Mixed in the Six pop-up events created to support multiracial Torontonians

Another example of multiculturalism at work:

“At our first coffee date, Haan mentioned that he has wanted to host a dinner bringing together mixed people,” says Oades, who identifies at Filipino and Canadian (her father was adopted), “It wasn’t until we ran into one another with our sisters at a concert that we all became mixed Asian best friends for life and realized that we should do this. It’s a perfect platonic marriage.”

The two got to work on a $25 ticketed event that would showcase live music by local multiracial musicians like Bray, and Charlene Dorland, while guests dined over Palcu-Chang’s fusion-style feasts.

“I think for most people, but particularly those in mixed families, food is a very important element to their stories. It’s a reference point we use to ground us, give us perspective and make us happy,” says Palcu-Chang, who identifies as Chinese-Romanian. “For me, the food element is more than just feeding people. It’s a symbol for what we are trying to do with Mixed in the Six: generosity, community, family, nourishment.”

As the former president of the Mixed Students Association of York, Oades was reunited with members she hadn’t seen in nearly 10 years. And although the 2006 census indicated that 7.1 per cent of GTA marriages were interracial (a number that is expected by Statistics Canada to grow), the sold-out dinner showed Oades that there is still a need for mixed-race spaces in Toronto.

“People have shared with us that they feel a sense of belonging and acceptance at MIT6,” says Oades. “That feeling of not being, for example, ‘black enough or white enough’ seems to dissolve when you get to connect with other people who have had similar experiences as you.”

Professor G. Reginald Daniel, who edits the Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies, both based out of the University of California, Santa Barbara, understands mixed-race events are naturally fun and exciting but he hopes young attendees recognize the legal, physical and psychological struggles and trauma older multiracial generations have gone through. For example, the U.S. law against interracial marriage was only outlawed in 1967.

And while MIT6 guests often cheekily gush over one another’s attractiveness (many attendees happen to work as models, actors and performers), Daniel hopes mixed-race millennials don’t get caught up in a strictly superficial multiracial discourse.

He notes how the mainstream media has latched onto the “happy hapa,” “magical mixie,” “happy hybrid,” “racial ambassador,” and “post-racial messiah” stereotypes of multiracial individuals that are dangerous because they portray “overenthusiastic images, including notions that multiracial individuals in the post-Civil rights era no longer experience any racial trauma and conflict about their identity.”

MIT6 attendees know too well that a post-racial world free of racial prejudice and discrimination does not actually exist.

“The key is to ground that enthusiasm and capture it in a way that is meaningful so you can work with other groups. So you aren’t seen as so self-centred and seem solely focused on your ‘mixie’ concerns,” Daniel stresses. “This would mean moving beyond the specific concerns of multiracial individuals and see the link with the concerns of other communities relating to anti-immigrant sentiments, Islamophobia, native American land rights, and even the concerns of women, or the LGBT community, etcetera.”

MIT6 is going beyond bringing people together for food, taking on an advocacy role, with a donation drive for Syrian refugees as well as highlighting the difficulty of those with a mixed-race background to find bone marrow transplants. Oades met 11-year-old Aaryan Dinh-Ali, who is Vietnamese and Afghani and is suffering from aplastic anemia and desperately needs a bone-marrow transplant. MIT6 invited U of T’s Stem Cell Club and Canadian Blood Services to set up a clinic at the dinner, successfully registering 17 new mixed-race donors.

Source: Mixed in the Six pop-up events created to support multiracial Torontonians | Toronto Star

Where is the love: How tolerant is Canada of its interracial couples?

Minelle Mahtani’s study of mixed couples:

Is love the last frontier of racial bigotry in Canada?

It’s a question that intrigues Minelle Mahtani, who has dared to ask whether interracial couples and their families still test the limits of tolerance in this country.In her recent book Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality in Canada, Mahtani, an associate professor in human geography and journalism at the University of Toronto Scarborough, questions whether we’ve not just put rose-coloured glasses on our multiculturalism, especially where mixed-race families are concerned.

While interracial relationships are on the rise in Canada (we had 360,000 mixed-race couples in 2011, more than double the total from 20 years earlier), the numbers remain slim. Just 5 per cent of all unions in Canada were between people of different ethnic origins, religions, languages and birthplaces in 2011, the last year Statistics Canada collected such data. That figure rises only marginally in urban areas: Just 8 per cent of couples were in mixed-race relationships in Toronto, 10 per cent in Vancouver.

How do people in interracial relationships experience that multiculturalism on the ground, when they introduce their boyfriends and girlfriends to family, or hold hands on a date? How do mixed-race families and their children feel about it, in their communities and in their schools?

Mahtani was the keynote speaker at last month’s Hapa-palooza, an annual festival celebrating mixed heritage in Vancouver, and she will present at the next Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference in California in February. She spoke with The Globe and Mail about the daily realities of mixed-race families.

How tolerant are Canadians of interracial relationships today?

It’s an early kind of euphoria around celebrating multiracialism in Canada. We’ve romanticized this notion far too quickly. All the numbers from Statistics Canada show that yes, we are seeing more interracial relationships, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the racism is decreasing. People who are in interracial relationships are still experiencing a lot of racism.

What kind of criticism do mixed-race people in this country still get for their dating choices?

So much depends on where the relationship is happening and the class background of the people who are getting involved. Even though there’s a greater tolerance of interracial relationships, some researchers talk about this as a kind of “repressive tolerance”: it’s not quite acceptance but a kind of toleration.

So many of the mixed-race people I interviewed spoke about the challenges that their own parents faced as interracial couples. We’re talking about kids whose parents met in the seventies and earlier when there was much more outright, blatant racism experienced by interracial couples.

Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/where-is-the-love-how-tolerant-is-canada-of-its-interracial-couples/article32206930/