Code Switching as a Mixed-Race Reality: Speaking Truth and Speaking to Power
June 11, 2016 12:00pm-12:50pm
This panel will be focus on the ways in which we “code-switch” in our multiracial families and in our educational and professional lives. In particular, we will also focus on how as artists we need to have a language for ourart as well as any professional work we do to support our art. In addition, we will discuss the strategies we use “code switching” to communicate our art/writing with the gatekeepers who are often not familiar with our stories.
Moderator: Kyla Kupferstein
Kyla Kupferstein Torres is an educator and writer in New York City. Kyla has broad experience in education; she has held positions at top schools, and created college preparation programs in high-poverty communities, targeted at low-income and first-generation students. Her writing is concerned with issues of identity and how personal stories inform our choices. She is a frequent consultant to and speaker at education and parenting advocacy groups. She is a member of the Mixed Remixed Festival Board of Directors.
Jackie Graves, a tenured English instructor at Laney College, writes personal essays, plays, fiction, poetry, and memoir. Her work has appeared in African Voices, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, and onstage performances include the Guerrilla Jazz Collective and Strong Current Dance Company. She has received a City of Oakland Spoken Word Fellowship, and residencies at Djerassi, Jentel, Soapstone Writers Residency for Women, and Julia and David White Artist Colony in Costa Rica.
Dmae Roberts is a writer/producer who received two Peabody Awards for her documentary Mei Mei, a Daughter’s Song and the Crossing East series. She received the Dr. Suzanne Ahn Civil Rights and Social Justice award from the Asian American Journalists Association and is a USA Fellow. She’s been published in Oregon Humanities, The Sun, Where Are You From? (Thymos Group) and Mothering in East Asian Communities (Demeter Press). Her book is The Letting Go Trilogies: Stories of a Mixed-Race Family.
Aaron Samuels is a Cave Canem fellow and author of the book Yarmulkes & Fitted Caps. An alumnus of the Providence Youth Poetry Slam, Aaron has coached youth poets in Providence, Boston, and DC. Aaron Samuels is also the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Blavity, a digital community for Millennials of Color. Find him on Twitter at: @PoetryAaron
Jonathan R. Miller is a biracial author of literary fiction thrillers exploring issues of identity and belonging. Born in Chicago, Miller graduated from Stanford University, taught 8th-grade for 7 years in East Oakland, California, and currently works as a writer in the Bay Area.