Heidi W. DurrowHeidi W. Durrow

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Mixed Roots In the Schools

Mx11kidsatschool1 My dear friend Rayme Cornell and I had the great opportunity to visit a Santa Monica middle-grade school where we got to talk to kids about the upcoming Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival, June 11-12, 2011 in Los Angeles. www.mxroots.org.

People often ask me whether I think things are changing for kids who are mixed. Unfortunately, the answer is no. In a big city like Los Angeles, you'd think that the kids would encounter a lot of diversity, that they wouldn't find themselves feeling so lonely because of their dual identities. Here are some excerpts from the kids' writing. We asked them to write a few sentences about themselves using this prompt: When I think about my roots, I think . . .

  • "I am Swedish, Finnish, Native American. I have Viking blood and much more. I am Christian, and a pinch Catholic. I think of my roots when I'm bored, sad, or curious about me. I think about mixed roots when I'm walking on the street and when I'm at school. I feel curious about where people are from." --O.
  • "I see the world as a blend making a nationality smoothie!" --O.
  • "I think about my roots all the time because in second grade one kid said to me 'Why are you black?' so that scared me, so when I I with my friends I think 'Do I fit here?"-- B.

Some of the responses just broke my heart, but also helped me realize that we really have to carry forth with the Festival -- the young folks still need a place to be heard.  If you're reading this post, you are someone, know someone or love someone in the Mixed experience.  Won't you please consider donating to the Festival?




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