Project RACE Teens Serve on 9/11

The following post is from the President of our Teen division, Tommy McManus.

Teens Out to Change the World, from left to right, Eric, Edyn, Liz, Zach, Tommy, Karson and Zak.


I recently had my first meeting with the East Coast contingency of our Project RACE Teens National Panelists. We decided to meet in Brick, New Jersey for the 9/11 National Day of Service. We had breakfast together and had a great time getting to know each other and discussing our goals and plans for Project RACE Teens. Following our meeting we all participated in a great disaster preparedness program. I am so proud of the amazing group of teens we have here at PRT. They really want to make a difference in the lives of multiracial people and beyond!

It was America’s National Day of Service in remembrance of all the victims in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. To remember all these 9/11 first responders my mother and I, gathered with Project RACE Kids president, Karson Baldwin, his mother Kelly, who is a member of our Advisory Board and four of ourNational Teen Panelists Edyn, Eric, Liz, and Zach. After our Project RACE meeting, we joined with other volunteers to attend a “Disaster Preparedness” training by the American Red Cross that now ensures that we can work in a shelter. Hopefully that will not be anytime soon because I would really love a hurricane-free year, but we’ll see! Two Red Cross workers gave this training to us: one a regional manager, and the other a volunteer. They went through a simple process explaining everything from how to prepare the shelter all the way to how to close one when it is no longer needed. One of the most interesting things I heard during this presentation is how important confidentiality is. Say a person named Mr. Jones is staying in a shelter and someone comes in and asks if Mr. Jones is staying there, the manager or whoever is working at the entrance has to say, “Please leave your information and I will go and if Mr. Jones is here he’ll contact you”. The shelter has to do this because what if that person came in looking for him was actually trying to rob Mr. Jones and by knowing he was staying in a shelter, this person now knows that Mr. Jones’s house is empty. Therefore, confidentiality is one of the most important things.

After the two-hour presentation we went around Brick and went to vulnerable waterfront houses asking people if they had a plan in case there was another disaster. My group talked to several people and left important disaster preparedness information for the remaining houses whose residents were not home at the time. I’m really glad I am now certified to work at a shelter, and that I was able to spend the day with a bunch of great people including several key members of the amazing Project RACE team!

– Tommy McManus, Project RACE Teens President

Big Week for the Project RACE Youth Leadership

We really do have an AWESOME team here at Project RACE, from our Executive Director, to our Board, to our thriving membership! One part of our team that always shines bright is our youth leadership of Project RACE Teens and Project RACE Kids! Not only are our youth leaders doing great things in the field of multiracial advocacy, but they are doing great things in the field of sports. This week is particularly exciting!  – Kelly B.

Olivia Mukendi, Project RACE Teens President

The President of our Teen division, Olivia Mukendi, has qualified to compete in the 2013 Penn Relays this week! Penn Relays is the oldest, largest and among the most prestigious track and field competitions in the world. Olivia and her team from Hillsborough High School will compete in the Girls 4 x 400 relay. Running in this event is a dream for many track athletes. Qualifying as a sophomore is a truly amazing accomplishment! Congratulations, Olivia!!

Nico Mukendi, Project RACE Teens Panelist

 Olivia’s brother, Nico, who serves as a National Panelist for Project RACE Teens is also making a huge splash in the sporting world this week! Nico is a member of the US Team Handball Junior National team playing in the International Handball Federation tournament next week in Guatemala City, Guatemala. In response to his extraordinary and versatile athletic abilities, Nico was recruited earlier this year to represent our country and train for the 2016 Olympic Games even though he had never played handball before ! Go USA! Go Nico!


Karson Baldwin, President Project RACE Kids

Never one to miss out on the excitement, Project RACE Kids President, Karson Baldwin, is heading into the finals of the New Jersey State AAU Basketball Championship this weekend. His Bayshore Bulldogs are undefeated in the tournament and have beaten teams in the prelims by 30 and 35 points! Go Dawgs! Go Karson!

We at Project RACE are very proud of our advocate-athletes!
These are some impressive kids!

Multiracial Youth and Peer Pressure – The Multiracial Advocacy

Multiracial youths show similar vulnerability to peer pressure as whites

Researchers who studied a large sample of middle- and high-school students in Washington state found that mixed-race adolescents are more similar to their white counterparts than previously believed.

Experts have thought that multiracial adolescents, the fastest growing youth group in the United States, use drugs and engage in violence more than their single-race peers. Racial discrimination and greater vulnerability to peer pressure have been blamed for these problems, due to the belief that as mixed-race youngsters struggle to fit in they become more likely to fall in with bad crowds.

Multiracial youth in the new study, by researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Chicago, reported fewer behavioral problems than seen in previous studies. The findings are published in the July issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
Youth who reported greater use of alcohol and instances of violent fights also reported having friends with similar problem behaviors. But when asked how likely they would be to cave to peer pressure, multi- and single-race participants did not differ.

Family background, including income level and parental marital status, also had a role. Multiracial youths who reported higher rates of problem behaviors were more likely to come from poor families.

“People usually portray multiracial children as facing greater challenges growing up than single-race children,” said Yoonsun Choi, lead author and associate professor at the UChicago’s School of Social Service Administration.

“What we’re finding is that they do have an increased risk for problems with drugs and violence, but those problems aren’t as extensive as what has been found before. Maybe there’s a trend going on, where problems are declining for multiracial youth,” she said.

The study suggests that prevention programs aimed to reduce the negative influences of peers will likely have a universal effect across adolescents.

“We consistently find a strong connection between negative social influences of peers and problem behaviors,” said co-author Todd Herrenkohl, professor in UW’s School of Social Work. “Intervention programs need to recognize the strong social and environmental influences that reinforce those behaviors.”

About 1,800 seventh and ninth graders attending public and private schools completed a survey twice – one year apart – that included questions about violence, yielding to peer pressure, drug use, and whether their friends used drugs.

For alcohol use, for instance, 55 percent of multiracial youths compared with 47 percent of whites indicated that they had tried alcohol during the first year that they completed the survey.
At that same time-point, 11 percent of multiracial youths compared with 5 percent of white youths reported violent behavior, measured by a question about whether participants had ever beat up anyone so badly that the person had to see a doctor or nurse.

The participants comprised an even mix of boys and girls at different socioeconomic levels. About 13 percent of the students were from various multiracial backgrounds, including Latino and white, Native American and white, Asian-American and white, and others. Of the single-race students, most – 71 percent – were white. The rest of the single-race participants were Latino or Asian-American. Native Americans and African-Americans were left out because too few were in the sample.

The survey is part of the International Youth Development Study, which investigates predictors of alcohol use and other behavior problems and is led by UW’s Social Development Research Group.


Richard Catalano, co-author and director of the UW’s Social Development Research Group, leads the larger study. Other co-authors of the new paper are Michael He of the University of Chicago and John Toumbourou of Deakin University in Australia.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded the newly published study, with additional funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.
Source: University of Washington