-logo-large-no-tagline1604839_893505610675102_1395351378367974698_nCongratulations to PR Kids President, Karson Baldwin, for winning the Youth Service America “Everyday Young Hero” Award for his work with Project RACE. YSA believes in youth changing the world. Working with partners around the world, YSA helps young people find their voice, take action, and make an impact on vital community issues. Sounds an awful lot like what our Project RACE Teens and Project RACE Kids leaders are all about.

In YSA’s words, “Project RACE Kids wants kids to feel great about who they are and identify with ALL of their heritage! #EverydayYoungHero Karson Baldwin!”

That’s EXACTLY right, YSA! Thank you, for the accolade and for helping to spread awareness of Project RACE!

Multiracial Hercules !

It’s really cool to see one of my favorite multiracial actors, Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock playing a super hero/God in a big movie like Hercules!  I love when multiracial actors do a great job in roles that are usually played by white actors. I did quite a bit of acting myself for about 5 years and roles are almost always listed for people of a certain race. I think they should be for people of certain characteristics that fit the character’s personality. When it comes to Hercules, the Rock is a perfect fit!

Here is a slide show of Hercules through the decades.

http://www.out.com/entertainment/popnography/2014/07/29/sword-sandal-sensuality-hercules-through-decades#slide-1

And here I am as a young actor. Karson HS w name copy

– Karson

President, PR Kids

 

Things That Were Cool About the Super Bowl

Everybody knows that as far as football games, the Super Bowl stunk. It was a complete blowout, which means it was totally boring. Some people say the best part was the commercials, but here is my list of some very cool things about the Super Bowl.

1. Bruno Mars’ concert was just awesome … plus he is multiracial!
2. The Cheerios multiracial family was back with a great new commercial. She’s getting a puppy!
3. My Dad is an NFL Vet so I got to go to some fun NFL events with lots of players and lots of good food.
4. And probably the coolest of all… IT’S REALLY COOL KNOWING THAT RUSSELL WILSON, A MULTIRACIAL QB, WON THE SUPER BOWL!

– Karson Baldwin, President

A Day to Remember, A Day to Serve

 

For lots of kids Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is nothing more than a day off of school. Some sleep late, play video games, skateboard or go to the movies. But I think that MLK Day is much too important for that.  For the last five years, I have been participating with my family and friends in MLK National Day of Service projects.  This year we served in areas of the Jersey Shore still suffering from Hurricane Sandy. It has been almost 15 months since the storm and lots of homes have not yet begun to be rebuilt. Lots of kids are still living with friends or relatives or in trailers.

It feels good to do what we can to help them. It was also fun to work with other members of the Project RACE team.  Our own Project RACE Teens President, Tommy McManus, won the MLK essay contest and read his awesome essay to a huge crowd of volunteers and community leaders.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” I am glad that Project RACE believes this as well. We have a kids and teens division, because we know that anyone who is old enough to serve, is old enough to make a great difference, whether it be in multiracial advocacy or in helping victims of disaster.

 

Happy MLK Day, everybody!!!

 

– Karson

President, Project RACE Kids

Multiracial Family Traditions

I recently was asked to write an essay about my favorite family tradition. My family has lots of traditions. We have Christmas traditions, New Years Eve traditions, Super Bowl traditions and NCAA tourney traditions, but my favorite tradition is how we celebrate Loving Day! You may know that Loving Day is celebrated in June, but since I wrote the essay now, I thought it would be nice to share it with our Project RACE members and everyone who reads our blog.

So, here it is…                                          Karson

 

I smell Chinese food as soon as Dad and Didier walk in… barbecued spare ribs, dumplings, chicken, rice and noodles. This night is my favorite family tradition. Our two families, the Baldwins and the Mukendis, or the Mu-baldis, as we nicknamed ourselves, have a great time every year. We eat Chinese food and play spoons. Our spoons game always becomes very intense. We’ve even left permanent scratches and dents in the dining room table. But the food and fun and games aren’t the most important thing about this night.

 


We are celebrating Loving Day. Have you heard of it? It’s a holiday that celebrates two people that made it legal for the Mukendis and Baldwins to even exist. In 1958 Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving lived in Virginia where interracial marriage was illegal. They went to Washington, DC where a Black woman and White man like them could get married and went back home. But the laws also stated that the couple could not live together in Virginia even if their wedding was in another state. One night they were arrested for being married. Isn’t that crazy? The judge gave them the choice to go to jail or leave Virginia. They choose to move to Washington, DC. But they missed their family and home. So Mildred wrote a letter to Robert Kennedy. He helped them get lawyers and their case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In 1967 the court unanimously decided in the Loving’s favor, finally making it legal in all states for people to marry whoever they wanted no matter their race.

 

In 1967 my parents and Wendy and Didier Mukendi were all little kids and had no idea how important that day would be for their lives or mine. My Dad is Black and grew up in Texas. My Mom is White and grew up in Ohio. Wendy is White and from California. Didier is Black and from the Republic of the Congo in Africa. Those are very different backgrounds, but each couple met and fell in love and was able to legally marry in 1989. Our families have been friends all my life. We’re so close that our two families are like one big family. When Didier was between jobs, they moved in with us for a while. When my sisters accidently burned down our house we lived with them until we found a new house. We have a lot more in common than being multiracial families. We go to church together and do all kinds of fun things. But on Loving Day being multiracial is what we celebrate and I love it.

 

I’m glad my parents had the freedom to marry the person they loved. I’m glad Wendy and Didier had the freedom to marry the person they loved. And I’m glad that while we’re celebrating the history of interracial families like ours, we have the freedom to eat the food we love, even though none of us are Chinese.

Bill De Blasio Elected Mayor of New York

Barack Obama, Cory Booker, Bill De Blasio … it feels great to see multiracial people and interracial families like ours in some of our highest elected offices!

Project RACE congratulates Mayor De Blasio !

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