How do we, as student affairs professionals, approach our work with multiracial and multiethnic students from a holistic perspective if we ourselves do not feel whole? Historically, White people have had the power and privilege to define race; therefore, impacting why people of mixed races may or may not feel whole. The experiences of those who identify as multiracial and multiethnic are unique and therefore different from others who identify as a member of a single race or ethnicity. Individuals who perhaps have not needed to examine their race, such as their White counterparts, view their racial experience differently. Our experiences as two multiracial individuals and new student affairs professionals have been a constant battle between self-identification and societal categorization. The pressure to minimize our identities to “other” or “non” because we do not fit within a predetermined category has had a profound and lasting effect on our lives and how we choose to identify. Throughout this article we will examine our collective and individual quests of self-discovery, our struggles with the dissection of our identities, and the ownership of our White identity. To provide insight into how these experiences may impact students in a racially segmented country, we have chosen Maria P. P. Roots’ Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People (1996) as a framework to illustrate our experiences as multiracial individuals.
Walbert, J. E. (2008). A Bird's Eye View. The Vermont Connection, 29(1). https://scholarworks.uvm.edu/tvc/vol29/iss1/12