be the changeWe are soliciting content for Swirl’s blog on race. We’re looking for intellectual, creative, politically-minded pieces of writing that challenge the status quo!
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Dinner with Choi

In the basement of the finest and perhaps most politically controversial restaurant in Oberlin, OH – an Asian fusion restaurant that dares combining ciabatta and seaweed – I sat somewhat dumbfounded by my company: ten other student leaders of Oberlin College political organizations and our esteemed guest, Lt. Dan Choi. Patiently waiting for my ramen dish (sans organic fish cake), I listened to my peers pelt questions in Lt. Choi’s direction. Finally, a pause in the conversation just long enough for me to muster the courage to speak my mind. After twenty minutes of blabby mainstream environmentalism, I felt prepared to add some color to the table. In the company of all white people withstanding one other student and the revered guest himself, I felt a moral (and intellectual) obligation to ask Lt. Choi about race.

How has your Asian American experience affected your military life? Your queerness?  Your activism?

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Race-ing Desire

by Rachel Ishikawa

Although my romantic entanglements to this day remain a short list, I cannot deny that race invariably becomes a factor in each relationship that I have. With my untraditional racial identity – part Jewish and Asian –  I find that I am always in an interracial relationship, no matter what race my partner is. From the start of college with my first prolonged fling, race has played the passenger, a sort of haunting that has followed all of my romantic decisions since. Shortly after declining my first fling’s request for a more serious and exclusive relationship, I noticed him jaunting with a young woman, who – like me – was petite, nose-ringed, and most perturbingly half-asian. Abjectly, my mind wandered to a question that I think many women of color face when involved interracial relationships: am I a desired “type?”
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Hello Swirlies!

As I conclude my internship with Swirl Inc., I present the research that I have done, which examines if believing that race is a social construct correlates with a biracial individual’s self-esteem. Thank you to all who have participated! The following is an abridged version of the reasoning behind and findings of my research: Continue Reading »

Hello Swirlies!

The time has arrived for you to participate in the study I have been working on this summer!

Please read in further detail below the qualifications for the study.

Thank you, and please send this out to your bi- and multi- racial friends and family!

— Olivia

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Self-Esteem is widely studied in a variety of topics regarding social development of adolescents. With the amount of scholarly research increasing about Multiracial individuals and families, it is only natural that self-esteem be examined in Biracial adolescents as compared to other ethnic groups. While this may seem like a basic topic, considering the fact that it was not examined previously makes it interesting to focus on. Continue Reading »

As a Biracial college student, I had a lot of questions going into college: Do I have to check only one box? Are they interested in me for me or for the sake of diversity? Will there be other students like me? But most prevalent recently is this question: Am I qualified for scholarships specifically set aside for minorities? In the end of my sophomore year, I was informed that I was being considered for a scholarship given to low income, high achieving, African American students.  I clearly stated I was Biracial on my application, and later that year I was informed that I had received the scholarship. It was only after I had received the scholarship that I began to wonder what impact, if any, identifying as Biracial had on my application. Continue Reading »

Hello Swirlies!

My name is Olivia Holmes, and this summer, I have the pleasure of interning with the great team here at Swirl! I will be blogging, tweeting, doing some research, and aiding Swirl in any and all ways that I can.

I am a native New Yorker, currently home for the summer from my second home at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. The fact that I am Biracial (my mother is Caucasian and my father is African American), has greatly impacted my academic interests. In my sophomore year at Guilford, I sought out other Biracial students to get an understanding of their experience of the college. I was surprised to find that none of us knew each other and that there was not a place to meet and share experiences between us. So I founded the Guilford Multiracial and Multiethnic Group to create this space. Through creating the Guilford Multiracial and Multiethnic Group I have found that it is critically important that the Multiracial community connect and share experiences. Doing so is important for the diversity of our nation and for our understanding of ourselves.

This summer with Swirl, my major project will be conducting research examining perceptions of Multiracial peoples. Research regarding Multiracial persons is still fairly new, so there are a lot of things that haven’t been explored! This is really exciting for me as I love asking questions and formulating hypotheses.

My upcoming research project will regard Multiracial self-esteem and personal ideas on race. For the next couple of months, I will be blogging weekly about various social science research studies regarding this topic. Expect to see a survey later this summer in which you will be able to participate!