Last Updated on August 14, 2022 by BVN
Aryana Noroozi |
At this briefing, journalists across the nation heard from experts and researchers who discussed data and ideas on the subject. A multiracial family also shared insight on their lived experience and what it takes to make it and thrive in an increasingly polarized society.
Ethnic Media Services is currently working on a collaborative reporting project, profiling mixed race households. The Black Voice News will be contributing a report.
Taking a solutions-oriented approach at the briefing, Ethnic Media Services opened the floor to experts to discuss how mixed race families are a part of overcoming racism in the long-term.
Allison Skinner Dorkenoo, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Social Psychology at the University of Georgia, provided context to understanding attitudes toward interracial marriage in the U.S. She shared data that indicated almost a third of the study’s non-Black participants were okay with interracial relations but would not partake themselves.
Another dataset she presented indicated that all groups besides the multiracial sample held a bias against Black-White interracial couples.
Sonia and Richard, a multicultural-multiracial couple that, together, encapsulate Black, Latino and Korean origins also spoke. The couple is raising four children in Los Angeles. They provided insight into challenges and perceptions they’ve encountered, how they’ve “culture-proofed” their home, and larger changes they feel are necessary to cultivate more inclusive spaces for multiracial children.
Richard, who is Korean-American, said his family did not initially accept Sonia, who is Black and Latino. The two met at a Los Angeles hospital where they both worked.
“At the moment it felt like you probably lost your parents,” Richard said. “I didn’t realize that it didn’t have to be a choice but I chose Sonia,” he said.
Richard’s parents eventually came to understand and accept their son’s choice. But the couple has encountered other challenges in the way in which they are perceived.
“I don’t think they see Richard and I as a couple at times,” Sonia said. “When they realize it’s us together you see their faces trying to make sense of the group.”
Richard says when people often hear Sonia’s name, Sonia Kang, “[T]hey expect a Korean lady, but then they see Sonia. It’s amusing but hopefully it becomes the norm.”
Within their home, Richard and Sonia have defined their norms. Sonia says just like they child-proof their home to protect their children from injury, they also “culture-proof” it to “help uphold the home we wanted and what we wanted our children to see and hear.”
She says they buy the products that look like their family in an authentic way and model what they want their children to see and hear.
But in raising a multicultural family, the couple said the challenge does not manifest within the home but rather outside, such as filling out forms in school. “It’s still a very antiquated system of federal forms that still have them pick one (race), there’s not necessarily a box that gives them who they are – that’s been the challenge,” Sonia said.
Through events such as this briefing and panel, and the portrait project, a collaboration between partner organizations, including the Black Voice News, to document interracial couples, Ethnic Media Services hopes to give multiracial families a platform to share their experiences and work with publications to help their own and surrounding communities understand and overcome racism in the long term.
Stay tuned for our work in collaboration with Ethnic Media Services regarding a reporting project, profiling mixed race households.