Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Get Mixed-Up--Twice!

Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez! Maybe it’s because the Sun is in the sign Gemini this month, but we have two profiles for you. Gemini’s symbols are the Twins, and coincidentally we’re featuring two Hip Hapa Homeez. Both are Ph.D. candidates and both are looking for mixed folks like you to get mixed up in their dissertations. Be sure to click the links below each interview to get in the mix!

Zankhana with her fiancee
First up, Zankhana Sheth, a fourth-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at Wright Institute in Berkeley.
Q: Zankhana, what’s your ethnicity?

A: I was born in India and am Indian American.

Q: How were you brought up?

A: I was not raised in a mixed environment. 

Q: What made you interested in Black/Asian relationships?

A: I’m part of a Black-Indian couple and we’re getting married. I'm in psychology so I did some checking to see if there were any particular experiences shared by many people in similar relationships; and, there were no research studies about the experiences of people of color who interracially marry each other. I hope to learn more through my dissertation and help others to be aware of our experiences as well.

Q: What's the purpose of your study?  

Zankhana engaged
A: I hope through my study that awareness and understanding about interracial couples of color will be increased in general, but I also believe that when couples like ours look for support, couples therapy should be a viable option. However, many therapists know little about our experiences and can find it challenging to work with interracial couples. So, if some people are willing to share some of their experiences, it could really help therapists work with couples better.

Q: How can we help?

A: If you're interested in participating in my study, and live in California, please contact me for further information. To be eligible for this study, you and your spouse must both identify as Asian/Asian American, Black/African American, Latino/Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Multiracial, and/or Native American and have been married at least a year. The study consists of a 1-2 hour in-person interview as well as some background paperwork. All interviewed participants will receive a $20 gift card to for their time and contributions. Contact me at for more information and to see if you qualify.  

All right! Next up, is Lisa Giamo, a Ph.D. student in Social Psychology at Simon Fraser University.

Lisa with parents
Q: Lisa, what’s your ethnicity?

A: My mother is Korean, and my father is Sicilian-American.

Nana, Lisa and Mom

Q: How were you brought up?

A:  I was raised in a mixed environment, being exposed to American, Sicilian and Korean cultural values. My Nana (on my father's side) helped raise me, so I was exposed to some traditions from that side. However, since my mother is from Korea, I am more in tune with the language, food and other cultural practices of that side of my family. 

Q: What made you interested in White/Asian relationships?

Lisa and brother
A:  I thought it was completely normal to have one Asian and one White parent, until I started kindergarten and realized that people treated me differently because of the way I looked. Growing up, my younger brother and I were pretty much the only two people of our background in school. As I got older and started meeting other multiracial people, I became interested in how our experiences shape who we are and how we see the world, particularly for those that have multiple racial backgrounds.

Q: What's the purpose of your study?

A: My current research is focused on understanding the experiences of multiracial people and how it influences their identification choices. As scholars, we know very little about the psychological processes of multiracial people and are just starting to build theories and empirical work in that area, since there are some inherent complexities with interracial relationships on the rise and multiracials the fastest growing minority group in North America. Projections indicate that by the year 2050, 1 out of every 5 people in America will claim a multiracial background. Thus, it becomes increasingly important to gain a better understanding of the ways in which we conceptualize race and ethnicity, and how multiracials 'fit' into the current conversations, as well as future implications. 

Lisa with Greenlining Institute colleagues
Q: How can we help?

A:  I’m currently collecting data for my dissertation study examining multiracial identity. If you’re interested in being a part of this research, please use the following link to our survey: 

It would also be appreciated if you could forward this information on to anyone you know that has one White parent and one Asian parent who might be interested in participating. Thanks for your time and consideration.

All right, Hip Hapa Homeez, get your mixed selves mixed up in these awesome causes. 

And, don’t forget to join us at Hip Hapa Homeez on Facebook where we enjoy ongoing discussions about being mixed-race, interracially involved, transracially adopted or crossing cultures. Please also like our Watermelon Sushi and Hapa Teez t-shirt fan pages, too.

BlacKorean Rob Lee in Hapa*Teez
Check out Rob Lee in his BlacKorean tee above, and remember buying a Hapa-Teez helps fund our Watermelon Sushi film.

Wishing you double summer fun, I am

Your Hip Hapa,