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...