Newly Minted

Newly Minted
Right after I was hooded

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mixed Race Asian

I am not going to be able to say too much about this. I am just putting some thinking out in the world... On our campus we are trying to think about the "asian" question. This question comes from administrators concerned that we are not attractive to Asian students (forget the fact that this question is a conflation of all things Asian, South Asian, Indian, Pakistani, Vietnamese, Thai, Pilipino, Hawaiian…please fill in the ellipses) and how do we become more attractive. This conversation is happening parallel to a deep concern by "race counters" that students are more frequently not self-identifying by race. I say good for them but the "race counters" assure me that this is a problematic trend. That is another post altogether. My observation, linking these two conversations together, is that our "asian" students are overwhelmingly mixed race. I have started to think about the students that I would "visually" identify as Asian and the majority of them are mixed race. I have had amazing conversations with these students and they have self-reported not identifying on our institutional forms as "Asian/South Asian/Pacific Islander" because it doesn’t MEAN anything to their lived and intimate realities. Many report not identifying a race at all or identifying as mixed race/other. I also have a sense through these conversations that these students would be more inclined to look for programing targeting mixed race students rather than "asian" students. I also know that our last president of the Asian Pacific Island Student Union was a young woman of Indian descent who was a transracial adoptee. The other two students in that group were white and Chinese, both also adoptees. The Asian Pacific Island Student Union has folded and no students have tried to revive it. I would be most interested in finding out how to support the Asian, South Asian, Indian, Pakistani, Vietnamese, Thai, Pilipino, and Hawaiian mixed race identities on our campus in a real and authentic way. I am also interested in becoming attractive to students from these populations as well. So much to do... ...more soon

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