Press Release – 13 March 2002
13 March 2002
Contact: Yasmine Tarhouni, Director of Public Relations
Ph: 206.622.7101, Fx: 206.622.2231
SIXTH PAN-COLLEGIATE CONFERENCE ON THE MIXED-RACE EXPERIENCE HOSTED INDEPENDENTLY ON TWO CAMPUSES
(Seattle, WA) The Sixth Pan-Collegiate Conference on the Mixed-Race Experience, the nation’s largest annual gathering of multiracial and transracially-adopted students, will be hosted independently on two separate New England campuses this year. Although both conferences carry the “Sixth Pan-Collegiate…” title, they are independently executed and unaffiliated with each other.
Smith College’s Multiracial Interracial Smith College (MISC) will host their conference in Northampton, MA from April 5-7, 2002 and Cornell University’s two multiracial student organizations, Cornell Hapa Student Association (CHSA) and Bi/multi-racial Lineages, Ethnicities and Nationalities Discussion (BLEND), will co-host their conference in Ithaca, NY from April 12-14, 2002. Smith’s conference is keynoted by actress and writer, Amy Hill. MAVIN Foundation President and CEO, Matt Kelley, headlines the Cornell conference.
The Smith and Cornell organizations are on friendly terms despite the failure of lengthy mediation attempts by The MAVIN Foundation to combine both events into a single conference. In an open letter to the multiracial community, MISC wrote: “We would like to express our sincere words of encouragement to Cornell in their conference, and an apology to prospective conference attendees for the misunderstanding [of two conferences].” Chris Masefield, Cornell’s Conference Chair, offered his words of support to Smith’s conference planners: “[W]e must now turn our attention to providing the mixed-race community with two conferences to choose from that are each as rewarding as possible. We thank you for your warm words of encouragement to us, and would like to express similar encouragement to your group as well.”
Started in 1996 on the campus of Wesleyan University, the pan-collegiate conference brings together hundreds of multiracial and transracially-adopted students representing nearly forty multiracial student organizations from across North America. Created as a way for multiracial and transracially-adopted young people to share their experiences, network and form a sense of community with each other, the conference has garnered international exposure through publications like Newsweek and the Newhouse News Service.
The MAVIN Foundation is a 501-(c)(3) nonprofit organization that celebrates multiracial people and families. In 2000, nearly seven million Americans were able to check multiple races on their census forms for the first time. Our innovative projects like MAVIN magazine are providing a unique forum to increase awareness of the changing face of our multicultural society. For more information, please visit www.mavinfoundation.org.
Conference Web site for MISC: http://sophia.smith.edu/misc
Conference Web site for CHSA and BLEND: http://www.rso.cornell.edu/hapa/conference