1st Edition

Multiracial Experiences in Higher Education Contesting Knowledge, Honoring Voice, and Innovating Practice

    312 Pages
    by Routledge

    312 Pages
    by Routledge

    Recipient of the 2021 Innovation Award of The Multiracial Network (MRN)

    In the last Census, over 9 million people – nearly 3% of the population – identified themselves as of two or more races. The proportion of college students who identify as Multiracial is somewhat higher, and growing. Although increasing at a slightly slower rate, Multiracial faculty and staff are also teaching and working on campuses in greater numbers. Together, Multiracial people from diverse backgrounds and in various roles are influencing college and university culture, practices, and climate. This book centers the experiences of Multiracial people, those individuals claiming heritage and membership in two or more (mono)racial groups and/or identifies with a Multiracial term. These terms include the broader biracial, multiethnic, and mixed, or more specific terms like Blasian and Mexipino. In addressing the recurring experiences of inclusion, exclusion, affirmation, and challenges that they encounter, the contributors identify the multiple sites in higher education that affect personal perceptions of self, belonging, rejection, and resilience; describe strategies they utilized to support themselves or other Multiracial people at their institutions; and to advocate for greater awareness of Multiracial issues and a commitment to institutional change.

    In covering an array of Multiracial experiences, the book brings together a range of voices, social identities (including race), ages, perspectives, and approaches. The chapter authors present a multiplicity of views because, as the book exemplifies, multiracial people are not a monolithic group, nor are their issues and needs universal to all. The book opens by outlining the literature and theoretical frameworks that provide context and foundations for the chapters that follow. It then presents a range of first-person narratives – reflecting the experiences of students, faculty, and staff – that highlight navigating to and through higher education from diverse standpoints and positionalities. The final section offers multiple strategies and applied methods that can be used to enhance Multiracial inclusion through research, curriculum, and practice. The editors conclude with recommendations for future scholarship and practice. This book invites Multiracial readers, their allies, and those people who interact with and influence the daily lives of Multiracial people to explore issues of identity and self-care, build coalitions on campus, and advocate for change.

    For administrators, student affairs personnel, and anyone concerned with diversity on campus, it opens a window on a growing population with whom they may be unfamiliar, mis-categorize, or overlook, and on the need to change systems and structures to address their full inclusion and unveil their full impact.

    Contributors: e alexander, Rebecca Cepeda, Lisa Combs, Wei Ming Dariotis, Nick Davis, Kira Donnell, Chelsea Guillermo-Wann, Jessica C. Harris, Andrew Jolivette, Naliyah Kaya, Nicole Leopardo, Heather C. Lou, Victoria K. Malaney Brown, Charlene C. Martinez, Orkideh Mohajeri, Maxwell Pereyra, Kristen A. Renn, and Stephanie N. Shippen.

    Foreword —G. Reginald Daniel Preface AcknowledgmentsPart One. Framing Multiracial Experiences in Higher Education1. Insights on Multiracial Knowledge, Voices, and Practices. Lessons From Our Lives and Work—Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe and Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero 2. Multiracial Identity on Campus. Identities and Experiences of Multiracial People in Higher Education—Kristen A. Renn 3. The Naming and Framing of Identity. Reflecting on Core Concepts Through the Experiences of Multiracial People—Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe 4. Monoracism. Identifying and Addressing Structural Oppression of Multiracial People in Higher Education—Jessica C. Harris, Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero, and Maxwell Pereyra Part Two. Multiracial Narratives Across the Higher Education Landscape 5. Back to Black—Nick Davis 6. On the Path to Multiracial Consciousness. Reflections on My Scholar-Practitioner Journey in Higher Education—Victoria K. Malaney Brown 7. Being Mexipina in Higher Education—Rebecca Cepeda 8. Remembering to Resist Racist Colonial Forgetting on Campus—ealexander 9. Existing In-Between. Embodying the Synergy of My Ancestors—NaliyahKaya 10. Reflections of a Creole, Indigenous, Afro-Latin Scholar. From Community to the Classroom—Andrew Jolivétte Part Three. Strategies and Tools for Enhancing Multiracial Inclusion 11. Contextualizing Multiraciality in Campus Climate. Key Considerations for Transformative Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—Chelsea Guillermo-Wann and Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero 12. Building Multiracial Aikido. A Student Social Justice Retreat—Charlene C. Martinez and Stephanie N. Shippen 13. Mixed and Multiracial Student Organizations on Campus. The Necessity of Weaving Together Art and Critique—OrkidehMohajeriand Heather C. Lou 14 Critical Mixed Race Studies. Rooted in Love and Fire—Nicole Leopardo, Kira Donnell, and Wei Ming Dariotis Part Four. Future Directions 15. Intergenerational Reflections and Future Directions—Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero, Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe, and Lisa Combs Editors and Contributors Index


    Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero is an Associate Professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at The Ohio State University and is affiliated faculty with the Asian American Studies program. He completed a Ph.D. in Education (with an emphasis in Higher Education & Organizational Change) from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he did assessment work for UCLA’s Office of Residential Life and served as a Graduate Fellow in UCLA’s Institute for Society and Genetics. These experiences integrated his background in Human Biology (BS, Michigan State University) and Student Affairs Administration (MA, Michigan State University). He has worked in multicultural affairs units across several institutions, including the University of Arizona and New York University. Marc’s research interests focus on diversity and social justice issues in higher education and student affairs, with specific attention to college students making meaning of race and racism and multiracial/mixed race issues. He serves the field of higher education through his involvement in the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Governing Board as Member-at-Large, Faculty, and as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Higher Education. Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe, EdD, is a consultant with over 35 years of experience lecturing and writing on social justice, racial and social identity, intersectionality, and conflict resolution. She held several positons in student affairs including Staff Associate to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Assistant Ombudsperson at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and Dean of Student at Mount Holyoke College. As National Program Consultant for the National Conference for Christians and Jews, Charmaine developed and facilitated staff, client, and board programs for 62 regional offices around the country. In addition to authoring book chapters and articles, she served as volume co-editor (with Bailey Jackson) for two editions of New Per

    "This book offers unique and complex explorations of diverse Multiracial experiences in higher education. Unlike many volumes, it highlights the lives of Multiracial faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students who differ across racial backgrounds, racial identities, and campus locations (including four and two year institutions, and HBCUs). Because chapters offer theoretical analyses, narrative storytelling, and practical tools and strategies the material will resonate with readers with diverse interests and learning styles. This book is an essential resource for anyone who leads, teaches, serves, or studies at institutions of higher education and who seeks to understand and empower Multiracial people on their campuses."

    Belinda P. Biscoe, Ph.D., Interim Senior Associate Vice President for University Outreach/College of Continuing Education, University of Oklahoma

    "How do multiracial people navigate a society that prioritizes monoracism? Multiracial Experiences in Higher Education beautifully addresses this question. The narratives are the heart of this book, and the authors underscore the richness and complexities of multiracial people’s experiences. Current doctoral students and recent graduates also contributed chapters, illustrating the importance of having perspectives across various generations. This book restored my faith in story-sharing and vulnerability as vehicles for change, and I applaud the authors for their courage."

    Stephen John Quaye, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Studies, The Ohio State University

    “Yet Multiracial Experiences in Higher Education: Contesting Knowledge, Honoring Voice, and Innovating Practice is the first comprehensive study on this topic. It provides guiding themes and an overarching framework in terms of its analysis. This ground-breaking volume includes, among other topics, reflections on the creative resistance to and triumphs over the various challenges experienced by multiracials—including students, staff, faculty, administrators, and others—who increasingly populate college and university campuses.

    More important, this compilation suggests 'multiracial knowledge' can be a template for engaging in a social praxis that critiques racial essentialism and racial hierarchy as the basis for aspiring toward more inclusive collective subjectivities across the racial spectrum, including multiracials. This approach is based on the idea that multiraciality—and more broadly, conceptual stances that are ‘betwixt and between’—can help avoid defensive-aggressive binarisms and polarizations that may be politically counterproductive in terms of building other issue-based coalitions. These offer a basis from which to advance thinking, practices, and policies seeking to ameliorate racism, racial inequalities, and foster social justice. Consequently, this collection of essays should be required reading for anyone aspiring toward a more just, equitable, and inclusive society. [This is] a long-overdue publication.”

    G. Reginald Daniel, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara; and author of More Than Black? Multiracial Identity and the New Racial Order (2002)

    “This is a beautiful collection of theoretical ideas, personal stories, and examples of praxis; a must read for scholars and practitioners. I love that the book is grounded in theories about race and (mono)racism while elevating the voices of multiracial people, scholars, and educators. There are many moments of learning and growth throughout the book.”

    Gina A. Garcia, Associate Professor, Educational Foundations, Organizations, & Policy, University of Pittsburgh

    “The editors of this volume have done us a great service. They have compiled one of the most comprehensive, informative, and thought-provoking resources for those hoping to expand their knowledge of mixed-race populations. This collection of excellent scholarly analyses, compelling narratives, and practical implications will surely be a vital asset to researchers and educators seeking to empower and serve multiracial communities for generations to come.”

    Samuel D. Museus, Professor of Education Studies and Founding Director of the National Institute for Transformation and Equity, University of California, San Diego

    "Multiracial Experiences in Higher Education is an intergenerational journey through the past, present, and future state of multiraciality in academia. The synthesis of personal counter-stories and detailed 'call to action' strategies that challenge monoracism and ultimately white supremacy in higher education make it an important and timely read for all."

    Kelly F. Jackson, MSW, PhD, Associate Professor, Arizona State University, Vice President of the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association, Co-author of Multiracial Cultural Attunement

    "Multiracial Experiences in Higher Education gives important visibility to a growing segment of the higher education community that is too often rendered invisible by campus policies and cultural practices. The combination of theory, personal narratives, tools and strategies found in this cutting-edge collection of essays makes it a very useful resource for researchers and practitioners alike."

    Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, Author, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations about Race

    "This is an essential text for those hoping to understand the experiences of multiracial individuals in higher education. It is at once general and specific, obvious and nuanced, theoretical and practical, perfect and flawed. The book lives in the in-between of all of those dichotomies proudly occupying a diunital existence demanding to be seen as real, unique, vital, complex, and essential -- very much like the experiences of the multiracial people explored in the text."

    Raechele L. Pope, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo

    "This is an important contribution to understanding the challenges facing multiracial students in a world that resists seeing or understanding their multiracial identity. Offering reflections on multiracial identity theory, and the voices of students and staff about navigating their multi-racial identities, it concludes with ideas for improving services for multiracial students. Readers are provided with a unique view of the evolution of theory and practice on multiracial identity through the perspectives of foundational theorists and a new generation of scholars who bring new insights questions and challenges to this field."

    Rita Hardiman, Foundational White Racial Identity Theorist and Social Justice Consultant

    “Johnston-Guerrero and Wijeyesinghe provide a significant and much-needed contribution to higher education literature that will serve students, faculty, researchers, and anyone interested in advancing and deepening their understanding of multiracial experiences in higher education, while also formulating their perspectives on theoretical application and subsequent epistemic implications. (. . . ) The voices of the authors and contributors of this work offer a unique and eloquent portrayal that is derived from theory, research, and practice within settings of higher education and across institutional and professional levels while pre­senting resources for further application.”

    Terrill O. Taylor, C. Casey Ozaki, Journal of College Student Development, Volume 64, Number 4,
    July/August 2023, pp. 504-507