Calling all Bi/Multiracial (cultural) folks - A Space for Us!

Calling all Bi/Multiracial (cultural) folks - A Space for Us! [Starting March 13th]

If you’ve been considering joining us for our 4-month exploration of bi/multiracial identity and belonging, we want to take a moment to introduce you to who we are, the program facilitators.

The program is called:Where Do I Belong? An Exploration of identity and belonging for bicultural and multicultural bodies. And it was born out of our (the facilitators') collective desire to explore our experience falling between the cracks in conversations about race.

My name is Leticia Nieto...

My father’s people are from Veracruz  and my mother’s people are from Puebla, where I was born, in Mexico.

The range of racialization within my family is wide and conversations about identity tended to wrap around National identity above frank discussions about race.

My ancestral roots include both indigenous exploitation and genocide by colonizers.  

How these tensions live in the body, sometimes named meztizaje, is complex and potentiated.  The sense I now make is that colonization failed to extinguish those it sought to eradicate.

The saying, ‘they tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds’, is a poetic way to work with this durable survivance.

The unsettled nature of identity this can generate has been a powerful agitator and psychic activator in my life.

My name is Karine Bell...

My ancestral roots reach back to the African continent (Ghana/Ivory Coast/Nigeria), Ashkenazi Germany and England/Wales and Turtle Island (unenrolled and distant), I also hold that complexity in my body with both colonizer and colonized aspects, and experiences of what Chicana feminist and scholar, Globia Anzaldúa, calls  nepantla.  

Nepantla is a Nahuatl word she uses to describe the liminal space between worlds and the bridges that represent the “thresholds to other realities'”.

I think about how it is that I am located as a light-skinned bi-racial woman. I have long occupied the kind of ambiguous belonging that scholars like Gloria Anzaldúa speak of in their reference to the cracks and borderland spaces revealed through unsettled belonging. I often speak of bi-racial identity as a trickster-like orientation to the world that disrupts the neatlines on modernity’s racial map, which seeks to place us within neat categories, but where there is, in reality, always spillage (to evoke Bayo Akomolafe).

When belonging is haunted by this cultural ambiguity, and contradictions and paradoxes whisper like a hurricane, one can either succumb to experiences of non-belonging or fall through the invitational cracks, as Gloria refers to them, to explore how an embrace of this ambiguity ultimately disrupts colonial paradigms.

It is this disorientation that I want to explore. I am curious about the ways we are opened up to the cracks and borderland spaces, the liminal places where our “failure” in a sense to belong within a paradigm of belonging linked to harmful systems and structures becomes a transformational portal.

My name is Malia Wright-Merer...

My multitudinal lineage grew from Chinese, Swedish, British and African roots.

My body is not in sameness, it is not in simplicity, it will not check off a box.

My Asian-American mother and white father’s marriage was not approved by grandmother, a mixed chinese, black and white woman, who wanted her to marry another Asian man. My grandmother, as a mixed woman, never felt like she belonged. With this experience, she leaned into deep assimilation, seeked simplicity, sameness. But through this love I was born. I have felt marginalizations and received privilege through the color of my skin. I have always felt like a bridge of sorts, conjoining complexities and seeking exploration of how my body is mirror of all things coming together.

With Special Guest Resmaa Menakem...

Resmaa Menakem, New York Times bestselling author of My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, is a visionary Justice Leadership coach, organizational strategist and master trainer.

Resmaa is a leading voice in today’s conversation on racialized trauma.

Our sense of selfhood and belonging has been persistently challenged within a cultural context that strives for purity within neat, predetermined, categories.

If that is an experience that resonates with you, we invite you to consider:

If our bodies embrace a refusal to remain contained within categories, how might our ambiguity be a powerful tool against supremacy?  To explore this question with others, consider joining us in Where Do I Belong.

In this program, we will explore with our bodies.

We will emphasize what Leticia calls an “ethic to encounter” rather than debate and discussion.

We’re likely to open more questions than we are to locate and concretize answers.

To learn more about the program, please visit LINK.  We start March 13th (and registration closes before that), and space is limited!

With care,

Karine, Leticia and Malia

This article is part of our...

Planting the Seed

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