Storytelling Might Save Lives

This is a wonderful piece on a program that encourages inmates to put their stories to paper (through poetry, fiction, songs and more). The article mostly focuses on the documentary film At Night I Fly – which visits California’s New Folsom maximum security prison. We hope it inspires you to take advantage of every opportunity you have to write you story – there are many who are deprived of this privilege. Here’s the article:

Mixed ‘Race’ Irish Seek Recognition and Support



A new campaign has been created to support Mixed children who suffered injustices during their ‘time in the care of the Irish State.’  The Irish Times published this article on November 18, 2013:

For more information and to share your story in seeking support, please visit the organization’s home page:

‘Biracial’ Teacher Reprimanded for Making ‘White’ Students Uncomfortable

This brief article doesn’t go into detail about what this teacher might have done to make students feel uncomfortable – but we found the racial labeling of those involved interesting (did they self-identify as  ‘white’ and ‘biracial,’ or did the journalist make assumptions?). Our goal is to change the narratives we all have around ‘race’ – even when it causes discomfort; perhaps ultimately the students at MCTC will have a new perspective for new and different conversations at the very least. Here’s a link to the article (which includes a video quote from the teacher):

1st there was Johnson


Before Bill de Blasio became mayor of New York with his interracial marriage and mixed family supporting him.  Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sacramento, married his supporting bride, Michelle Rhee (former chancellor of the District of Columbia School Systems) in September 2011.

Little Miss Multiracial

Children’s pageants have gained popularity with reality shows like Toddlers in Tiaras. Little Miss Pageants have been around for years, and off shoots of the pageant franchise have found a place for specific racial categories (Miss Black –Insert State; Miss Hispanic –Insert State; etc).  Which pageant is best for those who are Multiracial?

Jakiyah McKoy won Little Miss Hispanic Delaware, but now there is question as to if she can hold the title due to having to prove her Latina heritage.

See the story here:


Mixed Response to Dante de Blasio

Bill de Blasio is one of several candidates running for mayor of New York and since all politics are local most Americans have not paid any attention to the campaign accept political geeks like myself. However, recently the mixed community, then the larger world became aware of the campaign.
Bill de Blasio recently came to the attention of the Mixed community when there was buzz around his son (Dante), because he was featured in a campaign ad. Bill de Blasio is white and his wife is black, and they have two children (see image below). In the old days, you cannot be in a mixed marriage and run for office or if you had “colored” offspring it was kept secret or else no political career. Therefore, to see a politician put his family front and center is very exciting, especially in a high-profile city. Moreover, he is leading in the polls and hopefully he will retain his lead after the electorate goes to the polls today in New York City.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, New York’s termed out Mayor Bloomberg – not a fan of Bill de Blasio – reminded us, there is still work to be done on overcoming ignorance.  A New York Magazine interviewer commented to Mayor Bloomberg that “Bill de Blasio is running a class-warfare campaign.” Mayor Bloomberg interjected with “class-warfare and racist.” Then he back tracks in the article by saying that de Blasio featuring his family is no different than Bloomberg emphasizing his Jewishness to gain the Jewish vote.
I find it fascinating that Bill de Blasio features his multiracial family and that makes him a racist, according to Mayor Bloomberg. I’m not so naive to know there is a political calculus behind the ad, however there is also an argument to be made that Bill is proud of his family and he wants to highlight that he gets it.


The de Blasio Family

The de Blasio Family

New Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti – City Hall Diversity

Garcetti pledges different approach to City Hall diversity — In an interview later, Garcetti said people still think in terms of four broad categories: black, white, Latino and Asian-Pacific Islander. He said that doesn’t begin to touch on the city’s diversity. Frank Stoltze KPCC — 7/10/13


This story of the first segregated prom at a Georgia high school has been eye opening to the continued segregation that happens in this country.

What I want to know is…where did the mixed teens go to prom all these years?  What other stories do you have of cases where societies monoracial boundaries, have left mixed youth having to choose one part of their entire self?

Wanted: A New American Narrative on Race

Wanted: A New Narrative for America

America’s stories are reflected by the symbolic use of language in politics. According to Murray Edelman in his seminal book, The Symbolism of Politics, “The employment of language to sanctify action is exactly what makes politics different from other methods of allocating values.” Our American political story, as it pertains to diversity, is binary. The conflict is only between black and white, and all other groups are defined by what side of the line they fall on. America needs an updated narrative that reflects its changing demographics, which is evolving towards greater diversity -both ethnically and culturally.

The limits of America’s binary storyline really hit home for me during the last fours years, from the election to the recent re-election of Barack Obama.  Any discussion about President Obama’s “race” never addressed his layered backstory.  Many stories either revolved around his blackness or lack of blackness.  The one time there was any discussion about his complex cultural and racial upbringing was during his speech on race in response to the Reverend Wright issue.  Moreover, pundits and journalists tied themselves into knots attempting to describe or explain President Obama’s backstory. I believe it was the lack of a shared linguistic architecture.
When a political body believe their only choices are A or B then we have a zero-sum game, so their actions will reflect that fact (more on this in future writings). We need to change the present narrative to one that reflects our complexity, so we can bend the arc of history towards greater equality and justice for all.