Thursday, March 31, 2005

Driving the Beast (RV) - Ashley

While we have not decided on an official name for the RV, in my mind it is "the beast". I drove the thing and what can I say, this is going to be a long 8,000 miles. I really like it though. Some great decorating touches have been made and now all we are waiting for is the wrap that goes around the RV. Plus it is pretty roomy, but just wait until all our stuff is in there plus all the genmix materials we need for the pitstops, yes, it will be very cozy.

Right now we are still doing training and working on last minute preparations. WOW, we have done so much in these past two weeks I still have to process it all. Only four more days until we set off on our adventure! We have had some interviews with the media which is cool, but it still makes me nervous everytime I have one (like today!). Time is passing by so fast! I'm really excited and nervous at the same time.

But everything is going really well so far, just another rainy day in Seattle.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Our RV

This morning we took a ferry ride across the Puget Sound Bay to Kingston, where we had our first glimpse of the RV that will carry us on the strenuous trip. It's pretty huge; we were able to fit seven people comfortably in it without being crowded, but that does not include all of the Generation MIX materials, supplies, food, and clothes that we are going to be bringing as well. After cleaning the exterior in preparation for the sticker wrap that will eventually cover it, we took turns driving it for practice. We still need to christen it with a name. Any suggestions?

Here is Ashley's first reaction upon looking at the RV.

She wasn't the only one a little bit disappointed with the... ahem... thing.

But a little scrubbing did it some good.

Here are some photos of the crew washing the RV.

Geetha sips on some tea to hopefully cure a pesky sore throat.

The group's first RV cat nap.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

CPR Training

Jamie, Ashley, and Charles took a CPR training course today, in order to be ready for any situation that could arise during this trip. We have to be ready for anything!

Introductions - Ashley

Hello Everyone!
My name is Ashley and I am from good 'ole Boise, Idaho, born in Lewiston, ID and raised in B-town (Boise). It was an awesome place to grow up and live. There is a really tight sense of community and a lot of things to do if your the outdoorsy type. (I really like to ski, hike, camp, all that good stuff!)

I am currently enrolled at the University of Colorado in Boulder. They have a program called the time out program where you can take a year off, but still be officially enrolled, so thats what I'm doing, taking a year off and that is how I was able to be a part of Generation MIX. I am double majoring in International Affairs and Ethnic Studies with an emphasis on African-American Studies and South Africa. I was part of a multiracial, multiethnic, transracially adopted group called Mosaic back at CU.

So yeah, I am one of the five crew members embarking on this great adventure, raising awareness on mixed race issues across the U.S. (in a 26 foot RV). We haven't seen the RV yet so I have yet to have a comment on it, but I bet it looks great. I feel that this will be a great experience for us all. I am excited to raise awareness on an issue that is not always adressed.

As you can tell by our photos that we are having a grand ole time in Seattle. It is the first time I have ever been here and so far the city has not let me down. Yet it has been REALLY rainy this past week and I am definitely not used to that. Although we are hard at work everyday trying to prepare for the tour, we still find time to enjoy ourselves and go play. A lot of work is being put forth to make this tour possible and we all greatly appreciate all the time and energy that others are giving to make this tour possible.

I am so excited to get on the road (even though none of us have experience driving an RV, I'm sure we'll be fine). My crew members are great. We get along really well and it is interesting because we all have very different personalities and backgrounds but its cool because this is what makes us complement each other really well.

So I have to get back to work but don't worry, I'll be back soon:)

see ya,

Monday, March 28, 2005

Introductions - Geetha

Hi Everyone!

I'm Geetha, the Operations Coordinator for the Generation MIX National Awareness Tour. I'm from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I grew up there, attended the University of Michigan, and now work in Ann Arbor at a local nonprofit. I'm thrilled to be a part of this tour because I think it will be an exciting opportunity for both myself and the people we reach.

We have finished our first week of training and I am having a wonderful time. This is my first visit to Seattle, and I am already falling in love with the city. Everyone keeps saying how cold it is here, but compared to Michigan weather, this is balmy.

Our training workshops have been intense, but also quite informative and interesting. So far I have learned everything from setting up eye-pleasing shots for a documentary, to working with media, to navigating the Seattle bus system. Of course we have spent a lot of time focused on mixed race issues, which I have really enjoyed. Since graduating from college I haven't had as many opportunities to be involved with the mixed race community or even to discuss issues of race, so it's refreshing to be in a situation where others are open and willing to talk about race and mixed race experiences. I have really enjoyed conversations with the other crewmembers and the MAVIN staff because we are from all over the country, and it's very interesting to learn about how race and being multiracial is perceived and played out in other areas of the USA. I am really looking forward to the ways in which each new stop along the tour will have its own unique personality and the people will have new stories to tell and learn from. I hope that others can learn from my experiences and opinions as well.

It is overwhelming to think about all we've done in the past week--and all that we still have to do! We still have to finish working out our keynote presentation, learn first aid and CPR, practice driving the RV (my biggest fear), and of course find some time to sleep. Thanks for reading our blog, and we'll defnitely keep you posted with regular updates along the way.

Introductions - Aaron

So.... my name is Aaron. I come from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (go Steelers!). I am African American, Irish, Creek Indian, and German. Right now I am a student at West Virginia University in Morgantown, just on the other side of the PA border. The ethnic make-up back home is a lot different than what I've seen so far in Seattle. The Asian community is a lot more predominant here. It is an eye-opening experience for me to see what issues we have in common the Hapa youth.

This tour is my first real experience in dealing with issues concerning race. I have never been involved in any type of activism the way the other crew members have. It is cool to finally talk with people who kind of know where I'm coming from.

I'm looking forward to travelling around the country. Before this trip, the farthest west I'd ever travelled had been to Cleveland. I look forward to sharing stories with people who are similar to me in different parts of the country. The populations of the mixed race people in any given area is a cool indicator of the ethnic migrations that have taken place to bring certain people together.

So far we've been pretty busy doing training and what-not, so at this point I'm just looking forward to hitting the open road. I'm all about road trips, and spending two years on the WVU DII Platinum Ice Hockey team has taught me a lot about travelling across this nation in over-sized automobiles in rock-star fashion. I hope the others in the group are ready for the challenge.

I hope that once we start moving, the apprehension about not messing up these lectures we're going to be giving will ease off a little bit. Our schedule is a little hectic, but I look forward to seeing a lot of new things along the way.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Introductions - Jamie

Hey everyone

So this is me, Jamie. For a quick run-down I'll tell you that I'm from Berkeley, Ca where I grew up with my mother, father and older sister. My mom is Chinese American and my father is white. My sister, Erin, and her husband, Ali, just had my baby nephew, Rafique, on December 26th.

As I write this the rest of the crew and I are winding down the weekend, getting rested for our second and final week of training in Seattle before we head out on this big journey. It's been great getting to know everyone and we seem to be getting closer and closer each day. The first week was pretty intense; it seemed like nearly every moment was scheduled with some sort of training session or overview. And this next week will most likely be more of the same. But we're all feeling pretty good, no freak-outs yet, and we've even managed to fit is some free-time.

Personally, I'm pretty excited about the tour. I'm really looking forward to getting a fuller picture of what the mixed experience is like in other parts of the country. Back home I've been engaging in mixed issues since high school when I helped organize Berkeley High's Hapa Club and in college where I helped found and organize UC Santa Cruz's Mixed Ethnicities Student Headquarters (MESH). After school I came back to the bay where I joined the staff of Hapa Issues Forum and later joined the planning committee of Swirl, Inc.'s Bay Area chapter with whom I help organize local events. And about a year ago, out of a desire to add some visibility to some of the issues surrounding being mixed and to add a bit more consciousness to the clothing world, I started my own t-shirt company, Like Minded People.

By going on this tour, meeting interesting people from around the country and generally exposing myself to the variety of experiences out there I want to bring back with me some new understandings that will help me in my community organizing and provide me inspiration for my shirts.

In the end, it feels great to be a part of this greater movement helping to raise awareness of what it is and means to be mixed in America. I'm excited that momentum has been steadily growing and I can't wait to get out there and experience some new pieces of it first hand.
See you all out there...


Photos From Week 1 Of Training...

An outtake from our first media photoshoot

We spent several hours being taught some of the basics of documentary filmmaking by independent filmmaker, Justin Leroy.

On Wednesday morning, we had breakfast with Howard Cohen of Best Western Executive Inn Hotel. Howard has been extremely generous and helpful! Thanks, Howard!

Photos from Sam's scavenger hunt around downtown Seattle and our victory party at Gameworks.

On Thursday, we met with Dr. Maria P. P. Root, the nation's foremost authority on multiracial identity.

The five of us with Lisette Austin, a Seattle-area writer, diversity trainer and researcher, who led a workshop on some of the basics of public speaking.

Aaron asleep on the MAVIN couch after a long week!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Introductions - Charles

Hello, everyone!

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Charles and I am one of five people selected by the MAVIN Foundation to embark on the Generation MIX National Awareness Tour. I was born and raised in the city of Seattle, a city known for its coffee drinkers and its perpetual rainy weather.

A part of my responsibility on the Tour is being in charge of this weblog, a record of our journey as we trek across the nation in a 26 foot RV. Expect to see many photographs, observations, and reflections of the many wonderful places we visit on this trip. I am personally excited to try new cuisines and get a feel for the local art and design communities around the nation.

We are currently a week into the Training Period. Since last Monday our lives have picked up in pace considerably; we have been attending sessions for public speaking, documentary filmmaking, public relations, and multiracial issues from some of the greatest minds in their respective fields. It has, for me at least, been an emotionally and intellectually taxing yet rewarding experience. I am still trying to process all the information that we have been taught this past week. With one more week to go before our kick-off presentation, I am anxious and excited as to how the rest of our Training Period will help us. While I feel that there is still so much more to learn, I am confident that the five of us will all be more than prepared once April 4th arrives.

Okay, I'm going to get back to my reading. I'm going to bug the other guys to get started writing their thoughts on this blog. Thanks for reading! I'm sure you'll be hearing lots more once the Tour gets underway. Get ready for five weeks of social justice in action.


Friday, March 25, 2005

Get into the MIX!!!

Welcome to the Generation MIX online blog. Follow us as we wind our way around 8,000 miles of the U.S. via a 26 foot RV. Along the way, we'll post photos, comments and reflections on our historic journey to raise awareness of America's mixed race baby boom! For more information, please visit