What is Mixed (Me)dia?
Mixed (Me)dia is an online resource center for mixed race* children and adults, parents and educators of mixed race children, and anyone who is interested in understanding what it’s like to be mixed race in the United States.
We hope that children can use Mixed (Me)dia to see images of and read about people who look like them, and to find solace and inspiration knowing that they are not alone.
We hope that parents and educators use the knowledge and tools made available through Mixed (Me)dia to understand the challenges that come with being mixed race, the specific needs of their children around race, and to actively and intentionally participate in the comprehensive racial learning (or, racial ethnic socialization) of the mixed race children in their lives.
Mixed (Me)dia recognizes that mixed race people and their experiences are underrepresented and overlooked in popular media. Mixed (Me)dia seeks to intervene and empower mixed race people by providing a platform for their voices and experiences to be heard.
As this website serves to be an educational resource, when you see hyperlinked words in blue as above, clicking on the link will lead you to the Mixed (Me)dia glossary of terms. Just scroll down to find the term you are looking for. The Glossary is continually updated as our website content continues to grow.
Who is Mixed (Me)dia?
Mixed (Me)dia is the brainchild of Whitney Meilan, the second child of Debra (white of European descent) and Philip (Asian of Chinese descent), an interracial couple who met and married in the Untied States in 1974.
Whitney was born in Hong Kong while her parents both worked for the United States government. She feels extremely fortunate to have grown up immersed in Chinese culture and to have attended international schools with peers of diverse backgrounds.
Today, Whitney loves being mixed and strongly identifies with her Chinese/Asian heritage. She admits that she feels most comfortable and free from judgement with other mixed race people who share her experiences.
But Whitney also recalls the challenges she faced as a child and adolescent — teachers who couldn’t pronounce her Chinese name, conflicting messages from people in her environment about Chinese culture and people, racist jokes and comments made at her expense, and the constant feeling of being an outsider.
Despite her international upbringing, Whitney has lived thirty years regularly being asked questions like, “what are you?,” “where are you from?,” and “what’s your heritage?”. She never knows quite how to answer in a way that makes her feel whole without being disbelieved or rejected (as she has been, many, many times).
Mixed (Me)dia grew out of Whitney’s graduate studies research into everyday forms of political resistance, media representations of people of color, mixed race identity formation, and child development.
She hopes that Mixed (Me)dia can help children like her grow up feeling confident about who they are, and help parents and educators of mixed race children navigate the sometimes confusing world of race and comprehensive racial learning.
*Note on terminology
Mixed (Me)dia most often uses the term “mixed race” to describe people whose biological parents have different ethnicities. I use the term “mixed race” rather than “biracial” or “multiracial” which are more frequently used in the contemporary United States because the terms “mixed race” and simply “mixed” were and continue to be how I prefer to personally identify. In China where I grew up, mixed race people are referred to as hun xue’er ( 混血儿 ), directly translating to “mixed blooded person.” My mixed race friends and I would refer to ourselves simply as “mixed.”
One of the first times I can remember feeling seen and validated in my identity was when I took a seat in science class next to an intimidating looking young woman on the first day at a new school, and the first thing she said to me was “are you mixed?”. She was half white (Belgian) and half Asian (Shanghainese), and would become one of my closest friends in the world over the next fifteen years. I am paying homage to my own identity as a mixed race woman and to the people in my life who proudly identify as mixed race. - Whitney Meilan