Connecting to Your Biracial Identity Workshop
On January 30th, 2018, an intimate group of students came together to share and speak from and to their identities, specifically, in how they navigate them.
Biracial demographics are becoming more common, so we wanted to discuss:
- How do you navigate your biracial identity?
- How do you connect to different cultures of your identity and lived experience?
- How do you balance your cultural identity with possible white-passing privilege?
- How does each individual embody their uniquely blended identity?
- Coming from a mixed background, how do biracial individuals engage in activism?
Together, we shared stories of our upbringings, and how we were taught and exposed to our cultures through different means and to different degrees. We shared how we remained connected to this and practiced our cultures, even when we did not visually represent our culture, in the same way, most of our communities do. We talked about how to balance a love to practice and share our culture in blended families, amidst the contemporary prominence and risk of cultural appropriation. With each other, we spoke of our connection to and desire to stand with our racialized communities against oppression.
However, we also acknowledged that many of us hold white-passing privilege, making us allies, but ones who cannot fully understand and assume the lived experiences of those in our community who do not share the same privilege. Finally, we shared strategies of how to create communities and networks as well as boldly embrace our identities, as we self-define them, in fluctuating environments. The testimonies of individuals doing so, in their own right, was beautiful.
Writer: Rayna Sutherland, BOD 2017-2018
Edited by: Shagun Kanwar, BOD 2017-2018