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The first MidWest Mixed Conference is coming the weekend of August 4th-6th at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in Saint Paul, Minnesota!



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August 4th – 6th

Registration Open Now!

On August 4th-6th, artists and community organizers from the Twin Cities will host the first MidWest Mixed Conference, to explore themes connected to multiracial identities & families with art at the center. In a nation and world that has a growing number of people who identify as mixed race, we see the urgency of shining light on the diverse experiences of mixed people and families, as well as putting forward stories that can both unite us, and also deepen our analysis of the state of racial issues in this world.

The MidWest Mixed Conference will take place over three days & will provide spaces designated for the exploration of Mixed and Multiracial experiences through art, activities, & conversations. Please bookmark us and check back for more details about the conference including other speakers!

The MidWest Mixed Conference is offering a Name Your Price option which allows you to pay the price that is most manageable to you at this time. If you are able to pay full price, the true cost of the conference is $100 per person, and that contribution helps us cover the costs for this year and to sustain MidWest Mixed.

Please use the button below to start the registration process!

August 4th-6th

Schedule

Please view the conference agenda below.

  • Day 1, August 4th at Public Functionary
Day 1, August 4th at Public Functionary

Doors

6:00pm

Screening of Mixed Match (run time – 96 minutes)

6:30pm

Q & A | Light food & beverages will be served, including popcorn during the film! Be The Match will be hosting a bone marrow donor drive

8:15pm

Close

9:00pm
  • Day 2, August 5th at Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
Day 2, August 5th at Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

Registration & check-in opens (light breakfast foods will be served)

8:45am

Welcome address in auditorium

9:00am – 9:30am

Performance by local artist

9:30am – 9:45am

Keynote 1

10:00am – 10:30am

Workshop 1

10:45am – 12:00pm | Read below for information on which workshops are available to choose from!

Lunch (food truck by Cafe Racer, other off site options close by)

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Workshop 2

1:30pm – 2:45pm | Read below for information on which workshops are available to choose from!

Keynote 2

3:00pm – 3:30pm

Dedicated Spaces 4 Debriefing

3:45pm – 5:00pm
  • Day 3, August 6th at Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
Day 3, August 6th at Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

Check-in (light breakfast foods will be served)

9:00am – 9:15am

Welcome address & performance in auditorium

9:15am – 9:45am

Workshop 3

10:00am – 11:15am | Read below for information on which workshops are available to choose from!

Dedicated Spaces 4 Debriefing

11:30am – 12:30pm

Closing address & call to action in main hall

12:30am – 1:00pm

Workshop 1

The following workshops will be run between 10:45am – 12:00pm on Day 2, August 5th.

Laura Nilles:  Transracial Adoptee Panel

The panel will focus on identity, race, and family in the adoption community.  Participants will explore mental & emotional health and issues in interracial and trans-racial families created by adoption.

*This panel is for adoptees aged 15 and older, adoptive parents, biological parents, and those parents thinking of adopting across cultures.  The adoptee experience is the only perspective that will be presented or discussed, but friends and family of adoptees are welcome to attend and show support.

Collin Robinson: Colorism, Data, and White Supremacy in Education

The first section will explore colorism and how damaging it can be in the lives of students. The second section is about how different public school systems in the US are collecting data on mixed race children, how they interpret this data, and how we can use this data to address larger problems facing communities of color. The final  section will look at a brief historical analysis of how White Supremacy has affected our children’s’ learning and propose ways we can combat some of these challenges.

*This workshops is open to all attendees

Molly Glasgow:  Holding Multiple Truths- Generational Healing & Familial Patterns

What happens when how we present and the truths we carry do not always align with strict binaries in many conversations around race? Those with Mixed identities hold complexities of inherited patterns and narratives. In this panel we will explore the impacts of holding multiple and/or conflicting truths in our histories and bodies.

*This panel is open to all attendees.  Panelists will be speaking from the perspective of mixed roots and identities.  

Eleonore Wesserle:  Mixed People Who Get Read As White

This workshop is for individuals who identify as Mixed, multiracial or transracial adoptees who are socially perceived as White. After a brief intro by the facilitator to discuss naming who we are and navigating race / culture-based spaces as light-skinned or “white-passing” people, participants will share their own experiences with each other.  Participants will address the concept of “passing” and explore how to navigate racial spaces as a person read as white.

*This workshops is open to all attendees


Workshop 2

The following workshops will be run between 1:30pm – 2:45pm on Day 2, August 5th.

Alissa Paris:  Interracial Couples Dialogue

With race-mixing being stigmatized throughout history in all areas of the world, and across various intersections, not many interracial couples can say they have completely escaped push-back from their own families or the greater society, however nuanced in response to their choice of partner. This conversation based workshop will have a theater arts component, giving attendees the opportunity to move throughout the space and meet other attendees and both hear and share stories.

*This workshop is a dedicated space for people currently or previously in interracial relationships.  

Susan Phillips & Dylan Bradford-Kesti: Open circle dialogue for European descended parents of children of color

This workshops is an open dialogue for European descended parents of mixed children. The presenters want to create a space that is welcoming, and non-judgmental and allows attendees to be vulnerable in conversations about the challenges, joys, and experiences of walking with the privilege as white folks and parenting children of color.

*This workshop centers white/euro descended parents of children of color, but is open to all attendees.

Shanell McCoy & Takawi Peters: Radical self-care through mundane acts

This co-facilitated workshop specifically targets the gathering of mixed race women to exchange methods of and resources for self-care with a focus on the arts and holism. The presenters believe that the intersection of storytelling and self-care (for some) may help reframe a more positive outlook on past, present, and future experiences in life.

*This workshop is a dedicated space for mixed race/multiracial women.

Bella Dawson:  Youth Panel

This panel centers on the experiences of youth who identify as Mixed, multiracial, and transracial. Youth on this panel will share their experiences, strengths, and challenges in growing up with a complex identity.  

*This panel is open to all attendees.


Workshop 3

The following workshops will be run between 10:00am – 11:15am on Day 3, August 6th.

Vincente Perez: Stories We Tell Ourselves To Live: Resistance Through Narrative

Centering on Black and Latinx experiences with a special emphasis on Hip-Hop, Spoken word, Narratives, and Identity Politics, this workshop explores the liminal space that multiracial folks are suspended in, as a way to discuss and illuminate the essentialized nature of race and identity politics in this particular moment in history. This workshop will explore the difficult and convoluted ways that we all internalize narratives about people, that then influence the way that we treat them as we move through life. Sometimes we have to tell ourselves things to live, but there comes a time when survival isn’t enough.

*This workshop focuses on People of Color (POC), but is open to all attendees.

Shanell McCoy:  Overcoming the Media Representation Gap

During this workshop, participants will explore the power of representation as women of color in media and their role as influencers on digital platforms. The workshop will challenge perceptions and explore the impact of media on individual identity formation. It will conclude with a circle conversation for reflection and take away tools for authentically engaging audiences online.

*This workshop is open to all attendees.  

Erin Sharkey and Nicole Nfonoyim-Hara:  Mixed Writing as Resistance

This workshop explores the theme of mixed writing as resistance. By “mixed writing” we mean both writing from and about mixed-race people as well as writing that “mixes” genre and form to produce an altogether new text. This workshop will carve a valuable space for participants to reflect on their own personal narratives through writing.

*This workshop centers on people who identify as Mixed, multiracial, or transracial adoptees, but is open to all conference attendees.

Nicque Mabrey: Having the talk: Protecting our spirits during accountability conversations with our European descended parent/s

This workshop will offer participants the opportunity to dialogue about what we can do to prepare and protect ourselves when engaging white parents/family members in accountability conversations. How do we hold our own flesh and blood accountable when their silence/ignorance is an act of violence to our personhood?

*This workshop is a dedicated space for POC who identify as Mixed, multiracial, or transracial adoptees.


Things to Note

More Event Information

Public Functionary:  1400 12th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413 (street parking only)
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation: 451 Lexington Pkwy N., St Paul, MN 55104 (Free parking ramp!)

MidWest Mixed is excited to host a marketplace where you can support local vendors selling books, fine art & handcrafted goods.

A variety of snacks and refreshment will be served throughout the conference, though we welcome outside food & drinks.

MidWest Mixed is committed to making this event accessible to our community. This includes:

  • A room reserved for families to care for their children
  • Counselors on site (can meet with individuals, pairs or groups indoors or on the lawn)
  • Gender neutral bathrooms
  • Dietary options

Note:  Though we welcome small children, the content planned for this years’ conference is geared toward an audience starting at 13 yrs old and up!

Please use the contact form below to inquire about interpreter services or with any other concerns!


HOW TO GIVE:

Click the button below to make a tax-deductible donation to our fiscal sponsor, Voices for Racial Justice.

Choose MidWest Mixed Conference from the drop-down menu, and your contribution will support and sustain our conference.

THANK YOU!

 


Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to our fiscal sponsor!
Meet the

Speakers

MWM feels so fortunate to have a number of speakers approaching the topic of mixed/multi-racial identities from so many different lenses. Please bookmark our page and check back for updates as we announce more speakers for the conference!
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Rebecca

Polston

Rebecca Polston, the only professional black midwife working out of the hospital setting in Minnesota, will speak on finding her voice and the transformative nature of birth.


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Ricardo

Levins Morales

An award-winning artist, Levins Morales will share his perspective from the crossroads of identity, culture and organizing, as a self-proclaimed “healer and trickster organizer disguised as an artist.”


Who are we?

About MidWest Mixed

As members of communities that are deeply polarized around race and other measures of identity, the goal of MWM is not to divide, but to provide safer spaces to move deeply into our authentic selves, both during and beyond the conference. We are a group of parents, youth, artists, teachers, community organizers and friends all dedicated to courageous conversations. After two years of hosting a space known as “The Mixed Dialogues”, members of the group formed a committee to plan the first MidWest Mixed Conference, in hopes of reaching more people.
Inquiries or Sponsor Interest?

Contact Us.

Have any questions, comments or interest in being a sponsor? We would love to hear from you! E-mail us at midwestmixedconference@gmail.com or fill out the contact form!





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