Office Of Multicultural Affairs

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) was established in 2002 to support the College’s efforts to attract, recruit, and serve both students of color and international students. Our mission is to create and sustain an environment that encourages and embraces the contributions of people from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


"The past two years of my life have been nothing less than a blessing. I was able to challenge myself in many ways and as a result of that, I learned new things about myself. I have met inspiring people who have become my personal role models, and, overall, I have grown as an adult. One of the most fulfilling aspects about my life in the last couple years has been the relationship with my girlfriend. We are an "interracial" couple. I put interracial in quotations because I feel it is a label coming from the outside in, much like saying 'I'm just another black man dating a white woman,' when in fact it is much deeper than that. In this article I will be inviting you into some personal thoughts of mine regarding this topic that were derived from my beliefs first, and experiences second. I want to address a couple of negative stigmas about "interracial relationships" and briefly talk about what it's like. By the end of this article I hope to open up minds to be more understanding and inspire the rest to be more accepting.

The term interracial doesn't really sit well with me, because I do not believe in race as it is applied to humans. White, Black, Hispanic are all labels that were created by man, not God, who wanted to group people into categories. The word 'race,' as we know it, fails to sufficiently describe human beings and we do each other a disservice when we categorize people before we get a chance to speak with them. If you take away our skin color what are we? We are all members of the human race. From the outside looking in I am dating outside of my race, when in fact I clearly am not.

Being in an interracial relationship is difficult because there are people from every side of the spectrum that don't believe in what I am doing. There are people that don't know me who believe that I am trying to gain some type of status because of my relationship, when in fact I am just trying to be with someone that I deeply care about as a person. Anyone who has been in a meaningful relationship with someone from a different "race" knows that these skeptics are out there and what those people are worried about is not consistent with what they (people in interracial relationships) are worried about.
From my perspective, culture is the most important aspect about a person and is what essentially makes us different, not race. Culture affects everything from how you act in public, to what you eat, all the way to how you think. Starting a relationship with someone from the same culture is hard work in itself, but having a set of shared customs makes the transition less complicated. While starting a relationship with someone from a different culture can be tricky, because there are less shared customs, if any, and there is a lack of complete understanding of each other's ways. It is common knowledge that the beginning is the time to set the rules and build a foundation that will be a means to a healthy and happy relationship. When people from different cultures decide to be together they have to go a step further than just set boundaries; they have to confront their differences and prejudices head on, one way or another, because they will come up.

From my experience, I remember there was a time when my girlfriend felt like she didn't know everything about me but I knew everything about her. Her sole reasoning for this was because I had met her family and friends from her home, but at the time she didn't get to meet mine. I couldn't understand why, because I felt the amount of time that we were together and how I treated her should have been enough. How could she not know me? But I will never forget once I understood what she was talking about. It was when I brought her down to my hometown to celebrate my mother's birthday with my family where she met everybody. She was smiling the whole night and I could tell that she was soaking in my culture and my past. She was seeing where I came from and the people who are responsible for the person that I am today. This moment confirmed to her that I was genuine and she finally understood me as a whole.

This is the journey that intercultural, rather than interracial, couples have to take. People from the outside are quick to classify it as one thing, while the couple is dealing with something that is much deeper and is way more fulfilling than those critics can open their minds to. Being in a Black/White relationship is no different than being in an Irish/Italian relationship, or a Puerto Rican/Dominican relationship. It is hard to look at someone at first glance and not define them by their color, but remember there is more to that person than what's on the surface. Diversity is a beautiful thing that creates conversations, new ideas, and opportunities to learn about. Intercultural relationships are the very epitome of diversity, and it's time to not only recognize this diversity, but also to embrace it."

Lammar Cash '10
Vice President, ALANA Network

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