Intercultural Center to Host Talk on Multiracial and Bicultural Experiences

Don Lierman

The University of Michigan – Flint Intercultural Center will offer a candid campus conversation regarding multiracial and bicultural experiences on Wednesday, March 9 from 10-11:15 a. m. at 115 UCEN.

Rushika Patel, director of UM-Flint’s Women’s Education Center and interim director of the school’s Intercultural Center believes the event will provide a forum to discuss ways of dealing with identity and perceptions.

“Sometimes people are taught to think in generalized and one-dimensional ways about race, as if there are cultural characteristics that can define everybody of a particular race,” Patel said.

Patel went on to say that racial conservatives do this but even people who see themselves as anti-racist, liberal and progressive can do this by trying to define what it means to be ‘authentically’ Asian, Latino, African American, Arab and so on.

“While this can be and has been a politically useful strategy, the experiences of people within racial identity groups are in fact profoundly diverse and even geneticists note that there is more variation within racial groups than between. So, this event is about giving students who are multiracial and bicultural especially, a chance to define what culture and identity means to them, a chance to resist being put in a box and having to put themselves in a box,” Patel said.

All are welcome to attend and a brunch will be provided.