Community. Conversation. Change.

August 4th – 6th

The 1st MidWest Mixed Conference was a SUCCESS!

The very first MidWest Mixed Conference commenced on August 4th-6th, 2017 in Saint Paul, MN. The packed agenda created opportunities to explore themes connected to mixed race identities & families with art at the center.

The event kicked off on Friday night at Public Functionary in Northeast Minneapolis with a free screening of the award winning documentary, Mixed Match directed by Jeff Chiba. Following the screening an intimate Q & A with one of the films stars was enjoyed by the audience along with complementary theater style popcorn. Saturday and Sunday were held in the beautiful Amherst H Wilder Foundation in Saint Paul, MN. The agenda featured numerous workshops, group dialogues, panel conversations, spoken word artists and a moving keynote address from artist and activist Ricardo Levins Morales (see full video below). On the final day of the conference local midwife and birthing justice advocate Rebecca Polston gave another inspiring keynote address (see full video below), a beautiful theatrical performance by local youth artists were just a few of the highlights.

A number of amenities were available including free parking, a room for families to care for their little ones, a self-care room and variety of snacks and beverages. A timeline of Mixed Race history was generously donated by Thomas Lopez with the Multiracial Americans of Southern California(MASC). A number of visual artists were featured throughout the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation grounds (curated by artist and professor Leslie Barlow) supporting critical thinking and the various learning styles of attendees. Comment boxes and art materials were available to encourage processing in the moment.

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MMC 2017

Past Speakers

MidWest Mixed feels so fortunate to have a number of speakers approaching the topic of mixed/multi-racial identities from so many different lenses.

Watch Rebecca Polston’s Keynote from the 2017 MWM Conference

Watch Ricardo Levins Morales’ Keynote from the 2017 MWM Conference



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.


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

In 2014 Alissa Paris and Owen Duckworth decided to host and facilitate a series of recurring dialogue spaces for mixed race people in midwest. The response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. In 2015, members of the dialogue group formed a committee to plan the first MidWest Mixed Conference, in hopes of reaching more people. In 2017 that vision was realized and the first MidWest Mixed Conference convened in St. Paul MN. Members of that original planning team came together to continue this work and formed MidWest Mixed.

We are a group of community members and friends all dedicated to making space for courageous conversations. 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 goal of MWM is not to divide, but to provide safer spaces to move deeply into our authentic selves. MWM works to bring thoughtful programming for mixed race people and families to the Twin Cities community.
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