MWM attended the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Conference!
Updated: Sep 15, 2018
MidWest Mixed is committed to partnering with and supporting other organizations, conferences, and festivals which explore the experiences of Mixed and Multiracial people around the globe. In one of our first steps toward this commitment, Leadership Team members Leslie Barlow, Sophia Benrud, Lola Osunkoya, and Alissa Paris attended the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Conference (CMRS) in Baltimore, MD.
Held at the University of Maryland, College Park, the 5th convening of CMRS took place on March 1-3, 2018. Greg Carter, President of the CMRS Association, describes, “Our community of scholars, activists, students, and artists have gathered to share our work about racial mixture. This year’s theme, Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine, evokes the present (Resist), the past (Reclaim), and the future (Reimagine).”
Primarily academic in nature, our team enjoyed presentations about about navigating educational systems; writing Mixed characters in all genres of literature; and understanding Multiracial identity development. We also attended panel discussions on community, gender and sexuality, and clinical work. A highlight for our entire team was the Keynote by Fanshen Cox-Giovanni, creator of One Drop of Love, and co-founder of Mixed Roots Stories. She performed short pieces from her show and led the audience through some writing exercises to begin telling our own stories. It was emotional and inspiring!
We were also very fortunate to schedule a dinner meeting with Laura Kina, one of the founders of CMRS, to pick her brain about her experiences developing their conference and community. We learned a lot about how to grow MidWest Mixed in a sustainable way.
In addition to Laura, we made connections with the leadership of other national Mixed organizations, including Ken Tanabe (Loving Day), Steven Riley (Mixed Race Studies), Thomas Lopez (and others from Multiracial Americans of Southern California), and many more. It was incredible to learn that many of them were aware of the 2017 MidWest Mixed Conference, and threw their full support behind us as an organization! Many longtime organizers remarked that there had been a lack of organization in the Midwest as a hub for Mixed people, and they were very excited to see us working to fill that void.
All in all, we had a wonderful time visiting the Baltimore and DC area and attending CMRS! It energized our team for upcoming MidWest Mixed Dialogues, a Summer 2018 event, and our 2019 MidWest Mixed Conference. Stay tuned!
Here are some photos from the trip: