FAMOUS FRIDAY: Mariah Carey

mariah-carey-rockafeller-center-christmas-tree-lightingAs we enter the holiday season, it is only fitting to feature one of the queens of holiday music, Mariah Carey. She moved to Manhattan the day after her high school graduation to pursue her career. Carey is an extremely talented singer, producer, songwriter, and actress. She even currently holds the record for most number one debuts on the Billboard Hot 100. She has sold over 80 million records and won several Grammies! Over the course of her career she has accumulated a net worth of over 500 million dollars.

Mariah is 46 years old now and primarily focused on parenting her two children. However, she is still expanding her career. Mariah Carey’s collaboration with MAC Cosmetics recently released, and has already proved to be a fan favorite. Some may argue that there aren’t many things that this woman can’t do! I personally find these words from her particularly inspiring, “You really have to look inside yourself and find your own inner strength, and say, ‘I’m proud of what I am and who I am, and I’m just going to be myself.’” May we always remember to believe in our true, authentic selves and who we are becoming! Happy Holidays!
Lexi Brock, Project RACE Teens President
Photo courtesy of popbuzz

FAMOUS FRIDAY: Salma Hayek Pinault

image1-2Salma is a film actress, producer, and former model. She was born on September 2, 1966 in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. Her father is of Lebanese descent and her mother is of Mexican/Spanish ancestry. She began her career in Mexico before moving to the United States in 1991. She landed her fist major role in Desperado in 1995 after venting her frustrations on a late night Spanish talk show about the roles given to Latino’s. Robert Rodriquez and his producer wife were watching and loved the intelligent, opinionated woman. Hayek’s movies have included: Frida, Puss In Boots, Desperado, Dogma, Across the Universe, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Wild Wild West. Hayek is a naturalized United States Citizen; however she has stated she tries to represent her Mexican roots loud and proud. She married French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault in 2009. She has reported she is trying to keep her daughter immersed in all three cultures: Mexican, American, and French. Salma’s activism has included increasing awareness on violence against women and discrimination against immigrants.

 

Project RACE Teens President

Makensie Shay McDaniel

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!

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.

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!

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. 

 

-Lexi Brock, Project RACE Teens, President

photo credit: people.com*

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

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

FAMOUS FRIDAY: Actress Paula Maxine Patton

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Photo courtesy of IMDB.com

For this week’s Famous Friday I chose Paula Maxine Patton. Paula has African American and Caucasian ancestry. Paula’s mother was a school teacher, and her father was an attorney. She was born in Los Angeles, California on December 5, 1975. Paula attended USC film school and has since starred in several major motion pictures. She actually grew up across the street from 20th Century Fox Studios!

One of Paula’s first roles was in the movie Hitch, where she co-starred with the infamous Will Smith. She has also starred in some of my personal favorite movies, like “Jumping the Broom” and “Baggage Claim.” Besides acting, Paula has also tested the waters in music. She has even done background vocals for Usher!

Paula has admitted that she at first struggled with being biracial. However, she eventually overcame her insecurities and blossomed into the beautiful and talented actress that people across the globe know and love.  My favorite Paula Patton quote is, “The older I get, the more I accept and appreciate myself.” I think this is a phenomenal and very true statement for all of us. I believe that when famous multiracial individuals like Paula accept themselves, it makes it easier for other awesome biracial people to do the same.

-Lexi, Co-President Project RACE Teens

Medical Monday – A Chance to Save a Life!

As an advocacy group for multiracial people and their families, Project RACE aims to focus our efforts on areas where we can affect true change. Over the last two decades, Project RACE leadership and members have held numerous bone marrow registration drives around the United States. In light of the statistical challenges that multiracial patients face in finding a suitable bone marrow donor, we recognize that this is one of the ways that we can truly make a difference for the population we serve. We are very proud of our youth leadership, who in recent years has begun organizing drives of their own with Be the Match and local Blood Centers.

Last May, Project RACE Teens and Project RACE Kids hosted a drive in North Brunswick, NJ and registered 56 new potential donors.

We are excited to share that a man that registered at that drive who we will call TM has been identified as a potential donor match for a patient. He is in stage 3 of the screening process and moving forward with great eagerness, excited by the prospect of possibly saving a life.

We are proud of the work of our leadership and our members and we are so proud of TM for his eagerness to sacrifice for another.  If you are not yet in the registry, we encourage you to register today at the link below! A precious life may depend on it.

 

http://bethematch.org/Support-the-Cause/Donate-bone-marrow/Join-the-marrow-registry/

Project RACE Teens Vice President!

 

 

Edyn McLeod is a, soon-to-be 15 year old from East Brunswick, New Jersey. She is a sophomore at East Brunswick High School and a very talented ballerina who has studied at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre and the Lustig Dance Theatre. Edyn is interested in the arts, in part because both of her parents are professional artists. She and her two sisters were born in Jerusalem, Israel and her brother was born on the island of Cyprus. Her father is Jamaican and Hungarian, and her mother is Belarusian, which Edyn says “makes me and my siblings multiracial beyond belief!”  Edyn was selected as a National Panelist for Teen Project RACE last year and has done a wonderful job supporting PRT President, Tommy McManus.  Her energy, hard work and enthusiasm for multiracial advocacy inspired our Executive Director and Advisory Board to appoint her as the first ever Project RACE Teens Vice President. Welcome aboard, Edyn!

Congrats to our Project RACE Teen President!

A big thank you to Wendy  Lesko’s team at  the Youth Activism Project recognizing the fantastic efforts of our Project RACE Teen President Tommy McManus. This is what they published in their “Success Stories”  about Tommy:  

 

BREAKING NEWS . . . ADVOCATING AN END TO “INVISIBILITY” 
♦  Tommy McManus, Project RACE Teens President, doesn’t think it is right for students to check only one box for race. Just one month into the new school year, he convinced the dean of admissions at his NJ high school to change the application form to allow multiracial students to identify all parts of their heritage. Tommy shared a sample of the recommended wording: “If you are multiracial, you may select two or more boxes”. Project RACE activists want this option on all forms, including school enrollment, school tests, medical forms, hospital admissions, clinical trials and government documents.

Learn more about the Youth Activism Project at: http://youthactivismproject.org/about/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BREAKING NEWS . . . ADVOCATING AN END TO “INVISIBILITY” 

♦  Tommy McManus, Project RACE Teens President, doesn’t think it is right for students to check only one box for race. Just one month into the new school year, he convinced the dean of admissions at his NJ high school to change the application form to allow multiracial students to identify all parts of their heritage. Tommy shared a sample of the recommended wording: “If you are multiracial, you may select two or more boxes”. Project RACE activists want this option on all forms, including school enrollment, school tests, medical forms, hospital admissions, clinical trials and government documents.

 You can read more about the work of this wonderful organization at: http://youthactivismproject.org/success-stories/ and www.DayoftheGirl.org  and http://youthactivismproject.org/about/

                                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotlight on Multiracial U.S. Senate Candidate Cory Booker of New Jersey

Meet Cory Booker who is now the Democratic Nominee from New Jersey for the U.S. Senate. Booker is currently the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, but it was a long journey to get to where he is now.‬‬‬

Booker was born in D.C. but grew up in Harrington Park, New Jersey, which is just north of Newark, New Jersey. He graduated Northern Valley Regional High School in 1987 and was named to the 1986 All American Football team. He then attended Stanford University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1991 and a Masters of Art degree in sociology the following year. He also played football at Stanford and was named to the All-Pac Ten team and was elected Senior Class President. He was also awarded the Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford University. He earned his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1997. After earning this degree he joined the Newark City Council where he started giving back to society. He then unsuccessfully ran for Mayor of Newark in 2002, and then again successfully in 2006.

Booker is well known for his public service, most of which involved him putting his body at stake. He once went on a ten-day hunger strike to draw attention to the drug problems in Newark. He also lived on food stamps for a week to raise awareness of food insecurity. Furthermore, he let Sandy victims stay in his home, and ran into a burning house to save a woman. Needless to say Cory Booker is a good man.

People consider Booker to be the third black mayor of Newark. However, Booker is actually multiracial. In a fascinating episode of “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.”  Mayor Booker discovers he is 47% African, 45% European, and 7% Asian or Native American.

Watch the Episode of \”Finding Your Roots – Cory Booker\”

Cory Booker has the right to identify racially however he wants, but it’s time for the world to stop deciding that it can classify multiracial people as Black, White, Asian, or Hispanic simply because it’s easier to put them in a single box. Multiracial people need a box that represents them and all that they are. It’s time for a change.

– Tommy McManus
Project RACE Teens