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“So, what are you?”

This is not Lost, and I am not one of The Others.

Meghan Markle

As a biracial, multiethnic woman actively navigating and learning about the “mixed experience,” I am becoming increasingly aware of the crucial significance of having a safe space to explore the unique challenges associated with being “mixed,” particularly those linked to identification. One of the most striking observations I have made thus far is how many of us often struggle to establish a sense of self and belonging within a system that has historically rejected our identities.

When applying for admission or employment, or enrolling in government aid or benefits, the option to select multiple racial or ethnic groups is often unavailable. Studies show this lack of choice is associated with lowered self-esteem, reduced motivation, and increased anxiety (Townsend, Markus, & Bergsieker, 2009). Furthermore, researchers have found that, while multiracial individuals perform similarly to their monoracial counterparts on the majority of psychological adjustment measures, they are also inherently complex (Shih and Sanchez, 2005), highlighting the importance of considering the multiplicity of factors affecting the development and expression of multiracial/ multiethnic individuals in order to gain a more thorough understanding of their experiences.

“So, what are you?” is an Art for Change initiative that explores racial and ethnic identification through the eyes of global citizens. This project was created with the intention to provide multiracial/ multiethnic individuals a voice and opportunity to assert their own identities, to foster community and healing among the multiracial/ multiethnic population, to promote awareness and recognition of the various forms of self, and to contribute to conversations challenging traditional notions of race and identity.

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Posted on

March 31, 2022

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