June 25, 2007 by multiracialsky
I left Chicago early Sunday morning after three days immersed in the multiracial community. Sunday night I received an email from a new friend. He likened being back home to returning from summer camp.
There were so many amazing people at the Loving Decision Conference, every one of them a child, parent, or partner in a multiracial family. The hard-working conference coordinator was Jungmiwha Bullock, president of Association of MultiEthnic Americans (AMEA), who was assisted in conference planning by Ken Tanabe, founder of Loving Day. I spent time talking with Beth Hall, Co-Founder of PACT adoption alliance, spent an evening with Michelle Hughes, Co-Founder of Bridge Communications, and found an ally in Tarah Fleming, Co-Director of iPride.
Ten large drawings of multiracial individuals were on display throughout the conference events, and I talked with the artist that created them, Laura Kina. I spent time talking with the artist Katrina Grigg-Saito, creator of The Fishbird Project. Also at the conference was the creator of Please Mark Only One, photographer Mica Lee Anders.
I saw the short film My People Are…, celebrating youth pride in mixed heritage, and talked with producer/director/writer Jessica Chen Drammeh about her upcoming film Anomaly. I viewed a cut from the award-winning documentary Silences, while sitting next to the film’s creator and star, Octavio Warnock-Graham.
There were many writers at the conference, most notably Lori Tharps, author of Hair Story and Kinky Gazpacho (2008); Joy Zarembka, author of The Pigment of Your Imagination; Elliott Lewis, author of Fade; and Janet Stickmon, author of Crushing Soft Rubies. Last, but certainly not least, I was excited to meet and spend time with the author of My American Meltingpot (a multicultural family blog I have been reading for months) and make another new friend.
It was a long-awaited getaway for me as a mama (I haven’t left my kids since Jaja was born more than five years ago). Spending several days with so many brilliant and committed folks reinvigorated my dedication to antiracist activism, education about race and privilege, and increasing resources for multiracial families.
Somehow all four of my children have gained new skills and grown older in the four days I was gone. Although it is good to be home, I too remember that lonely feeling of the day after camp is over.
P. S. Jaja and Gretel suggested I take everybody with me to my next conference so we won’t miss each other so much; they’re also hoping for a ‘kid conference’ next time. Maybe for the 45th anniversary of Loving Day in 2012 . . .