Finding One's Identity JENNA FALLIS, Amber Greenfield, Quenna Liu, Kaylee Rowden

PROBLEM: In today's society, many people are living "between the hyphen." What exactly does this mean? Well, let's explain. The hyphen refers to being between something, when we talk about culture and race it means people who are a combination of two or more different cultures or races. For example, a child that has a Chinese mother and an African-American father. The problem that can arise from people living in the hyphen is the sense of belonging and acceptance. Even in today's society there is much racism and societal "norms." For people living between the hyphen, they often don't know what culture to associate themselves with as they can feel that they don't belong in either. All to often, people are asked, "What are you?". This can cause problems as sometimes people feel they are being intruded or judged because of their genetic makeup. We aim to discover through research how people living in the hyphen face being accepted in today's society and how they find one's identity; is there a problem of acceptance among people of who are biracial?


  • Research through articles, lectures and books to study people living in the hyphen
  • Look at the history of interracial marriage and children (how it was accepted or wasn't accepted, what happened, etc).
  • Research ways that people living in the hyphen feel excluded from society or as if they are not accepted
  • Use these findings to suggest ways in which society can be more inclusive and accepting
  • Look at past and current laws on racism
  • Look at how individual people living in the hyphen might have solved the problem of not feeling like they belong or were accepted
  • Use statistics found in our research to conduct a thorough conclusion


Ted Talk of Thandie Newton can be found below called, "embracing otherness, embracing myself"

PROPOSAL: In our research, we will be focusing on looking at the history of interracial marriage and children. Through this research we will acknowledge how interracial marriage views have changed. Past history of laws on racism will also be looked at to see how in the past racism was viewed as opposed to in society today. We will also focus on specific examples of people who are living in the hyphen and how they feel about themselves. We wish to gain insight on how people who are interracial feel about themselves in society, such as if they ever feel excluded or unaccepted. Through research, we will also look at ways people living in the hyphen have solved this problem of feeling excluded. From all of this information, we will create a video which will include this information as well as incorporating peoples thoughts and opinions. The video will include statistics, videos of people discussing how they feel living in the hyphen as well as photos to show viewers that even though society has come a long way with interracial marriage, children and cultures, we still have a ways to go to make everyone feel included in society.

Yes I am mixed. No I am not confused - Christine Chen

What it is like to be biracial

The purpose of our video we created was to show real-life people who are living in the hyphen and their thoughts about race and identity. The video features YouTube clips, statistics and quotes from people. Through the video it shows how people feel about their race and identity; both negative and positive. We thought the video would be an informative way to teach people about race and identity by creating a video that features real life people discussing their lives. Living in the hyphen is different for everyone and our video just shows how unique culture and identity is. Through watching our video, viewers will learn about acceptance of multicultural people, racism that may exist within the multicultural community and how we should be accepting everyone for their own uniqueness.

Here is a overview of Statistic Canada's 2015 findings on mixed unions that has been put into an infographic with only the key facts about mixed unions representing in Canada.

The video coming up was created by BuzzFeed, which gives you some insight on the types of generations. If you start watching at 4:50, it introduces Generation Alpha aka Gen Tech, Digital Native, Net Gen. This generation has become increasingly diverse compared to other generations, that racial minority groups will make up majority of the population, which means that the rise of interracial marriages will increase by 50% in multiracial youths. At 6:55 to 7:33, it will show you the percentage of races for each generation and you will find that Mixed Race has slowly started to increase when it hit Gen X,Y,Z.

The first two journals are about how biracial children grow up finding how they choose to identify themselves.


Baxley, T. P. (2008). What are you?' Biracial children in the classroom. Childhood Education, 84(4), 230+. Retrieved from|A178631599&v=2.1&it=r&sid=summon&authCount=1

BuzzFeed. (2017, April 4). Generations Throughout History. Retrieved from

BuzzFeed. (2016, January 12). The Struggle Of Being Mixed Race. Retrieved from YouTube:

Chang, S. (2013). Mixed Race, Pretty Face. Retrieved from

Chapter 3: The Multiracial Identity Gap. (2015, June 10). Retrieved March 07, 2017, from

Dovey, D. (2016). Mixed-Race People Experience Racism, But it Depends on Where They Live. Retrieved from

Gaither, S. E., Chen, E. E., Corriveau, K. H., Harris, P. L., Ambady, N., & Sommers, S. R. (2014, December). Monoracial and Biracial Children: Effects of Racial Identity Saliency on Social Learning and Social Preferences. Child Development, 85(6), 18. Retrieved from

Haidrani, S. (2016). What Being of Mixed Heritage Has Taught Me About Identity. Retrieved from

Hayes, A. (2012, February 16). Study: Interracial marriage, acceptance growing. Retrieved from CNN:

Head, T. (2017). Interracial Marriage Laws History and Timeline. Retrieved from

Hayes, A. (2012, February 16). Study: Interracial marriage, acceptance growing. Retrieved from CNN:

Khalil, B., & Jones, N. (2012, December 10). Young women perform "Ambiguous" about racial identity. Retrieved from CNN:

Nelson, V. (2016, December 28). 22 things you only know if you're mixed race. Retrieved from Metro:

Newton, T. (2011, July). Embracing otherness, embracing myself [Video File]. Retrieved from

Parenting 'mixed' children: difference and belonging in mixed race and faith families. (2016, July 12). Retrieved March 07, 2017, from

PBS. (n.d.). Interracial Relationships that Changed History. Retrieved from PBS:

Velasquez-Manoff, M. (2017, March 4). What Biracial People Know. Retrieved from The New York Times:

Watson, E. (2014, March 29). Interracial Couples and Marriage More Accepted Among Americans. Retrieved from The Huffington Post:


Created with images by Alexas_Fotos - "game characters toys figure" • BarbaraBonanno - "share one for all and all for" • aitoff - "stormtrooper star wars lego" • seier+seier - "alvar aalto, nordjyllands kunstmuseum, 1958-1972" • ministryofstories - "Dominic Cooper and Thandie Newton" • familymwr - "Army Photography Contest - 2007 - FMWRC - Arts and Crafts - A Plumpish Proportion" • Ian D. Keating - "Waiting...Wanting..."

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