A Few Words to AP

A Few Words to the Associated Press

Several months ago, the Associated Press (AP) changed their stylebook to read:

<<The AP Stylebook states the following about the terms biracial, multiracial, and mixed:

“Acceptable, when clearly relevant, to describe people with more than one racial heritage. Usually more useful when describing large, diverse groups of people than individuals. Avoid mixed-race, which can carry negative connotations, unless a story subject prefers the term. Be specific if possible, and then use biracial for people of two heritages or multiracial for those of two or more on subsequent references if needed.”>>

Yet, a story appeared by AP on February 10th that repeatedly used the term “mixed” and “mixed-race” instead of multiracial or biracial. What happened to their own stylebook usage?! I wrote to them pointing out the error and asking what would happen in the future. I did not receive a reply, but did get a confirmation of our request. Then tonight, two days later, yet another story appeared with the same problem and never once used the preferred terminology. Obviously, the sports writers and editors at AP have different stories. We’d like to know why.

 

It’s Famous Friday!

Beyonce

Beyonce doesn’t need a huge introduction. Most everyone knows her name. She is a multiracial singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, and businesswoman. She is married to Jay-Z and they have three children. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Her father is African American. Her mother is Louisiana Creole, including African, French, Acadian/French-Canadian, as well as Irish and Spanish. Beyonce will be on the cover of Vogue this September. “When I first started, 21 years ago, I was told that it was hard for me to get onto covers of magazines because black people did not sell. Clearly that has been proven a myth. Not only is an African-American on the cover of the most important month for vogue, this is the first ever vogue cover shot by an African –American photographer.”  Beyonce found twenty three year old photographer, Tyler Mitchell, for her Vogue photo shoot. He is the first black photographer to shoot the cover in the magazine’s 126 year history. Beyonce did not do an interview for the article, but she submitted an essay. In the essay she discuses her heritage disclosing that she recently learned “that I come from a slave owner who fell in love with a married slave.” Make sure you pick up your own copy of Vogue magazine in December.

 

Picture Credit:  Enews.com

Important Update

Project RACE Update

August, 2018

Census Undercount of the Multiracial Population – IMPORTANT!

The US Census Bureau does not want multiracial or biracial people to be counted as multiracial. Numerous organizations both non-profit and governmental do not want the multiracial population counted as two or more races. They want to count us, but as single-race individuals.

Outreach programs have been started that systematically omit the multiracial community. This will continue until the 2020 Census. Every community has been asked to be a part of the efforts to count their population with the exception of ours. Why is this happening? They want us to deny our identities and that of our children in an effort to boost their own numbers.

They will be happy if multiracial people use the “some other race” space on the 2020 census form or choose only one racial category. Don’t do it. Our numbers get lost if you do. We can only show how much our community is growing if data are counted and allocated correctly.

The only way to obtain everything the multiracial community deserves is by checking more than one race on your census form. Let’s show them we know exactly who we are. We will have more about this important issue as we move closer to the 2020 Census.

A NEW PROJECT RACE TEEN CO-PRESIDENT!

We are very excited about our new co-president, Alexis Cook! She is a leader at her high school and very active in her community in Aurora, Colorado. When asked about her multiracial heritage, Alexis replied, “Growing up in an interracial family was a blessing because I got to learn from two cultures instead of just one.”

Alexis is a high school senior and is the Student Body President. She is in the top one percent of her class and embodies the Project RACE emphasis on education. She will be a great role model with another wonderful teen, Karson Baldwin, as co-presidents of Project RACE Teens. You can read more about Alexis at www.projectrace.com/blog. Welcome, Alexis!

WEB GURU NEEDED FOR OUR WEBSITE

We need help! A web guru is desperately needed on a volunteer basis to keep our site updated. Just a few hours a month would be perfect to update our WordPress site at www.projectrace.com The need is urgent and is a great community service. Please email us at susangraham@projectrace.com Thank you!

THE SEARCH IS ON FOR A NEW PROJECT RACE GRANDPARENTS PRESIDENT

We thank Patti Barry who began Project RACE Grandparents for us several years ago. She has done a tremendous job, but her busy life means that Patti must give up her leadership responsibilities. We are looking for that special grandparent who can help us with meaningful programs for our Grandparents Division. It’s fun and rewarding! Please email susangraham@projectrace.com if you or someone you know is interested.

 

A Very Special Famous Friday!

Alexis Cook

On behalf of Project RACE, I am so excited to introduce my awesome new Project RACE Teens Co-President, Alexis Cook! Alexis is talented, smart and dedicated and we are delighted to welcome her to our team. Whether it be as a leader at her high school or out serving in her community, Alexis is all about loving people and bringing them together.

“I’ve often heard my parents say, build a longer table, not a higher fence,” Alexis shared. “This quote speaks to the need for conversation and community, versus bias and separation.  I got to grow up being both sides of the same coin. I come from both an African American and Caucasian background and I am proud to be both!

Alexis is the youngest of three incredible girls born to Wade and Debbie Cook. Wade is black and Debbie is white.  Both of Alexis’ older sisters are students at Duke University. When asked about her multiracial heritage, Alexis replied, “Growing up in an interracial family was a blessing because I got to learn from two cultures instead of just one. “

Alexis embodies our core values and philosophies here at Project RACE. She is about to enter her senior year at Eaglecrest High School in Aurora, Colorado, where she is in the top one percent of her class and will be serving as Student Body President. Alexis is compassionate and caring; energetic and enthusiastic.  She’s also a great public speaker! She is a servant youth leader with HOPE worldwide and a youth ministry student leader with the Denver Church of Christ. She has also worked in a nursing program with a young African immigrant from Arusha, Tanzania to help the newcomer practice her English and assimilate into American culture. A golfer, cheerleader, and editor of her school magazine, Alexis is busy with many valuable things, but is determined to make a contribution to multiracial advocacy.

I have had the honor to work alongside some amazing teen advocates here at Project RACE and am looking forward to partnering with Alexis to see what our team can accomplish for the growing multiracial population in the coming year.

-Karson Baldwin, Project RACE Teens Co-President

Photo: Alexis Cook and Karson Baldwin, Project RACE Teens Co-Presidents

It’s Famous Friday!

Kali Hawk

Kali is an American multiracial actress, comedian, and model. Her ethnicity is African American, Native American, and German Jewish. Kali was raised in New York and known as a child prodigy. She began high school at the age of twelve. She attended the prestigious New York Arts University, SUNY. She eventually moved to Los Angeles to work as a model. She modeled in magazines and participated in music videos and commercials. Hawk was on Last Comic Standing in 2007. She has starred in movies such as Fifty Shades of Black, Couples Retreat, Bridesmaids, and Tyler Perry Presents Peeples. She has also appeared as Shelby in New Girl and now she is the co-star in the Adult Swim series Black Jesus.

 

Pic Credit: thesource.com

New Study

New Study Explores How Observers Identify Multiracial Individuals

According to a new study, mixed race individuals are likely to be categorized as non-white by observers.

According to a new study, by 2050 one in five Americans will identify as multiracial. The study also reported that individuals of multiracial background are usually categorized by observers as non-white.

Jacqueline Chen is an assistant psychology professor at the University of Utah and the lead author of the study. She said as more Americans identify as multiracial, it is important to know how these individuals are perceived by others.

“We know from a lot of social, psychological research that the groups that we place people into are really important how we evaluate them, whether we like them or dislike them, what traits we think that they might have, and how we behave towards them, especially in an initial encounter,” Chen said.

The report is called Black + White= Not White. It is composed of three studies which simulated participants meeting people of different racial backgrounds for the first time, and then assessed how they categorized these people.

The images used in the study featured individuals who identified as white, black or having one white and one black parent. Participants were fairly accurate in identifying who was black and who was white. Multiracial individuals were quick to be identified as not white by participants and were assigned to a wide variety of minority categories, such as Latinx, Middle Eastern or South Asian.

“Mixed race people, a big part of their social experience in the U.S. is people coming up to them and saying, ‘What are you?’ or ‘I thought you were this.’ Multiracial people are often having their identities questioned and having to defend what identities they have,” Chen said.

Chen hopes her research will encourage people to evaluate how they behave when they are unsure of what a person’s race is.

“You can ask someone about their racial identity in a respectful way,” Chen said. “So I would hope that this just gives people some pause ‘Oh if someone is racially ambiguous, why is it that I’m so curious about they might be?’”

Photo Credit: Credit Jennifer Borget / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

It’s Famous Friday!

James and Inja Yates

James and Inja have been married for over fifty seven years. Inja is Korean and was born in Japan. She identifies herself as “a country hick, an American through and through with Korean heritage. A true world citizen.”  James is of African American Indian heritage and was born in Philadelphia, PA. They have three children and seven grandchildren. James and Inja are the founders of Soul 2 Seoul scholarship foundation. Soul 2 Seoul’s primary mission is to provide assistance and options to mixed race students of African American and Asian ancestry, and multiracial students who actively promote racial unity. Their purpose is to encourage young people to build positive futures for themselves, to elevate their self image, facilitate their growth, and to become role models for their success. Soul 2 Seoul has been a dream of theirs inspired in the 1960’s by a promise to a young boy In Korea to help him find his father who was in the military and left Korea without knowing he had fathered a son. “As survivors of almost 50 years of marriage as an interracial couple we’ve come to see that mixed race kids are bright with big warm hearts but the emotional burdens put on them by society are tremendous. They throw bricks at them no matter the community they live in. Mixed race kids face the chaos of statistically unusual high divorce rate that brings on emotional problems. They can’t identify who they are and aren’t always sure where they fit in. We are fortunate to be able to bring our kids up in an educationally and emotionally supportive environment. At the time there was no support from the African American or Korean community. It was us against the world. Soul 2 Seoul wants to help give mixed race kids a chance.” Over the past 14 years they have awarded over 30 scholarships to students from across the country.  James and Inja have photos of the scholarship winners in the kitchen and living room alongside their children and grandchildren and proudly discuss all of their accomplishments. The Yates own a Beachwood Canyon home in California with a perfect view from their balcony of the iconic Hollywood sign. Airbnb did a wonderful article on James and Inja last June. Hosting on Airbnb has helped them expand the scholarship. James was one of four Airbnb hosts that were selected to run the Olympic torch during the 2016 Olympics in Rio. They love sharing their home and meeting new people from all over the world. Inja enjoys cooking breakfast for others. “I went through two wars: World War II, in Japan, and the Korean War. So I know what starvation was like. I used to say to myself, “One day, if I can afford to, I will never let anyone, especially in my home, go hungry.” Recently James and Inja called me to inform me that I have been chosen as one of the recipients of this year’s scholarship due to my work with the Project RACE and the multiracial population.  I am deeply appreciative and they have inspired me to hopefully one day be able to provide scholarships to impact future generations as they are doing. I hope I have the honor of having my picture in their home. Knowing people are waiting on me to accomplish great things is just another reason to continue striving harder for my dreams. Thank you for believing in myself and so many others.

Picture Credit: airbnbcitizen.com

MaKensie Shay McDaniel

Project RACE Teens Co-President

Famous Friday!

FAMOUS FRIDAY: J. COLE

Rapper J. Cole is on fire! I told our Project RACE readers about how awesome and brilliant he was three years ago and he’s only gotten hotter since then. Just last month, his new album, “KOD,” was released, and on that very first day logged more than 36.5 million Spotify streams in the United States alone, a record breaking first-day for Spotify. “KOD” hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart, Cole’s fifth consecutive Billboard No. 1!

J.Cole is a German-American hip hop recording artist, producer, and writer from Fayetteville, North Carolina. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany in January 1985 as Jermaine Lamarr Cole when his African American father was serving in the United States Army. His Caucasian German mother worked as an actress. His father left the family when he was really young and his mother relocated the family to Fayetteville, NC when Cole was just eight months old. Cole began rapping at 12 and by15 had started keeping notebooks of beats and lyrics to create sounds and songs that evolved into the popular style we hear today. A straight A student in high school, he earned an academic scholarship to and graduated from St. John’s University in New York City. He chose to study and live in New York where he believed he would have a better chance of obtaining a record deal. His move to NYC proved to be a good move all around. He majored in communications, minored in business, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.82 GPA . Then, soon after, he was the first artist signed by Jay-Z for the record label Roc Nation!

His career has been rising ever since thanks to his talent for making music full of raw and honest stories that resonate with the public. J. Cole has credited his great success, in part, to experiencing both sides of his race. He states that the perspective he brings is a side that’s aware of both of his races. He states he would not be able to say the things he does without seeing them from the “other side”. He makes it known he is proud to represent both races in his music. He has said that he identities more with what he looks like, because that’s how he is treated by the world.

Since our last Famous Friday on this talent, Cole  has gotten married and become a father to a little girl. The Cole family have returned to live in Cole’s hometown of Fayetteville. His wife, Melissa Heholt, attended St. John’s University with him and they dated for approximately 10 years before marrying. Mellissa is an event planner and also serves as the Executive Director of the Dreamville Foundation. The Dreamville Foundation is a non-profit that J.Cole created to “bridge the gap” between the worlds of opportunity and the urban youth of Fayetteville, NC. The foundation’s goal for the urban youth is to have a dream, believe in their dream, and achieve their dream. The Dreamville Foundation is dedicated to creating programs and events that will allow youth to be set up for success.

“I want to start the process of showing them there are other options besides what’s on the screen,” he explains,  “They don’t have to be a rapper of an athlete, there are people who manage the rappers, who book the shows. There are so many jobs you can do, this is about expanding their minds to those possibilities.”

-Karson Baldwin, President Project RACE Teens

Photo Credit: BET.com

It’s Famous Friday!

Famous Friday: Dr. Sarah Gaither 

Alonso Nichols/Tufts University Photo

This is a first for Project RACE. We’ve featured a lot of actors, athletes, and singers, some authors and politicians, but I do believe that Sarah Gaither is the first professor we have featured in our weekly Famous Friday series on interesting multiracial people. But, as an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, Sarah Gaither is a multiracial woman who is making her mark and someone that we think you should know.
 

Sarah was born to a white mother and a black father. She presents as white, but proudly identifies as multiracial. As a child her identity was regularly questioned by strangers. As with so many others, people would sometimes fear that her father was kidnapping her. 

“Growing up I always wished I looked a little more like my brother”, Sarah said. I always wished I looked a little more like how I actually identify. But I grew up in such a supportive household where I knew I was all these different racial and ethnic backgrounds. To be proud of that fact was really how I got through my various identity transitions across childhood and adolescence.”

Childhood experiences like these created an awareness and interest in how skin tone determines how people will be treated and how racial identity influences how multiracial people feel about themselves. Her interest grew into academic passion and she engaged in her first study on the multiracial population after her college career at University of California Berkeley in 2007. Sarah quickly discovered that very little research had been done on multiracial people, and she set out to do her part. Today, after earning her Masters and PhD from Tufts University, Sarah is serving as the principal investigator of Duke University’s Identity and Diversity Lab. She has become an informative voice for the rapidly growing multiracial population.

“I try to use this work as a way to push our understanding about identity more broadly – that we actually all have multiple identities,” she explains, “So pushing people beyond this binary is something that I’m hoping this work will do. What a lot of our work is trying to argue is that if you are biracial or have these multiple identities, this actually leads to what we call “identity flexibility.” You’re able to cross diverse spaces more easily compared to people from monoracial backgrounds … It really highlights this malleability of biracial individuals and the fact that they might have an extra tool to help navigate different types of spaces.”

Her research work as a social and developmental psychologist has been published more times than I could count and featured on NPR’s “Code Switch”. Sarah is a self-identified “foodie.”

“Knowing people who are biracial or transgender or anyone who is transitioning or confused about their identities,” Sarah shared, “we’re usually confused because of how society is treating us. And so if we weren’t so fixed in what groups we think we have to belong to or don’t want to belong to, I think we’d all get along a little better.”

I bet she’s right.

Karson Baldwin, President Project RACE Teens

Photo Credit: WUNC.org

It’s Famous Friday!

Lynda Carter

Lynda Carter

The original television Wonder Woman and former Miss World USA is multiracial. Linda was born to a Mexican-American mother and a father of English and Scots-Irish ancestry. Lynda is an American actress, singer, song writer, and model. Lynda landed the starring role on Wonder Woman in 1975 and her acting career took off. She signed a Maybelline cosmetics contract in 1977. She was voted the Most Beautiful Woman in the World in 1978. Lynda has been married twice and has two children. In 1985 she left Hollywood to be with her new husband in Washington D.C. for several years. Lynda is a huge supporter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Pro-Choice rights for women, and legal equality for LGBT people. Lynda stated in an interview with Hollywood that some of her best memories were in Globe, Arizona with her Spanish family. She remembers her grandmother would make her a big stack of tortillas and they would make menudo together and it was about eating. Her father did not speak Spanish, but her mother’s family did and she pretty much understood everything. Lynda reported in the interview that over her lifetime she has felt reverse discrimination at times. People did not view her as Hispanic because her last name was Carter. They thought she did not look Hispanic enough due to her skin not being dark enough. She feels people are surprised when they learn she is half Latina. Lynda has always spoken very proudly of her entire heritage.

Project RACE Teens President

Makensie Shay McDaniel

Photo Credit: ew.com